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Sunday, June 29, 2014

camp adventer day 4 (pt. 2)

Day 4 (part 2): The Tactile Carnival

Let's just get the rough bit out of the way. It is true, this
carnival didn't go as well as those in the past. There are a
number of reasons why. However, I strongly feel they were not
Scott's fault. Try telling him that. He's disappointed and just
won't listen.

I believe there were two major issues. First of all, the camp did
not distribute the "games at a glance" paper that Scott had
prepared. This paper provides brief descriptions and basic rules
to campers ahead of time, allowing them to enter the carnival
with some prior knowledge. The game descriptions I will post
below are directly from that paper. I do not know why the camp
staff failed to pass this on to the campers.

Second, the SSP's were doing their jobs a little too well. Most
of the time, it's their duty to describe everything to their
camper so the person can make informed decisions. The carnival
works differently. The SSP's are mostly there to guide, interpret
(if needed) and help with prizes or picking out cotton candy.
Scott forgot to tell them of their altered role.

What went wrong was that everything moved too slow. Campers
needed a lot of information about the games to decide what to
play. Then the SSP's were trying to explain all the rules ahead
of time. That is confusing and not needed. It's better to learn
as you play.

With 40 DeafBlind people at this carnival, it was defiantly
crowded. Long lines were forming for all the games. People became
frustrated as they waited. I only got to play four out of 12
games. I heard this was true for other campers. Scott has already
come up with ideas for how to make things better next year.

Now we can talk about me, my experience and the games. I felt out
of my element from the start. I don't like crowds, and I can't
stand for a long time. People were bumping into me and almost
knocking me over. Then someone had the great idea to get me the
wheelchair. That helped a lot.

Still, I had trouble with my SSP. We weren't communicating well.
Maybe she couldn't hear me because it was so noisy. Whatever the
reason, I found myself in situations I didn't expect or
appreciate.

On the good side, and I'd say this was very good, indeed, the
games were as awesome as ever. There may have been crowd control
issues, but there was nothing wrong with the games. This might
have been the best group of games so far. Scott worked hard to
play-up the bay and wedding theme. Although I didn't get to play
much at this carnival, I have played all the games in the past.
Here we go...

The Tactile Carnival
Theme: by the Bay
Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
Deaf-Blind Camp of Maryland


1. Clam Jam Nemo: This game is based on the Disney film "Finding
Nemo." Search for Nemo the clownfish and his aquatic pals by
opening clams. You score points when you find a friend. But if
you find a shark, the real mechanical shark will nip you. Two
shark bites and you're out.

** This is one of those cute and really tactile games I have come
to love. You get to pick a plastic clam and open it to see what's
inside. There are pictures of Nemo and his friends. When you find
the characters, you get a tactile toy to feel. I like the puffer
fish.

If you open a clam and feel a star, you are in trouble. That
means shark. The toy shark really does bite. Leave it to Scott to
come up with something like that.

I had fun playing this game but didn't do so well. I got two
characters and then two shark bites right in a row. Wham, bam and
that's all, folks!


 2. Crazy Bay Race: Up to four people can participate in this
zany race. Choose a sea creature to be your racer and place it on
your assigned number (2, 3, 4 or 5). On your turn you roll a
tactile die. If you get your own number, your racer moves two
spots. But if you roll another player's number, that player gets
to move one spot. Racer #1 is always Hammie the hammerhead shark.
Hammie doesn't roll, but he moves two spots every time someone
gets a 1 on the die. And if you get a 6, you can move an
opponent's racer backward a spot. The better your finish in the
race, the more points you earn.
 
** This game is best if you play with other people. I noticed
that people were playing one at a time. Hammie? That's an
original name. You have to watch out because he cheats.


3. Fantasy Isle: Your dream lover awaits you on a desert isle.
Move around the island and pick up romantic treasures to give
your sweetheart. But there's a catch: The island is sinking! Each
turn, pieces of the island will be washed away by the rising
tide. If you are on a piece that sinks, you sink with it. So
don't wait too long to run to your lover, who sits on a safe
rock. The game ends when you reach the lover or you go down with
the island. You can't pick up any more treasures after you go to
the lover.
 
** This is a cool game and cleverly laid out. For me, it was an
example of how things were not going well with the carnival. I
didn't even know that Frank was running this one. That's sad
because he puts so much personality into the game. Scott was
trying to help me, but my SSP kept pulling my hands away. She was
explaining how to play, but none of it made sense. I was ready to
scream.

As I fumbled through the game, I figured out I needed to find
items. I got some wine, a bunch of bananas, rings and stuff like
that. It was getting dangerous on the island, so I headed back to
my lover (a Hawaiian hula man). Since I had found the diamond
ring, I scored big.


