Local Girls Produce “Wild” Environmental Card Game

cards-2-300x200CORSICA, Pa. (EYT) – Athia and Maia Strohm received word from the U.S. Government last week that a copyright was awarded for their “Wild: North East – North America” card game.

That’s quite an accomplishment for the two young sisters who started working on the game two years ago.

Just as the card game is a learning experience for card players, Athia and Maia learned about photography, writing, marketing, sales, publishing, and bringing a product to market.

Athia is a seventh grader and Maia is a third grader at Clarion-Limestone, and they even helped develop their own business cards with a photo of a snail Athia snapped in front of their home.

“There was another card game, and we weren’t happy about some of the cards, and Dad challenged us to make something different,” said Athia and Maia. “It’s a little easier, more about the environment, and educational. We knew we could sell it in schools and teach other kids with it.”

They are the daughters of Janine Moore-Strohm and Jason Strohm.

The card game is for the whole family or up to five students at a time. Players are able to build food chains and finish all ten levels of an ecosystem first to win. They also learn about wildlife along the way. Their card game features 96 full-color flashcards of environments, plants, invertebrates, and animals.

For sale at a variety of local stores, “Wild” is also available on Amazon.com where it is described as “an educational card game that can be enjoyed while camping in the wild, during science class at school, or at home in the living room” and offers three ways to plan and learn about wildlife.

The sisters took their own pictures, going to aviaries, zoos, in their own backyard, and even when the family was driving.

“We took most of the photos by ourselves, but some of them were by Randy Quinn.”

cards 1Jason explains the Quinn connection and problems with the weather for photography.

“When we were developing the cards, we figured out in the dead of winter, we could wrap it up, but nothing is green outside,” said Jason. “Randy, a photographer from near Kittanning, offered 50 pictures for the girls to use for the cards.”

“We were able to get the first deck written and ready for sale at the end of April this past year. Randy gave them photos to fill in the gaps, and most of his photos are in the predator section, and they’re harder to get pictures of.”

“I called the Farmers Inn to see if they could get pictures in the winter, and she said, ‘no,’ but her main photographer was Randy Quinn. She said to give him a call. He said it was a wonderful idea and inspiring. I’ll send you some pictures.”

There’s already a second edition designed for education, and both girls say it’s a little easier because of the color-coding of information on the cards. They were also able to complete about 90 percent of the photography in the second edition.

The Strohms, using their company name of “Two Sisters in the Wild,” published a YouTube video to further explain the rules of the game.

“You start by dealing five cards,” explained both of the sisters. “It’s an environmental game, and you build an environment. You start with the land, and you end up with an apex like a bear that’s top of the food chain. In between, there are small animals and plants. The plant has to have the same symbol as the environment symbol to live there, and you can’t put anything on your environment unless you have a plant. Then you go to insects or animals that eat plants and eventually you’ll get one through ten by counting the numbers and where they eat. It says under “diet” what they eat. Plants are two and three, but you can’t stack a two on a three (a bigger plant like a tree), four and five are insects, and six through ten are all animals. You can have up to three environments.”

Athia and Maia are pleased with the sales so far, with the family convincing several area merchants selling “Wild” in addition to Amazon. Sales have also come from customers in New York and South Carolina. Area schools such as Brookville, Redbank, and C-L as well as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have purchased the cards.

In addition to the second edition, two booster packs are planned with 15 new cards in each pack to enhance the deck. The first pack is “Nature Bites Back” and has “bees, snakes that bite, the devil’s walking stick plant, copperheads, and stuff like that,” according to the girls.

The second booster pack now in production will be called “Mother Nature” and includes special cards like wildfire that could destroy parts of the ecosystem.

The game appears to be ideal for use in schools.

One reviewer gave it five stars on Amazon and said, “This game fits in perfectly with my students’ science curriculum. A good portion of my grade level curriculum is on the various environments and ecosystems and how the animals and plant life interact to survive. The game is interactive and allows for students to use their knowledge of food chains to beat their opponents. The pictures are accurate and the icons provide the extra visual support that my special education students need. Not only are the cards factual, but the animals and plant life are relevant and familiar to students.

“I had my students play this game today, and they loved it! It was easy for them to understand and a high interest to them. After a few rounds, they caught on and could play independently. This is truly a great game to use for teachers to use as a review or for families to play for fun.”

Another way to purchase the card game is to just call Jason at 724-859-9292, and they will deliver it within a 30-mile radius of Clarion or Brookville. If time permits, the girls will even drop the games off in person.

Meanwhile, Athea and Maia are already thinking about what to do with any profits that their company makes.

“There’s charity, college, travel for vacations, and a small percentage for ourselves like for toys and stuff.”

Priceds are $12.50 for the Education Edition (ages 6 and up); $12.50 for the original edition (ages 10 and up); and $3.00 for Nature Bites Back expansion pack (ages 10 and up).

Just for good measure, the busy Strohm girls also made colorful game bags for $2.50 each.

Article by Ron Wilshire.

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