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Subject: School Game Club? rss

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Daniel Goertzen
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The volunteer running the Chess Club at my kids' school is about to quit and is trying to tap me to take over. I am interested, but being a boardgame nut I am inclined to expand the scope to include anything of reasonable cost, playtime, and content. My shortlist is checkers, chess, pokemon TCG (decks only, no trading!), and maybe some of the mishmash of other games I saw in one of the resource rooms. School is grades 1-5, and we get maybe 30+ minutes at lunchtime.

Has anybody done this at their school? Am I nuts in attempting this?
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Michael Berg
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Definitely doable. How big is the following for the chess club, though? Will they will abandonned/out of place among board gamers?
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Billy McBoatface
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I see a chess club and a boardgaming club as serving very different audiences. Many chess players play nothing else, and study chess carefully; most boardgamers play lots of different board games and don't do a diligent study of any of them. So "expanding" the chess club would be like taking over as hockey coach but then "expanding" the hockey team to play water polo, foosball, and billiards in addition.

If you want to run a BG club, do so. If you want to run the chess club, do so. But don't "take over" one and make it into the other.
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Daniel Goertzen
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It's impressively popular now with over 100 kids split up over 3 days and lots of grade 5s volunteering to help the younger ones. If the club was a small niche I could see an abandonment problem, but this thing is mainstream right now.
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Melissa
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I think it depends a lot on your club. It wouldn't have worked with the chess club my kids participated in. They did chess game worksheets, variations on regular chess, and many other chess-specific things, all directed by those running the club. They also participated in scholastic chess tournaments and even hosted them at our school. I think a BG group is a wonderful idea, but at least with the chess clubs I've seen, I agree with WM Shubert, they wouldn't have been a great match with a boardgame club. If your chess club is more casual, it might be a better fit.
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Michael Berg
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goertzenator wrote:
It's impressively popular now with over 100 kids split up over 3 days and lots of grade 5s volunteering to help the younger ones. If the club was a small niche I could see an abandonment problem, but this thing is mainstream right now.


I'd leave it as a Chess club only then. If it was only a few regulars, I could see expanding it, but 100+ kids is well past critical mass.
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Shawn McCarthy
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If it were daily, you could say [weekday] is now Chess + Boardgame day.
Since it's 3/wk, you could add a Boardgame day. There's definitely overlap but like others pointed out, you probably don't want to pull the rug out on them.

Less the hockey coach becoming the polo, etc coach - more the hockey coach opening up weight room sessions for other athletes, right?

Anyway, some very Chess-like games you might introduce: Go, Hive, and the GIPF Project games. Hive is usually 5-10 minutes, Go on a small board within 30 mins. Can't speak directly to Gipf, though.
 
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wayne mathias
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Way back in 1968-1969 games other than chess were introduced in my high school chess club by creating (and always holding joint meetings with) a strategy club - see no reason other games cannot also be introduced along with the current chess.
 
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Nicolette Tanksley
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If you do go with adding some board games - talk to a few game publishers...you might get some new games for free. I've seen a few School Game Club advisors here on BGG say they do this. I'd also post some wants on the Thrifting for you 2016 list so maybe you can also get some free older games that way.
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L B
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wmshub wrote:
I see a chess club and a boardgaming club as serving very different audiences. Many chess players play nothing else, and study chess carefully; most boardgamers play lots of different board games and don't do a diligent study of any of them. So "expanding" the chess club would be like taking over as hockey coach but then "expanding" the hockey team to play water polo, foosball, and billiards in addition.

If you want to run a BG club, do so. If you want to run the chess club, do so. But don't "take over" one and make it into the other.


I agree with this sentiment.

I think the suggestion of adding in boardgaming days or a separate club is better and doesn't detract from the kids already in chess club. I will also say that, as a parent of a kid who did chess club, I would have been annoyed if Pokemon got introduced into the mix. Chess was something to get him AWAY from constantly begging me for more Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh cards.
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John Bobek
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Elankat wrote:
wmshub wrote:
I see a chess club and a boardgaming club as serving very different audiences. Many chess players play nothing else, and study chess carefully; most boardgamers play lots of different board games and don't do a diligent study of any of them. So "expanding" the chess club would be like taking over as hockey coach but then "expanding" the hockey team to play water polo, foosball, and billiards in addition.

If you want to run a BG club, do so. If you want to run the chess club, do so. But don't "take over" one and make it into the other.


