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For Parents of Girls: A Fun Card Game Called Sleeping Queens

As we approach the start of the summer I am using this blog once a week to share “insider” information about the Camps Kenwood and Evergreen culture. My hope is that it will not only give our new parents and campers insight into what life is like at our 7-week summer camp in New Hampshire, but help them feel even more prepared for their first summer in our community. Over the coming weeks I plan to write about everything from the games that our campers play during downtime, to the silly accessories boys and girls often bring with them for our spirit events, to our intentional bedtime rituals that help our campers feel nurtured and cared for as they head off to sleep.

Last week I wrote about Magic: The Gathering, a card game that many Kenwood campers love playing during Rest Period and Free Play. “Magic Cards”, as our kids refer to it, has been described in newspaper articles as “a cross between chess and poker, where it’s got the strategy of chess, but it’s got the mental, face-to-face aspect of poker”. Our overnight camp in New Hampshire requires campers to unplug during our 7-week session, leaving their ipads and playstations at home. Many of our kids find that games like Magic: The Gathering are not only a good replacement for the time they spend at home vegging out, but a way to form new friendships, enhance their problem solving skills, and think creatively. But as popular as this card game is with our Kenwood boys, it really has not caught on in our girls camp. 

In 2014 a number of Evergreen campers brought a new card game with them called Sleeping Queens. It caught on like wildfire in our girls’ camp, and before the end of the summer I was seeing campers playing it in almost every bunk and lodge. Talking with some of the campers in our girls’ camp earlier this month, I asked them what they thought about Sleeping Queens. Their response was immediate and unanimous: “Sleeping Queens is awesome!”

It turns out that it’s not just a fun card strategy game aimed at girls — it was actually created by a 6-year old girl from New Jersey. Here’s some of her story, as explained in a Washington Post article:

Miranda Evarts remembers lying in her bed on a March night two years ago, unable to sleep. So she let her mind wander and found herself thinking about queens–not the fancy queens of real life, but silly queens that live only in the imagination of a 6-year-old.

The Starfish Queen, the Rose Queen, the Pancake Queen.

As Miranda lay there thinking, she realized that her queens had a problem. They were sleeping and needed to be awakened.

Miranda bolted out of bed and ran into her parents’ room. “I made up a game,” she announced.

Her parents tucked her back into bed and she finally did fall asleep. But a dream and Sleeping Queens had been born. 

But the story gets better. After explaining her idea to her parents the family set out on a mission. Through trial and error, they took Miranda’s kernel of an idea and made it into something that other kids would actually want to play. They spent months designing the cards and playing the game on their kitchen table, working out what did and didn’t work. As they discovered problems or limitations they made minor changes, so that eventually the game was a truly compelling idea. And then they emailed it to a company that designs and produces board and card games…and amazingly, they loved it! Sleeping Queens became the first child designed game in history to be released on the international market. We’d like to offer a big Acka-Lacka-Ching (one of our camps’ celebratory cheers) to Miranda for being so amazing!  


Miranda Evarts, the creator of the Sleeping Queens card game

Miranda’s efforts to create Sleeping Queens demonstrates so many of the 21st century skills that we teach at our summer camp in New Hampshire. What began as a creative idea then required presistence and resilience as she and her family tried to improve and adapt the game. They used critical thinking and problem solving skills as they collaborated on this long-term project. Once they felt it was ready to share with the outside world, they used effective communication skills to convince a prominent company to produce their product. It’s a story I can’t wait to share with our girls this summer as they bond together and play this game.

Whether your daughter will be with us in New Hampshire this summer, or anywhere else, we recommend picking up a pack of Sleeping Queens cards. And if you do have a son or daughter who will be a part of our community this year please check our blog each week for more hints and ideas on how to having a truly impactful, life-changing experience. 

Below I have attached a link for parents to a video that explains the basic rules and strategy of Sleeping Queens

Founded in 1930, Camps Kenwood and Evergreen is a brother-sister summer camp in NH. Through our innovative program we teach sports, arts, theater, outdoor and adventure, and the 21st century skills that are vital for the world’s future leaders and innovators. 

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