Dungeons & Dragons day camp promises to bring a bit of fantasy to summer for Winnipeg kids

If your kid is looking for something a little more magical this summer, this Dungeons & Dragons day camp might be for them. 

Youngsters can learn rules of the classic roleplaying game at camp run by Exchange District game café

The Across the Board game café in Winnipeg is hosting a weekly Dungeons & Dragons day camp for kids this summer, where kids can learn the ins and outs of the classic roleplaying game. (Submitted by Benoit Morham)

If your kid is looking for something a little more magical this summer, a Dungeons & Dragons day camp might be for them.

The camp is being run by Across the Board, a game café in Winnipeg's Exchange District, for the second year in a row. 

The idea for the day camp was born out of the Dungeons & Dragons family nights the café has been hosting for years, where staff noticed that kids were excited to try the classic roleplaying game, said Benoit Morham, who runs the camp. 

"And so we thought, why don't we let the kids have a chance to really express their creativity and really get active on the table?" Morham said. 

The tabletop roleplaying game — which goes back to the 1970s but has recently seen a resurgence — is set in a fantasy world where players take on the roles of adventurers encountering a variety of mythical and fantastical creatures.

A "dungeon master" oversees the storytelling aspect of the game while making sure players are following the rules, and the action plays out using dice, paper and maps. Tiny figurines are also often used.

LISTEN | Benoit Morham talks about his Dungeons & Dragons day camp:

The game requires a lot of imagination, which makes it an excellent outlet for kids' creativity, Morham said, while also teaching them problem-solving skills. 

"Often whenever I'm trying to create an adventure for these kids, they come up with their own ways to solve things that I'd never anticipate," he said. 

It also requires them to work together in teams to reach a common goal, Morham said, and the youngsters tend to get really invested in the game, which is fun to see.

A 'dungeon master' oversees the storytelling aspect of the game and the action plays out using dice, paper and maps. Tiny figurines are also often used. (Ted S. Warren/The Associated Press)

"They get really almost emotionally attached to the characters that they created. They want to see what happens at the very end," he said. 

"If a giant dragon pops out of nowhere all the kids are, of course, reacting in surprise and trying to figure out how to deal with the dragon, so it can get really exciting."

New sessions of the camp are being hosted on a weekly basis until mid-August. Each session takes place Monday to Friday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The café  is only accepting 20 kids per week because of the current public health orders. 

You can register online at the Across the Board website.

With files from Wendy Parker


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