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Thu, Nov. 21

‘Game Con’ coming to Camp Verde Library

Camp Verde Teen Librarian Zach Garcia, center, plays a card game with 16-year-old Liam Steinhardt and 15-year-old Kaleb Beda. From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, the Camp Verde library will host the first Verde Valley Game Con. VVN/Bill Helm

Camp Verde Teen Librarian Zach Garcia, center, plays a card game with 16-year-old Liam Steinhardt and 15-year-old Kaleb Beda. From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, the Camp Verde library will host the first Verde Valley Game Con. VVN/Bill Helm

CAMP VERDE — Video games, board games, card games, dice games. Game night at the Camp Verde Community Library is open to all teens — not just teens living in the 86322.

But what if gaming from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. each Thursday isn’t enough? What if adults also want to participate? That’s what librarian Zach Garcia was thinking.

His answer? Verde Valley Game Con.

From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, the Camp Verde Community Library will be 17,000-square-feet of gaming, and anyone is welcome to come for a day of fun, Garcia said.

Two years ago, Garcia took over the teen section of the library. One of his goals was to reboot the library’s Teen Advisory Board, something he likened to “student council at the library.”

These days it’s called the Youth Advisory Council. The YAC members helped Garcia put together a plan for Game Con.

“Annually is the goal,” he said. “Our goal is to have a convention-style event that’s open to anyone.”

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Aidyn Woods, 16, deals a card at the Camp Verde Community Library. From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, the Camp Verde library will host the first Verde Valley Game Con. VVN/Bill Helm

What is ‘Game Con’?

On schedule for Game Con are video games, board games, card games, role-playing games – competitive or casual play. A food truck, vendors, as well as tutorials and workshops are also part of the day’s fun. Everywhere you go in the library on Nov. 9, there will be some sort of gaming for you.

Most important thing about Game Con, Garcia said, it’s supposed to be a good time. “As long as everyone has fun, that’s the thing.”

For 14-year-old Damien Coffey, it’s up to him and his fellow YAC members to make Game Con a success.

“A lot of it is up to us to plan it well,” he said. “After we get stuff going and get new ideas, we hope to impact the community, have things for people to do around here.”

Game Con

On schedule for Game Con are video games, board games, card games, role-playing games – competitive or casual play. A food truck, vendors, as well as tutorials and workshops are also part of the day’s fun. Everywhere you go in the library on Nov. 9, there will be some sort of gaming for you.

Most important thing about Game Con, Garcia said, it’s supposed to be a good time. “As long as everyone has fun, that’s the thing.”

For 14-year-old Damien Coffey, it’s up to him and his fellow YAC members to make Game Con a success.

“A lot of it is up to us to plan it well,” he said. “After we get stuff going and get new ideas, we hope to impact the community, have things for people to do around here.”

Admission for Game Con is $5. It’s $2 if you donate at least two canned food items. Children younger than 10 are free.

Though the canned items will be donated to a local organization, Garcia said that he and the YAC have not yet decided which charity.

Young adults

Game Con is also an opportunity for the teen library to raise money for more games. It’s also to raise money for the YAC to attend annual events such as the League of Arizona Cities and Towns on their own dime.

“If we start small and next year we get bigger, then that’s the goal,” Garcia said.

Barely a month ago, the teen library and YAC took over the library’s upstairs vending machine as a revenue generator.

“If you want new chairs, tables, etc., you can vote how to improve your teen library,” Garcia said. “I can suggest things to them. But that they purchase with their funds, that’s up to them. Giving them a voice means we value their opinions.”

Aidyn Woods, age 16, has been a YAC member for about one year. Woods said he joined the youth council to help his community.

The Camp Verde Community Library and Youth Advisory Council are partnering with Prescott’s Game On to make Game Con available for all-ages, skill-levels and interests.

For more information about this or any other library program visit cvlibrary.org or call 928-554-8380. Camp Verde Community Library is open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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