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Busy as Bees: Next Gen's Recent Activity in April and May

It's been a very busy. time for Next Gen over the last few months. Now that word is getting out about our programming, it seems like we're getting new opportunities to bring gaming to a wider audience.

In April, we ran one event at Scranton Memorial Library (see our last post), and on the same day, went to our familiar haunt up at the Gardiner Library, located right near SUNY New Paltz. We had almost 20 gamers playing three different games- an AWI game run by yours truly, a Bolt Action game hosted by two Next Gen regulars, Gregg and Eddie, and a Napoleonic battle hosted by Peter Anderson, a good friend of mine and a fixture at HMGS conventions. The games were really fantastic and it seemed like everyone had a blast. The gaming bug has certainly caught on at Gardiner!

Huge thank you to Carolyn Thorenz for being our point person on the ground. Carolyn is the ideal collaborator- totally supportive, beloved by her community, and a great friend to Next Gen. With any luck, I'll convince her to play at our next gaming session!

Later in May, John Spiess, Jim Stanton and I were invited to the CLA Conference in Hartford Connecticut, which is a yearly conference devoted to new programming in libraries, amongst other topics. We came prepared- complete with a few table top setups, and a presentation on everything Next Gen has been up to. I've been to lots of these types of conferences before, but what differentiated CLA was the amount of energy in the facility. We had over 50 people at our breakout session, which was lovely. The librarians asked great questions, took our business cards, and were already asking about setting up events. In fact, we'll be running summer events in both Canton and Waterford Connecticut solely through connections we made at the conference. It was a ton of fun!

John Spiess, whom I simply refer to as the "Jedi Master" of miniature painting, has been cranking out Dark Ages figures in preparation for his "Battle of Hastings" game at Historicon 2022. Recently, I got a chance to see these figures in person, and I played his "Halberd, Mace, and Great Sword" homebrew ruleset. I'll leave it at this- if you're reading this blogpost, I hope you'll be at Historicon 2022 to play!

Yes- if you're wondering- that shield is hand painted with a brush. It is not a transfer!

Lastly, if you have any interest in game based learning (if you're reading this article, you probably do), I was a recent guest on the IPA USA podcast, where I got a chance to talk about some of my thoughts on games in the classroom. Should you be interested, check out this youtube link.

Thank you so much for reading. Remember, if any of this is interesting to you, please reach out via the contact form on our website. You can also check us out on instagram:


We're in the process of booking up events for the summer, so if you're interested, give us a holler!

The Next Gen Team

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