Magical Moments

As the last hour approaches, a Golem has been captured, and now the malevolent forest creatures will fall to the might of Irontown! Ninety strong, the warriors band together for the final hunt. This time, they hunt the Nightwalker. The music swells and the very air in the woods holds its breath to see the endgame played out. All of the quests–from the depths of the mines to the dangerous woods that border their homeland–have led to this ultimate confrontation.

A camper gets into character for role-playing game

This is not the same forest in which campers play every day, nor is it the same as in the land of Narnia from yesterday, or the battleground of vampires and werewolves from the day before. For this evening, every camper and staff member is transported to a land other than their own, and the woods become another realm.

Welcome to Nature’s Wrath–one of the all-camp programs played at Camp Augusta in Nevada City, Calif.

These games, going far beyond an average carnival, have developed story lines that tie all the activities together into cohesive, narrative adventures. The tones of these stories are set by the skits that introduce and bid farewell to each adventure.

Each staff member takes on a character as the new world unfolds right before campers’ eyes. Sometimes, the characters are mysterious creatures that either chase or are chased, while at other times they are station leaders offering rewards for completing challenges, or noble friends guiding campers as they wander through the world of the game.

Philosophy In Practice

It is our philosophy that every child has the same dream, wishing at some point that a book or computer game would suddenly come alive and transport him or her away from normal life. This is the universal dream of the all-camp program.

For this evening, the dream is Nature’s Wrath–a hybrid game that involves different aspects of multiple games, such as an elaborate game of tag, as well as scavenger-hunt missions. Campers try to capture various forest spirits in order to seize the mighty Nightwalker, the ancient forest creature that is intent on destroying the nearby human settlements. However, in order to catch the strongest spirits, campers must begin with the smallest one and harness its energy in order to secure powerful charms that allow stronger spirits to be captured.

To see a full synopsis, visit www.natureswrath.net where the entire game is available for free.

Inspiration

Making a program of this magnitude a reality can seem overwhelming, even to the most creative. Although none of our programs are written in a day, the creative process that culminated in Nature’s Wrath and so many other games can be applied to any program.

It starts with a spark that can happen at any moment–watching a film, talking with friends, reading a book, or staring into space. The spark behind Nature’s Wrath hit while working a ski lift. In this case, it was the desire to create a game in which campers work together against a greater adversary, increasing their hunting skills as they go, until they defeat an epic creature.

The game is the camp.

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