The Leveling Up ceremony of the Imaginary Game. Submitted Photo

Last year the RoundTable wrote about The Imaginary Game day camp at Ridgeville ParkDistrict. The game is similar to Dungeons & Dragons outside with cardboard swords and shields. It is  suitable for kids 8-14, and there is not an electronic device in sight. The fundamental rule of play: Every action must be safe, kind and fun. The culmination of each week’s adventure is the Leveling Up ceremony.    

On the last day of this  year’s camp, the players sat in a large circle, sweaty from the day’s activities, as John Dalton summarized the week’s high points, identifying players who distinguished themselves by spying, stealing a flag, or some other skill.

Counselors and junior counselors were thanked and applauded. Mr. Dalton announced the week’s winner: a tie between Arko, Clan of Light and The Legion of the Dragon’s Eye. More cheering. Then, one by one, each player was called and stood before Mr. Dalton to receive a new rank, a baseline for next year. “By the power vested in me by the Imaginary Game and the Wizarding Council, I hereby declare you to be a … ” Mr. Dalton exclaimed.

Everyone has succeeded. Everyone is applauded. Every player, regardless of size or age, is recognized for the unique talents he or she brings to the game.

The game might be imaginary, but the magic Mr. Dalton creates is real.