Hey hey. S’mores and Meeples Board Game Camp 2019 wrapped up Sunday and I wanted to get my thoughts on the event written down before they slip away…
According to their website, S’mores and Meeples Board Game Camp is “an annual camping and board gaming vacation. If you share a love of the outdoors and a passion for board games, we invite you to join us. Unplug and relax around the campfire, learn new games, make new friends, and create lasting memories for you and your family.” And that is exactly right. S’mores and Meeples was relaxed, fun, and unique. The number of shows and conventions I attend for work has made it really difficult for me to say that one is unique…so many are doing so many of the same things (which is fine – these things are convention staples, I understand…). S’mores and Meeples had some of these staples; a play-to-win section, demos, tournaments, raffles, etc., but they also had a cookout, campfires (complete with waffle cone s’mores!), and it was set in a KOA campground. I also really enjoyed the hassle-free game trading offered at the event. Games for trade were positioned on a table (pictured below, bottom-right) and attendees could freely browse and trade, with a member of S&M staff overseeing things to ensure fair trades and honesty. I wish I would have known this was going to be available (I’m sure I would have if I would have purchased our badges) – we would have brought more games from home to trade away. We did trade a little, and I am thrilled with results. This trade mechanism was so much easier, quicker, and more accessible than traditional trades and I really enjoyed trading at S&M because of this.
There was also an Unpub Mini event, which is like a playtesting session for games in development. Nic took his latest game and was able to get some good feedback.
This is…my dream vacation. Playing games with nice people, sleeping outside, eating good food…it was lovely. Things were casual, laid back, but still well organized. Nic and I hosted several demos throughout the weekend and received our badges, tshirts, swag bags, and a meal in return. We also received two brand new games from a raffle in which every participant was entered. I do think the demo schedule was a little heavy on Saturday…a lot of people were engaged in open play or were playing games from the play-to-win, and there was less interest in demos. This is my only critique of the entire weekend though, and really its only a problem (and just slightly at that) for the demonstrators who couldn’t generate as much interest during this time.
Nic and I drove about 6.5 hours to attend this event. I know that may seem like a long way to some people, but I travel all over the country to attend shows and conventions for work and, to me, this wasn’t much of a long distance at all. Nic and I offered to demo at the show because it was important to me for us to attend and making a commitment to help really cemented this into our schedule. It was important to me because it sounded like the kind of convention we would really enjoy…we’ve been to some awesome conventions and shows and I have taken away at least some some joy from each of them, but this one just seemed to be something tailor-made for Nic and me. I haven’t enjoyed many shows more than I did this one. As I said previously, the people were nice, the food was good, the event was well-organized and executed, and the games…well, the games are always great. I LOVED the camping aspect of the trip and the KOA was a nice place to do this (although it was a bit pricey). All around, I highly recommend attending S’mores and Meeples Board Game Camp. Maybe we’ll see you there next year.
More info and future con dates here: https://www.smoresandmeeples.com
If you would like to see more pictures from this trip, or from any of my travels, follow me on Instagram at @sarahmtrager
PS – Nic and I met a couple at S&M who told us about a word-of-mouth game store not too far from the campground…of course, Nic and I had to visit. Here are my thoughts.