Monday, March 31, 2008

Peoria's Blue Knights Boys' Club

Many, many thanks to Bill Berlinger for sharing some ideas about how he and his co-leader, Dave Ruppert, run their Blue Knights Boys' Club. Ecce Homo Press will be publishing Bill and Dave's ideas in an upcoming game book. In the mean time, Bill has agreed to share his ideas with you. I'll be posting his ideas over several days, but the'll be saved in the archives. Feel free to comment on the posts to let Bill know what you think of them.

Bill says, "Here's an outline of a typical day (about 2 hours). Because of the process of designing and creating the games and to maintain a quality level, we've found it important to do the meetings at one of two houses, ours or David's. That seems to be a good balance to share the burden of building the games and hosting the meeting. We had seen a local Blue Knight club fail from lack of structure and maintaining interest of both boys and their dads. We recognized that dads have a high level of attention deficit disorder themselves. So, the ladies of the household help get coffee and popcorn ready as the dads roll in on a Saturday morning with their knights. We've developed a communication style that evokes a medieval atmosphere. We refer to the boys as "Sir Matthew" or "Sir Johnny" or "Sir Paul". Dads are "Lord Daddy" and moms are "Lady Mom". Sometimes, if the last name is interesting we'll have a "Lady Conley", or David Rupert is referred to as "Lord of the Game". Younger siblings are encouraged to participate. When they're old enough to sit through a meeting, we allow them to play the game and be referred to as "Squire"...a Knight in training. My monthly email reminder is the week before the meeting and is called the, "Proclamation from the Realm". It is brought to the Lord's, Ladies and Knight via "cyber carrier pidgeon". I guess you get the idea...the boys love it. A copy of each communication is sent to our parish assistant pastor, who is our spiritual director. The dads really get into the play acting, as well. The most remarkable thing to me is how both the dads and boys have becoming very good friends although we come from very diverse cultures and financial means." be con'd.....

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