Sunday, August 28, 2011

Gamers to be

A note from this summer's scout camp. I originally wrote this back in July, and then misplaced my notebook and forgot about it.

I'm sitting here at Boy Scout camp listening to two groups of scouts. It's late and they're filling their evening with games and chatter. One group is clustered around the central picnic tables playing poker. The other group, which I am sitting with, is cloistered off in an unused tent at the rear of our campsite, playing D&D.

I get excited listening to their play and banter. They are all new to the roleplaying, and are feeling their way through the complex ruleset. I was about their age when I discovered D&D back in the early 80's.

The ringleaders of this group are a pair of brothers who are working as camp staff this year. One of them is a member of our troop and the other belongs to a different local troop. They are both very active scouts and attend each other's scouting events all the time. I found out that they were just discovering D&D on a recent canoe trip. I did my best to reinforce their emerging hobby by telling them that I still game, even in my advanced adulthood. By the end of that trip, they had organized their first game night.

Earlier today, I was sitting here at the picnic table teaching some of the scouts in our troop how to play the card game Fluxx, when one of the brothers, with some of his gaming group in tow, walked up and asked, "Do you happen to have any multisided dice?"

I looked up with a grin and asked, "What size do you need?"

His jaw dropped in hopeful amazement. "Really?!"

"Of course I do." I went to my tent and produced a zippered pencil pouch. "Here, this is two full sets — don't lose them."

They ran off to the spare tent and the orc-slaying began. I am jealous of that gleam in their eyes. They know they've discovered something magical, but they don't quite understand it yet. They have no idea what exciting and fun times await them. Fantastic realms of imagination and stories, shared fun with friends, and late nights filled with laughs, snacks, and dice.

Now reading: Well of Ascension, book 2 of the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson.

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