Welcome to Camp Nazareth

Welcome to Camp Nazareth
Welcome to Camp Nazareth! This online journal is the official journal of Camp Nazareth Conference and Retreat Center. Over the years, many memories have been made here. Through this journal we hope to share with you the many wonderful moments from the many years at camp!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Resistance: The Real Deal

Last night the CN staff spent the evening at Father Stephens house to hang out and play board games. It was Father Stephens way of giving us time as a staff to get to know each other and build our relationships with each other. After all, how effective can a staff be that isn't strongly connected and in tune with each other? 

I have to admit it was an incredible evening filled with laughs, awkward moments, classic one-liners and typical CN joy. I remember first arriving to camp a few days after others and realizing inside jokes had already begun. The joke was, "You're a spy." I had no clue where this playful phrase came from until being told it was from this really intense board/card game called RESISTANCE. So last night I finally experienced what the game was all about. I had finally gotten in and understood this inside joke of "You're a spy." To be completely honest, I've never been a fan of card games or board games, as I'd much rather go on a walk or sit and have a deep meaningful conversation. However, with all the hype, I decided it was a good time to check this game out and see if it was really worth all the praise it was getting. 

So we began the game with explaining the rules and how to play. With 10 anxious players around the table, the room was suddenly full of tension and speculation about who is or is not a spy. What I found funny is that the game hadn't even started - haha - we were simply going over how to play the game. As a newbie, I found the tension and stress of others extremely entertaining. And so, with the conclusion of the rules, we began the game. 

The game started slowly, as to accommodate players who have never played before. In short, the basic structure of the game is:

The Resistance is a game where players attempt to deduce one another's identities. The setting of the game is an imagined battle between a resistance group trying to overthrow the malignant government and the government spies infiltrating the resistance group. It is similar in structure to party games such as Mafia or Werewolf, where a small, secret group of informed players attempt to disrupt a larger uninformed group, while the larger group attempts to identify the spies and eliminate them. The Resistance uses slightly different mechanics from similar games, and was designed to avoid player elimination and increase available information for player decisions.

RESISTANCE has got to be one of the best games I've ever played, merely because it's a game that basically causes anxiety, mistrust issues, lots of laughing, and overwhelming amounts of entertainment. See, in the game, the goal is for the spies to fail the missions of the resistance, and for the resistance players to succeed in their missions. Because there are teams involved in the game and everyones status is anonymous, it causes the game to keep you on edge to think critically and strategically. 

Within minutes of the game starting, staff were overwhelmed with anxiety and mistrust of other players. The vibe of the room was incredible I couldn't help but stay silent and take it all in, occasionally having such intense laughter my stomach hurt, eyes watered and I couldn't breathe. Honestly, I wouldn't have traded it for the world. In the second game we played of RESISTANCE, people were convinced I was a spy, even though I wasn't... you know, because "Of course you're not a spy... a spy would deny being a spy." It was literally so intense and players were so convinced I was a spy, at one point Ben W. looked at me with a face of panic and yelled across the table, "I can't! Sammy has been weird this whole game and Michael S. is giving me low-key anxiety!" The room busts into laughter and I about fell out of my chair! To put the icing on the cake (for me at least), was about 40 minutes later when I was actually a spy in another round of RESISTANCE, Ben looks at me again with the most uncomfortable look on his face and yells, "Michael S! High-level anxiety!" Again, I about fell out of my chair from laughing so hard.

So it was a great evening spent with fellow CN staff. Laughing together, making jokes - simply enjoying each others company. Simply put, a beautiful evening. As the night went on, I found myself reflecting on the evening and finding connections to our faith and theology. It first hit me while sitting at the game table considering the objective of the game from the point of view of the Spies. The objective for spies is to deceive those who are part of the resistance. It made me think about life as a Christian in the world we live in. In a way, the game became an icon of the life of a Christian. In the game, the Spies goal is to blend into the Resistance group, and destroy the Resistance from the inside.  Does this not reflect how Satan works in the world and even on a personal level? I began to contemplate this thought and began to realize we are all, as Christians part of the resistance to a corrupt world. We are in this constant struggle of bad things being presented as good, and how we must live cautiously in what we see, say, do, hear and think. 

We take something as simple as a game like RESISTANCE so seriously. Partially because it's fun and because we want to win the game. In the game, those who are part of the Resistance want to figure out who the spies are so the spies can be crushed! But how often in our own spiritual lives do we take things seriously enough to figure out who (or even what) is against us? A thought to ponder. 

Well, we know what we're up against spiritually, mentally, emotionally and even physically. I suppose at the end of the day, what matters most is:

- We put our faith in God
- We follow His commandments
- We love each other as our Good Shepherd loves us

All in all, a great night, with a deeper thought of contemplation. Thank you for allowing me to share my night with you.

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