Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different programs my child or I can participate in?

  • During the academic year, we offer ongoing after-school groups meeting once or twice a week.
  • During the summer, we offer weekly half-day camps with morning and afternoon sessions. Students can sign up for just one week, or a series of weeks.
  • We also run school break camps during the academic year: Thanksgiving break, Winter Break, Spring Break, Ski Week, and some holidays such as Veterans Day.
  • Birthday Party Adventures are also available, and include a pre-meeting to make characters and two Birthday sessions of 2.5 hours each, occurring over the weekend.
  • We also offer Young Adult Groups for ages 19-22, meeting one day a week on an ongoing basis.
  • At this time we don’t offer activities for parents, but an option to learn D&D and play as a family is in the works. Sign up for that wait list here.
Gaming board

When can I enroll?

After-School Groups:

  • The majority of our groups begin in September, October, or January.
  • However, a new group can begin anytime during the academic year if we have 3-4 interested students, and we do start up a few a month throughout the year, including May.
  • For families new to Gaming Together, we meet one-on-one with each student before they begin playing D&D with us, so please expect at least a week between registration and entry into a group.

Summer & School Break Camps:

  • Families new to Gaming Together can register for summer camps or school break camps until 3 days before the camp begins. (This leaves time for us to meet the new player and get to know them, before we assign them to a group.)

Why can’t I just sign up directly?

We put care and attention into grouping students for our program. With only 4 students per group, the mix of students is critical to creating a supportive environment and friendship opportunities. For this reason, we don’t allow direct enrollment into a group or camp -- we want to get to know each new student and family in order to place all students in groups where they will feel safe and supported. (Though extremely rare, we would rather say no to an enrollment than give a student a bad experience.)

When are the different programs?

After-School Program:

  • Offered between September and May, on an ongoing basis with rolling enrollment
  • Groups are offered Monday through Friday, and meet either once a week or twice a week.
  • Group meetings are for 2 hours and occur between 3pm and 6pm, with the exact time of each group determined by the availability of the families involved.
  • Eastern time and Pacific time options are available.

Summer Camps:

  • June 7 - September 3, with camps available later in September upon request.
  • We offer half-day camps online via Zoom and Roll20.
  • Camps run for 1 week each, Monday through Friday.
  • Students meet for 2.5 hours each day.
  • Morning (10am-12:30pm) and afternoon (2:30pm-5:00pm) sessions available.

School Break Camps:

  • Thanksgiving Camp is offered Monday through Wednesday of the week of Thanksgiving.
  • Winter Camps run for a partial week the week of Christmas, and a full week the next week, with camps available later in January upon request.
  • Ski Week Camp is a full week in mid- to late-February, with the exact dates determined by the academic calendar of participating students.
  • Spring Break Camps are offered over a 3-week period in late March and early April.
  • Custom camps can be arranged for any group of 3-4 students with shared availability.

How much does it cost to participate?

  • For Fall 2021, our after-school groups will be $35 per meeting.
  • For Summer 2021, our week-long half-day Critical Quest camps are $200 per week. Story-Telling Skills camps are $250.
  • Birthday Party Adventure package is currently $390.
  • For Fall 2021, School Break Camps will be $200 per week, pro-rated for shorter camps.

When is tuition due?

  • For camps, a $50 deposit is required to hold your student’s spot, and full tuition is due before camp begins.
  • For ongoing after-school groups, we ask for a 4-week deposit at the start of the group. After that, tuition is billed monthly for the prior month.

What does the typical day look like?

After-school 2-hour sessions:

  • Arrive, greet each other, recap the previous day’s adventure
  • Play D&D for about 45 minutes
  • Take a 20-minute break in which students must drink water, have a snack, use the bathroom, and walk around for at least 5 minutes
  • Play D&D for about 45 minutes
  • Conclude the day’s adventure, determine how to start things the following day, say farewell

Half-day camps with 2.5-hour sessions:

  • One 15-minute break and two 5-to-10-minute breaks instead, with three stretches of D&D

Who are Story Tellers?

Story Tellers are the instructors who run Dungeons & Dragons for our students. The more common terms for this role are Dungeon Master (DM), Game Master (GM), or Game Moderator (GM). At Gaming Together, we do not use terms including “Master”, as that is a slavery reference; in addition, we emphasize the collaborative story-creation aspect of D&D, and so we use Story Teller or ST.

Our Story Tellers are mostly young adults ages 18-25, though we also have some younger and some older STs. They are a wonderful group of caring, creative people who love to share D&D with young people and who are committed to mentoring and supporting our wonderful students. While each ST has their own style, they are all trained in the Gaming Together way of running D&D, which emphasizes creating a safe and supportive space for learning and growth, taking advantage of all the skills-teaching opportunities that arise during D&D, meeting each student where they are, and creating fun adventures for all.

What is your student:teacher ratio?

  • For online programs, we have a ratio of 4:1 or 3:1.
  • For in-person programs, the ratio is 3:1, 4:1, or 5:1.
  • In both cases, this refers to a small group of 3-5 students working together with a single instructor whose focus is on them entirely.