4. Godzilla vs. Angry Birds Wedding Crasher: Something big came
out of the bay -- really big! And he's not happy about being
uninvited to the wedding. You must roll a tactile die and move
your five clay Angry Birds buddies around the giant sea monster.
Score points when you get a Bird across the grid to the wedding
party. You get bonus points for picking up wine bottles as
wedding gifts. You can move one Bird the number of squares you
rolled, or split the number between multiple Birds. No diagonal
moves. After your turn, Godzilla will move. If he steps on a
Bird, the Bird is squashed flat and out of the game. When the
monster turns, his huge tail will sweep across the board. If the
tail hits a Bird, the Bird gets knocked back to start. A Bird
still at the start line will be lost if it gets hit by the tail.
 
** Scott created the Godzilla game last year after camp. It
quickly became a carnival classic. It's a favorite every time it
appears. This was Godzilla's first time at camp.

It's hardly proper to call Godzilla versus Angry Birds "normal."
Nevertheless, Scott wanted something extra-special for the big
wedding. He was thinking about putting Godzilla in a wedding
dress. This was harder said than done. They don't exactly make
dresses to fit the Big G. I suggested the wedding invitation
idea... or lack of one. That's how this version was born. Scott
offered gifts instead of bird feed. If the birds made it across,
they joined the wedding party.

The prop for this game was totally Scott. He happened to find the
perfect cake topper. It showed the bride and groom, as usual. But
the groom looked terrified and was trying to run away. The bride
had him by the back of his coat and wouldn't let him go. It was
hilarious, highly tactile and just right for the game.

At the ended of the night, Scott gave the cake topper to Andrew
and Kelly. Kelly seemed to love it. They should have found
memories of Godzilla 'til they are parted by death.

I played this game and had the lousiest luck. The trick is to get
all your birds off start as fast as you can. Otherwise Godzilla's
tail will knock them off, and you lose players. My first roll was
a one. Then Godzilla moved and knocked off three of my birds. I
got the wine and other two birds safely to the wedding.


5.. Gold Ribbon Skee Ball: This is a tabletop skee ball game
that's totally tactile. Roll your balls down the four-foot alley
and try to get them into the higher scoring pockets in the middle
of the target. After you roll a ball, it will come back to you in
a slot that tells you how many points you got. When you miss the
high scoring pockets in the middle, the ball will end up in
either the far left or far right slot to tell you which side it
fell into and help you aim better.

** I didn't get to play this at the carnival, but I've already
told about playing it earlier in the afternoon. I heard it was a
popular game. It's a fast playing game, but there were still
lines of people wanting to play... and play again.


6. Hot Wheel You get to spin this wheel more than once. Place
your four discs on your four lucky numbers and give the big wheel
a whirl. If it stops on one of your numbers, your score increases
by 2. If it lands on a different number, you lose 1 point. Land
on Party Street or the Fast Lane to earn bonuses. A stop at Yield
or the Traffic Jam hurts. Keep spinning until the fatal Stop sign
comes up and ends the game.
 
** Hot Wheel depends on luck. Some times you've got it and some
times you don't I think some one was doing really good, because
I was waiting to play, but the line didn't budge. I ended up
leaving to play something else.


. Monster Manor: You're a fearless adventurer. Explore the many
rooms of the haunted mansion in search of hidden treasure. But
don't let any of the spooky residents catch you! You roll a die
to see how many moves you get. You can use a move to do any of
three things: 1. Move a spot down a hall. 2. Open a room next to
you. 3. Use a Wand (you get three) to magically transport
yourself out of danger. When you have used up your moves, the
monsters will move toward you. Each monster has a certain speed.
At the start of the game, only the Witch is loose. The other
monsters lurk within rooms. Monsters can't enter rooms you
haven't opened. They can only move down the halls. Keep track of
where they are when it's your turn to move. You may find objects
that protect you from certain monsters. These are the monsters
and their details:
Vampire -- He moves 6 spaces and can be stopped with the Cross.
Wolf-Man -- He moves 5 spaces and can be stopped with the
Silver Bullet.
Ghost -- He moves 5 spaces and can be stopped with the Skull
Ring.
Witch -- She moves 4 spaces and can be stopped with the
Eyeball.
Frankenstein's Monster -- He moves 4 spaces and can't be
stopped.
Mummy -- He moves 3 spaces and can be stopped with the Scarab.
 
** You may be asking yourself, "What does this game have to do
with water or love?" Well, that's kind of funny. This is the game
Scott built in my honor. I love vampires and scary stuff. Ruby
put it well when she said there were three themes: water, love
and what Angie likes. Unfortunately, I missed out on playing this
game.


8. Popeye's Love Punch: Help Popeye the Sailor clear a path
across the pier and rescue Olive Only from big bully Bluto with a
spinach-powered punch. You start on the right side of the pier.
Remove a barrel in your way by opening it. You may find a heart
from Olive and score 1 point. Baby Sweet Pea is worth 2. If you
find a hamburger and give it to Wimpy, you score 3. But a Bluto
fist knocks you down. Three fists and you're out. There are also
two cans of spinach. If you find a can of spinach and clear a
path all the way across to Olive, let Bluto have a knuckle
sandwich and score 6. You can't remove or jump over a crate.
 
** I don't even like Popeye, but I always enjoy this game. I left
the Hot Wheel line to play this game. I got stuck in another long
line and didn't make it to the table.


