Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Perfect Camp

I'm involved in booking camps for the 6th year now, and it has been a pain every time. Thankfully, a kind and innocent fellow LARP blogger is helping us this year :) But still being involved, I can still see that it's a huge hassle. For those who have never been involved - you don't know what you're missing :) Fees change, reservation policies change, you want to find a new camp, you can't get dates. Ugh. Sometimes I'm amazed we have as many LARPs as we do, just from being able to find a place to play!

It's not easy to find a camp with the facilities you need, at the price you can afford. But that got me thinking - what do you really need in a camp? It's different for everyone, I think, and every game. What makes or breaks a camp for you? Is it running water? A full kitchen? Beds? Heat?

Obviously the camp needs to have facilities you can use to run your mods in the weather you're playing in - so at least something with a cover. If you run in winter, have heat of some kind. You should have at least a latrine (other women may be able to do the woods thing with more ease, but not me, thankyouverymuch! :) ). And of course if you stay overnight, somewhere to sleep out of the weather.

For me, I also ask for at least 1-2 buildings with electric, and we need a partial kitchen to prepare food. I also want privacy - even if it's at a park, I don't want it to be in a heavily traveled area or right in the public eye. When I'm getting away from it all, I don't want to look over and see a family on a picnic snapping shots. :)

Now, for as long as I've been playing, I've heard starry-eyed LARPers talking about how if they won the lottery they'd build a camp just for the game. So when you talk about the perfect camp, what would you have? We could go crazy and have celebrity chefs and a spa, but I'm more wondering what people would really like at their LARP location that would actually add to the game and be within reason.

So what's in your perfect camp? Or simply, what do you wish your camp had now that it doesn't?


  1. Make or Break?

    Two things.
    Mattresses on the beds. I know some people brag about how better the game was when you slept on concrete... but no.

    And more than one flushing toilet and a place to wash your hands. Larping is unsanitary enough as it is without being forced to go in a hole.

  2. It's kind of appalling to me that either of those things are even vaguely optional.

  3. I could see it being mandatory for camps that cost over $1,000. But you have to understand, we have some real, inexpensive gems in these parts. They do come with a price though...

  4. *all starry eyed*
    My perfect Nero camp.

    -Castle with mud-moat, drawbridge, defendable walls, main hall, kitchen, dungeon, treasure room and about 10 smallish sleeping rooms. No bathrooms. Tactical advantage for the tactically disadvantaged.

    - Rustic in period Tavern, kinda like at Galavast, (erm - Giscowheco) only with about 5 seperate sleeping quarters available, large oak tables, circular fireplace like in Camp Oyo. Outfitted with decidedly not in-period bathrooms, showers, and kitchen.

    - 2 In period guild halls . - 1 story cottage/stucco deal with a 5 bed area in attic and a basement for storage/dungeon/treasure use. Set into a small village setting with about 5-7 other small 1 room cottages and market-like vendor stands.

    - Permanant semi-underground dungeon/maze with multiple switchable wall pannels to change direction/depth of the dungeon. Must have built in optional floor/wall/ceiling traps every 2-3 feet. Must have about 4 biggish rooms and one large main mob room. Only semi underground meaning the ceiling would be removable and hopefully noone is claustraphobic. The entire area of the dungeon would not be useable as a field.

    - 3 story stone tower w/basement out in the woods.

    - Random small 2 room cottages out in the woods.

    - small group of native orc/ogre/goblin tent setup in a small clearing off in the woods.

    - Man made Cave-maze equipped with rockfall traps and safe genaric pitfalls that arent really pitfalls.

    - Emergency First Aid Cabin. hah.

    - Permanant NPC camp equipped with heated rooms, kitchen, bathrooms, 3 large bedroom areas, shower, onsite equipment storage, front access logistics sign in/sign out center.

    - Thieves guildhall.
    - Necromancer guildhall.
    - Druid glade.
    ^All are kept secret unless in the know, and very far away from the main portion of the camp.

    Last but not least, my house, so I can be ranger for this monstrosity. I can dream can't I? *sigh*

  5. Oh yeah, you said within reason.. darn.

  6. I cant find a camp here in San Antonio that isnt less that $2000 to book as they are all used for tourists. I would be happy with just a camp ground, but I cant get those for under a thousand, and then they want an insurance policy.

    My absolute requirements are Full bathroom facilities as I cater to families.

  7. Alright. I hope this doesn't make me sound like the Jaded Complaining Troll I'm often portrayed as... but...

    You know, a well run business with a coast to coast customer base, might consider it a good investment to pool some resources and create such a camp, maybe two.

    National events could be run there. Good buildings, facilities and props could be set out and used. And the camp could be rented out to other organizations when not in use.

    It could then be pointed at proudly and said "This is where Nero happens", to any media or potential investors. Instead of hiding in the woods and back buildings of boy scout camps. Such a business might find it a good business model, and quite profitable if run correctly.

    That would, however, require a great amount of trust in the top, as well as coordination from the top. And money invested in a company wide project and not saaayyy... a political SuperPAC or some such other thing. Hypothetically of course.

  8. An awesome larp camp does exist, in Quebec. For those unamiliar with it, its called Bicolline (

    For a video tour of this awesome camp, go to

    From wikipedia: "The most passionate players involved over the years have built a medieval village with roads, bridges, ditches, an inn and a castle at the Duchy of Bicolline venue.

    Players are responsible for their buildings and must follow standards of construction.

    The village is composed of one hundred buildings, with more being added."

    Awesome. We need this in the US... or I'm going to have to learn French-Canadian.

  9. We just need to get permission to use the Great Lakes Medieval Faire grounds. It doesn't have*all* the stuff Sarah wanted, but it's pretty darn close.


  11. @Sarah - Actually your thoughts are just what I was thinking about when I was wondering about what the perfect camp would be.

    @Stephen - I could be very wrong, but I thought I heard that there were some NERO sites that were permanent? One it Atlanta and one in New England? I guess I should Google it :)

    I've LARPed at a lot of different camps, but the older I get the more I want some comfort. Especially as an NPC - so Sarah's heated, spacious, comfortable NPC shack would be fantastic. And as a PC I'd like heated, clean, fully functional showers and comfortable beds so I can actually get some sleep! :)

  12. This...


  13. Holy cow I can't believe they're selling Ravenswood! I used to go help out at their "medieval faire". That would be a fantastic site for a LARP, now that you mention it :)