Creative games make for fantastic nights

Ben Guthrie
Ben Guthrie

Lots of great camp memories are made with games played on the hall right up until room time, strategizing with and against each other in games like Mafia as they fight for a winner. But for the past few nights, around a dozen campers have gotten into a collaborative rather than competitive game I host in my room, and I’ve been truly impressed by their creativity and resourcefulness.

The game is like Dungeons and Dragons. I tell a story, and the campers tell me what their characters do in the story. However, in order to accomplish tasks in the story, they have to pull blocks out of a Jenga tower, still teetering on the edge of my desk from Sunday night’s session. When a camper knocks over the tower, their character is gone from the game, so the tension climbs as the game progresses.

In the story, all the campers playing the game woke up to find the dorm abandoned except for them and a warning in the lobby about the “Weeping Angels,” the signature monsters of “Doctor Who.” Imagining what they could do only with the materials in the dorm around them, my campers came up with strategizes on how to trap the monsters, escape the dorm, and get to the chemistry building for monster-fighting supplies. When they came back from class the next day, they were already filling me in on their plans they made during the breaks from class and what they wanted to do in the next night’s game session. Having a dozen campers in a room, deliberating over how to escape from the monsters and putting all their creative energy into the game, makes for a fantastic night. I can’t imagine being able to have creative games like this with any other group of boys.