9. Sink the Battleship It's World War II, and you're the Allies.
Fire a shot at enemy warships by selecting a tile from the grid.
You get six shots each turn. Get two or three hits in a straight
line to sink bigger ships worth more points. You may find
airplanes for your final attack on the 26-inch model battleship.
After you have taken three turns (six shots each turn), you can
play the bonus round. You get one chance to sink the battleship
for each model warplane you picked up. If one plane is shot down,
you can try again with the next.
 
** This is based on Battleship, a popular traditional board game.
The tactile version is even better. I didn't get to play this
time.


10. TC Poker: Put on your poker face and grab a seat. Multiple
people can play. You'll play three hands of Draw Poker. The
better your hand, the more points you score. Optionally, you can
drop a token into the Pot and compete with the dealer and any
other players for extra winnings. The dealer will play and will
always put a token in the Pot. You are dealt five cards to begin
a hand. Look at your cards. If you put a token into the Pot, you
must now add a second token or drop out of the Pot competition. 
Either way, you may keep them all or discard some and get new
ones. After each player has done this, lay your cards on the
table face-up. The dealer will assess your hand and award points.
If you put two tokens in the Pot and your hand beats everyone
else's, you get to claim the tokens in the Pot. In TC Poker, a
Joker can be anything. The hands in ascending order are: one
pair, two pairs, three-of-a-kind, straight, flush, full house,
four-of-a-kind, straight-flush and five-of-a-kind.
 
** Scott was surprised by the large number of campers who had
never played poker before. I was one of them, until he taught me
on Monday. People ended up sitting at the table for 30 minutes in
order to learn to play. This was supposed to be a fast-paced
game, but the lines weren't moving.

Scott is thinking about giving up on TC Poker. I hope not. I
liked playing an adult game. It made me feel like a regular
person, at least for a little while. My suggestion is to have a
second table where people can learn before they sit down to play
the actual game.

The good news is that Scott and I got to play together, along
with two other players. The even better news is that I was on
fire! Nobody could stop the mighty power of an Angie.

I always played the pot. I wanted to win and win big. That's
worth the risk.

I did okay on the first two rounds. I picked up some pairs and
won some tokens. My lucky win came during round three. I was
pretty excited since I had two pairs. But I couldn't figure out
what my fifth card was. It said "jo." I had never seen a joker in
braille before. Joker is wild. That's how I ended up with a full
house and won the pot. Whoo-hoo!


11. Treasure Island: Pirates have buried a chest full of gold on
a remote island. Search the island by turning over the round
tiles and seeing (or feeling) what's under them. You may find
loose coins for points. If you find the "X" that marks where
the treasure chest is buried and the copper key, you get to open
the real wooden chest and claim the tokens inside. And if you
also find the silver key, you can open the secret compartment in
the bottom of the chest for more loot. But watch out for
the pirates! Three Jolly Rogers and you're out.
 
** I like this game, but didn't have time to play. I heard it
broken during the carnival. Scott says he can fix it.


12. Wipe-Out! Surf's up! Hit the tactile spinner and see if your
surfer advances up the score board. Each time you land on "Go,"
your surfer moves to a higher score. But if you land on
"Wipe-Out," the surfer is lost. After your surfer advances, you
have the option of preserving the spot by placing a
life-preserver there. So when a surfer wipes out, the next one
starts at the life-preserver, instead of going back to the Start
spot. The game ends when all your surfers are lost or you reach
the Winner's Circle. Your final score is the highest score on
which there is a life-preserver. If you made it to the Winner's
Circle, your score is 20. Look out for the pesky shark.

** I missed this one, too. It's a unique game. I almost got to
the finish the one time I played in the past.


Prizes: As always, Scott assembled a diverse collection of great
prizes. Most prizes followed the themes of the different games.
He also included t-shirts, magnets, pillows and more that had to
do with love and hearts.

There were Hawaiian shirts and t-shirts with sea animals, Popeye,
vampires and Godzilla... Lots of little fish fossils, shells,
toys, little stuffed animals and cool WebKinz animals... Braille
games, pirate and Popeye hats, beach towels, World War II planes
and models... The big, shag heart pillow was really nice. He had
funny salt and pepper shakers that used magnets to connect the
two parts... at the lips. The first was Frankenstein and his
bride. The other was Popeye and Olive. He also had Gold Fish
crackers, Ring Pops, salt water taffy and Angry Birds gummi
candy.

When I was done playing four games, I had just enough tokens to
nab the t-shirt that I suspect Scott ordered for me. It's black
and says "I Love Vampires," and includes a picture of lips and
fangs. There is a bat on the back. There were other things I
wanted, but I didn't have enough tokens. My head was hurting bad,
so I decided to head for bed.

Are you wondering about the naked mermaid with the big boobs? An
SSP actually wanted to buy her. But she changed her mind when she
found out the figurine cost $25. I thought that was a decent
price considering the size and detail. In the end, we don't know
what happened to the mermaid. She just seemed to vanish.

Angie C. Orlando

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