At the end of each summer reading program I plan something for the members of the Teen Advisory Group as a thank you/reward for helping plan the reading program. As the teens involvement in planning waned, so did the reward. The first two years I did a lock in, the third year was an after hours party. This past summer I had proposed we go miniature golfing since everything they had planned to do for the summer fell apart in an epic way. Then one day, they were playing a card game and making up outrageous stories as they play against each other. So I suggested a Dungeons and Dragons party.
They LOVED idea.
And then I realized it would be more work than a lock-in.
I knew virtually nothing about Dungeons and Dragons. I had to do some research and then time alluded me. Luckily, I spent a lot of time on the D&D website…and it was overwhelming. I poked around the website and found a Tabletop Option.
This saved me as I was going to be the Dungeon Master so all the teens could participate in the game I planned for July. In May, I printed out character guides and sheets so they could get a head start on creating their characters. I thought this would be plenty of time for them to work on it and get excited.
I was wrong.
The teens kept putting it off and putting it off. One of the teens took matters into his own hands and recruited his friend to come in and help. He played D&D before and had the Player’s Handbook which was invaluable! He spent one on one time making sure each teen participating had their character and how to use them in the quest. He was my favorite for the rest of summer.
The game itself was a lot of fun. The boys kind of took the lead and the girls kept trying to assert themselves. I intervened when I needed too and as the game wore on, the boys realized that the girls had a lot of power behind their characters.
It even came down to one of the girls having the last roll to defeat the troll and win the game.
And she did.
Since then, half the teens in that participated left for college and the others will leave this summer. But I know the girls who left for college and the military are talking about joining groups and one of the boys still plays with his friend and a bunch of people. He always seems to have dice on him.
As much fun as I had with this program, I haven’t done it since. It takes a lot of work on the part of the teens and it seems they aren’t interested in putting in the time. If you have a group of teens that want to do it, it is so worth it! Tell me all about your successful D&D programs so I can live vicariously through you!