How can I be sure my child will be safe?

Our Story Teller training focuses a lot on safety and how to create a safe and supportive environment for all students, including students who are queer, neurodiverse, shy, or overly talkative. During D&D sessions, if a student says something biased or potentially harmful, the Story Teller gently explains the bias/harm and uses the moment as a teaching opportunity for all the students. We also use every opportunity provided by the adventure story to talk with students about consent, how to express a boundary, and how to gracefully respect another person’s boundary. These approaches are encapsulated by the Gaming Together Code of Conduct, which all students and Story Tellers agree to follow.

What "extra perks" does tuition include?

Some childcare program tuition includes a branded water bottle or t-shirt; in contrast, Gaming Together’s included benefits are intangible but invaluable. Your tuition includes our strong commitment to get to know your child well, to care about them, and to think deeply about how to draw them out and use D&D to expand their skills and support their learning and development. Story Tellers will notice what upsets your child, listen when they talk, and notice when something is wrong. If we identify a particular challenge your child is working on or see a consistent change in their behavior, we will let you know. If they are struggling with something or they need support to navigate that challenge, Director Anna Doherty will sit in and offer her expert guidance to both your child and their Story Teller. If they do something amazing and wonderful, you’ll get an email about how amazing they are. Most of all, we care about each of our students and are deeply committed to giving them the best possible fun and the best possible support for growth and learning

What will my child get out of Gaming Together?

Good question! Here’s a short list for the FAQ, but be sure to read about the Benefits of Gaming and what other parents have shared.
  • Fun that is created and shared with their peers
  • Expanded options to express their creativity, individuality, and imagination
  • A highly engaging activity that uses every aspect of their academic learning, reinforcing and connecting STEM concepts and skills while also developing communication and leadership skills
  • A safe place to be themselves, and to be accepted and valued for who they are
  • Coaching and support in developing and using their voice and their agency (personal power), in having and expressing boundaries, and in teamwork and cooperation
  • Stories to tell their peers—and parents—about the funny, the serious, and the heroic things that happen in their D&D game

What's so enriching about D&D? How can playing a game develop STEM skills?

D&D provides a fun way to practice one of the most pivotal aspects of learning: failure. Players get to try out an idea (hypothesis) and measure the success of that theory by the results. Actively engaged students pull from all the academic subjects they are familiar with, which helps them gain a deeper understanding of the academic material. STEM skills are heavily supported as everything players do in the game is affected by physics, chemistry, biology, and principles of math and engineering. While students have learned these ideas in school, D&D provides a real-life-like context for the value of those skills and invites players to think from a systems perspective (i.e., how all those different topics of study come together in a single moment). This mirrors the work of actual scientists. In other words, D&D presents knowledge in a multi-modal and multi-disciplinary way that creates links between subjects in a student’s mind.

In an adventure, for example, players might be asked to stop a forest fire. This requires active learning/knowledge of the terrain, the role that wind will play in the spread of the fire, and what is and isn’t flammable. Engineering and geography will help them locate the nearest source of water and move a lot of water to the fire. Biology tells them that some plant species have adapted to forest fires, and inspires them to consider all the creatures of the forest and how to protect them from the fire. Chemistry has them thinking about what they might call upon or create with magic to interrupt the fire’s chemical processes, smother it, etc. Language Arts and Social Studies help them understand and communicate the narrative of what is happening, as well as call upon local allies in the game to help. Logic, analysis, and persuasive argument are given real meaning as players talk together about the best approach to use to meet their goals.

Don’t take our word for it, though: check out this article on how a group of students out-performed everyone else in their district, and the only thing they had in common was playing Dungeons & Dragons.

How do I pay?

Online payment is easiest, and we accept both PayPal payments to staff@gamingtogether.net, and Venmo payments to @KidsPlayDnd.

What about in-person activities?

We take the safety of our students, families, and Story Tellers very seriously. As a company, we will return to offering in-person activities when either (a) vaccination is available for children under 12 years of age, or (b) a large-scale study is released showing that vaccinated people do not transmit covid to their unvaccinated family members at home. We hope one of these will happen soon!

How do I sign up?

New to Gaming Together?

  1. Fill out and submit our New Student Registration Form. If you’re registering siblings, please submit a form for each of them.
  2. In the email, let us know what activity you’re signing up for. For summer camps, use this handy summer sign-up form.
  3. Keep an eye on your email so you can schedule your gratis New Player Information meeting, in which your student will get their tech working, learn about our cooperative approach to Dungeons & Dragons, and make a character.
  4. Submit your tuition payment.

Played with us before?

  1. Email us and let us know what activity you’re signing up for.
  2. Then send the required tuition deposit or payment:
    • For camps, a $50 deposit is required to hold your student’s spot, and full tuition is due before camp begins.
    • For ongoing after-school groups, we ask for a 4-week deposit at the start of the group. After that, tuition is billed monthly for the prior month.