Camp Nerdly Cook

Back from a weekend in the Prince William Forest National Park where Camp Nerdly occurred.  I spent most of the weekend in the Imagekitchen, cooking for 75 gamers, but I got some opportunities to play some games on Saturday evening and Sunday after breakfast.  It had been some time since I had played any RPGs, and this was quite the event–I felt like I was a mainstream gamer with my interest in games like MouseGuard and Lady Blackbird while everyone else was playing games I hadn’t even heard of yet.  It was a great event, and family friendly, with plenty of board and card games played in addition to the RPGs.


I had spent a long week at work, including the past weekend, and I arrived exhausted, the back of my truck packed with food and ice to keep it all cool.  When I pulled up behind this place and saw the mop and bucket, I realized I was exactly where I belonged.  After unloading everything and arranging cold storage, I got dinner started with some assistance, but it was easy enough–frozen lasagna in the ovens.  We discovered, half an hour before dinner service, that one oven was more efficient than the other; turns out we had one which was too warm, one was not warm enough, but the third was just right.  By 9 pm I was hot and exhausted (no AC in the kitchen, and those ovens heated up the place fast), so I took a shower and headed up to the parking lot where I had my truck.  I fashioned a simple bed with a piece of foam and some sheets–it was a relatively warm night, and humid, too warm for a sleeping bag.  I woke at dawn feeling refreshed with green tree boughs overhead and birds chirping in the forest.  And then it started to rain… and it didn’t hardly stop until camp ended on Sunday afternoon.


Behind the main hall are the cabins.  But I spent a good deal of my time in the main hall, specifically in the kitchen.

long hall

It was a family event with Superhero Bakery in the kitchen on Saturday afternoon which was amusing to witness 3 little kids dressed up and baking brownies while I worked with other staff to mash up chickpeas to create falafel for Saturday night dinner and slice up chicken breast to go into a marinade.  Dinner Saturday was a lot of work, but it was satisfying when some 70 hungry gamers came through and ate almost everything.  I was able to walk away from the kitchen by 8 to allow other volunteers to take care of all the clean up, so I had some down time on Saturday evening when I played some games–stayed up until 2:30 in the morning playing Dungeon World, in the end, and then up again at 5:30 to start breakfast.  But Sunday breakfast was easy in comparison, and I got to play another game which lasted the rest of Sunday morning.  An hour of final cleanup in the afternoon and I was away by 3 pm, although it was still a 90-minute drive home to fall onto the couch in complete exhaustion.  Then back to work Monday morning at 6 am!