Condon Arts Council holds all analog camp for kids

Getting kids away from screens is no easy feat. But the Condon Arts Council did just that at a special camp over spring break.

Twenty-two kids from Condon and Fossil took part in the class.

Called "Ana Con" – short for Analog Convention – the camp had a no-electronics focus. Kids instead learned how to immerse themselves in role-playing games and character creation, while using their imaginations and improvisational skills to complete tasks.

Wendell Seitz, the son of Wheeler County native Don Seitz, led the class and tapped his brother Elliott Seitz and another friend to help out. All three have extensive experience in the world of role-playing games (RPGs).

Kids traded in computers and smart phones for dice and pencils – playing games such as Magic the Gathering, Star Realms, Dungeons and Dragons, War Hammer 40K, and several others.

While games such as these might not be familiar to many adults, they are becoming increasingly popular, and particularly for youth. Last year, roll playing games generated nearly $45 billion in revenue.

The popular gaming site Game Rant found that 36% of people between the ages of 15 and 25 are actively involved in role playing games (RPGs).

The Arlington School started a Dungeons and Dragons gaming group last year that had more kids participating than they did for some sports teams.

At the Condon School, gaming and computer technology classes have flourished and in Fossil, gaming groups are also popular with kids.

Some schools even have competitive gaming groups that offer a sportsman letter.

For the class in Condon over spring break, the focus was getting kids to dig into their imaginations and to then find ways to express those ideas through characters.

The only bit of technology in the class was a 3-D printer, which was used to create figurines that were needed for one of the games. Kids designed their figurines, painted them with an airbrush, and then used the figurines in a board game. The kids also got to keep the figurines as a keepsake.

The Condon Arts Council received a grant from the Roundhouse Foundation to fund the Ana Con camp, and also got a grant from the Wheeler Co. Cultural Trust to get Fossil kids involved. Since being founded in 2021, the Condon Arts Council has offered a variety of classes for youth and adults.

Kids have enjoyed theatre classes, a special effects makeup class, a haunted house, a Polynesian Arts camp, film camps, and drawing and painting classes. There is also a pottery class for adults that is held each Thursday evening at the pottery building, by the Sinclair gas station. All are welcome.

To learn more about the Condon Arts Council, visit http://www.condonarts.org.

 

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