Epic Nerd Camp: A Geeky Dream Come True!
This year, hundreds of nerds traveled to the wooded hills of eastern Pennsylvania to take part in the second year of Epic Nerd Camp. Epic Nerd Camp is a summer camp not just for adults – but for adults who love anything and everything nerdy. This year among the horde were several MuggleNet staff members, including me!
After a cross-country trip to the camp, we found ourselves in a beautiful naturescape. We were very warmly greeted and assigned our cabin, named the Three Broomsticks. We were provided with dinner and went to a brief safety training meeting for LARP/boffer games (more on that later). Knowing the next day would be filled with activities, my partner and I opted to take it easy, spending the night playing board games in their VERY well-stocked game room.
On Day 1 of camp, I woke up as bright-eyed as a night owl can, found my schedule for the day, and was off! The first activity I had signed up for was a crafty one: woodworking! We were given materials to make fairy houses. No real fairies showed up, unfortunately, though we did end up with some super-cute houses. After that, we took a sculpting class called Fantastic Beasts & How to Sculpt Them” I made a Niffler that I was pretty proud of; my husband opted to make a Pikachu.
Our third activity was a zip-line and climbing course. I was not too keen on those heights and only attempted the climbing wall. I got about halfway up before climbing back down. My husband and with a few other campers were braver and went on the zip-line; it looked like a blast.
Next we went on to boffer games! A boffer is a foam weapon used for simulated games like LARPs, or in our case, battle games. This was something my partner had signed up for every single day, and we had little idea what we were in for. We had brief instructions, and then it was go time! We played Necromancer, a game in which it’s zombies versus the humans with one traitor on the human side bringing fallen humans back in zombie form. Somehow I ended up being the necromancer. This game was especially fun because thanks to the zombie makeup lessons being offered, we had one on our zombie team who actually looked like a decaying zombie.
Again, we went to the game room after our assigned activities were over for the night. Finding players to join a game was never an issue, and we got to play a few games we’d been wanting to break out. This time we played Bears vs. Babies, a silly party game where you combine limbs, arms, and heads to create monsters to battle a herd of very strange babies.
Day 2 started with a stage magic lesson. We learned how to make a saltshaker disappear, made origami rabbits in hats, and made things float in our hands. How? A magician never reveals their secrets!
Then it was time for probably my favorite activity block of camp, the circus! Here we got to watch other campers on the flying trapeze, as well as watch the trainers themselves do flips and tricks. I did my best to try to figure out a unicycle; though I never quite got it, it was definitely a blast trying, and I’d like to think I got pretty close. We also got to try out the lyra and ground trapeze and see others learn the basics of silks, juggling, and poi.
For our final day, I made it back to the circus area to try to unicycle and ground trapeze again. I never did quite master them but got even closer and had a lot of fun trying.
We also got to do an escape room the camp had set up in the magician’s cabin. Our team was one short and a SINGLE clue away from beating the room. That did not take away from the fun, though. Afterward, we learned some new tricks from the on-site magician.
At this point, we were scheduled to boffer but decided that we had to go meet the horses. We’d heard there was one that loved bananas, so we brought one and a couple of apples. With the horse people’s (what are they called?) guidance, we were able to feed and pet some ponies.
Our final activity for the camp was the ropes course. I tried climbing up a really tall net that had a lot more sag to it than I anticipated and fell back pretty quickly. I also got to do a platform course that felt straight out of American Ninja Warrior. They had a HUGE swing set up that my husband did, twice.
For our final night, shockingly, we played more board games.
So that was my Epic Nerd Camp experience! My husband and I both had far more fun than we could have ever imagined. The activities were things I’d always wanted to try but had either never had the chance or the bravery. They were fantastic, but I think the best part for me was reliving the days of youth when you could walk up to a stranger and have a new friend almost instantly. I definitely hope to return next year, and maybe I’ll even brave the zip-line and giant swing.