I agree with this sentiment.

I think the suggestion of adding in boardgaming days or a separate club is better and doesn't detract from the kids already in chess club. I will also say that, as a parent of a kid who did chess club, I would have been annoyed if Pokemon got introduced into the mix. Chess was something to get him AWAY from constantly begging me for more Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh cards.


Agreed. I run the Chess club on Mondays and the Games Club (miniatures naturally!) on Fridays. Some overlap, but not much.
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Oscar Valera
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I run a weekly after school board game club. Many publishers have donated games, and I ran a donorschoose fundraiser to raise money for games. They kids love all the games we've gotten. We meet for an hour every Tuesday.
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Jeffrey Allers
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wmshub wrote:
I see a chess club and a boardgaming club as serving very different audiences. Many chess players play nothing else, and study chess carefully; most boardgamers play lots of different board games and don't do a diligent study of any of them. So "expanding" the chess club would be like taking over as hockey coach but then "expanding" the hockey team to play water polo, foosball, and billiards in addition.

If you want to run a BG club, do so. If you want to run the chess club, do so. But don't "take over" one and make it into the other.


I disagree that they "always have to be separate." I think you have to look at the group. If they really want study chess and become better at that, then respect the group's wishes and keep them separate. But if you sense that the group could use some "mixin' it up," there's nothing wrong with that. Call it "cross training for tabletop games."

Incidentally, I coached a basketball club team here in Berlin, and for some practices, we actually played baseball, American football, or ultimate frisbee

I'm a board gamer and game designer who loves trying (and designing) new games. Yet I also do enjoy playing Chess and learning more about the game, although I don't spend hours a day studying it.
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Mike Bialecki
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goertzenator wrote:
The volunteer running the Chess Club at my kids' school is about to quit and is trying to tap me to take over. I am interested, but being a boardgame nut I am inclined to expand the scope to include anything of reasonable cost, playtime, and content. My shortlist is checkers, chess, pokemon TCG (decks only, no trading!), and maybe some of the mishmash of other games I saw in one of the resource rooms. School is grades 1-5, and we get maybe 30+ minutes at lunchtime.

Has anybody done this at their school? Am I nuts in attempting this?


Whatever you end up doing, please report back. My daughter starts kindergarten in the fall and I'm really itching to try and start a board game club there. The problem is that I have no idea how such an elementary school club would run.

It's interesting that you bring up Pokemon, because that's one of the games I'd like to advertise. I know several 8 year olds who obsessively collect Pokemon cards, but have no idea how to play the game (they toss their energy cards as useless) and I fear this is not an uncommon phenomenon. It's a shame, because I think it's a fantastic game for kids.
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Nathanael Robinson
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mbialeck wrote:
It's interesting that you bring up Pokemon, because that's one of the games I'd like to advertise. I know several 8 year olds who obsessively collect Pokemon cards, but have no idea how to play the game (they toss their energy cards as useless) and I fear this is not an uncommon phenomenon. It's a shame, because I think it's a fantastic game for kids.

Yes, it is a common problem. My son didn't know what to do with his cards. We just happened to come across a new store that was just about to have Saturday Pokemon. It's only because of these events that he knows how to play the game.

That said, he still plays it to hang out with friends rather than for the love of the game. It holds his attention for one game, by which time he wants to do something else. He'll trade cards, but he isn't as interested in buying booster packs any more (the 3 booster packs=1 X-Wing expansion has really hit home). The other kids (as well as a few adults) are way more dedicated not only to the franchise, but to the game in particular.

For the record, Pokemon requires a sixty card deck. It combines character cards of 2-3 energy types (the small icon on the top of the card) along with 15-20 energy cards (corresponding to that type) and 15-25 trainers. The best way to start to construct a deck is to buy a starter.
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Daniel Goertzen
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I gave my pitch to the principal and parent council and they loved it. My proposal is https://docs.google.com/document/d/1i6RIvnkOUmM8jw9XFe9s3ZWg...

The school is K-5, and the club is for 1-5. I am not doing Pokemon as the kids are currently not permitted to have these at school. But, my kids will be at that school for many years yet so we will see. Little steps.

I am planning to try some games from my personal collection once everybody is up and running on the club games. Games I might try are Forbidden Island, Carcassonne, Dominion and a number of others just to inject some theme, get more than 2 players involved, and to see what sticks.

This all won't start until Jan 2017.
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