This is the first of a few pirate crews I’m putting together. I gifted this one to my godson; I will likely do the same with another; but I’ll be keeping two for my little one. With all of the pirate crews, the overall idea is the same, but the crew members are unique.
Pirates are all about flexing on people at the right time in order to intimidate others into giving up their goods. As such, their targets tend to be ships or people with some stash worth stealing and dividing among their crew. They disguise when necessary, but they go hard when necessary. There is a lot of ruthlessness to pirates, and it serves a purpose sometimes: if you have a reputation for being ruthless, people are more willing to peacefully surrender. Overall, it might seem like pirates are an especially violent, thieving crew inappropriate for child’s play. But there are also some special things about pirates (at their best) that I want to lift up for my little ones when they play.
- They enjoy life to the fullest. They sing, dance, and gorge themselves on the good things life has to offer.
- They believe in equality and communal care. When they plunder, everyone gets an equal share. They do not make hierarchies of wealth among their crew. And the target who they plunder is most often the big businesses that build themselves up by making these gross inequalities of income and wealth.
- Democracy is the way to govern. According to their code, every pirate has an equal vote in decision-making. This includes electing a leader. The leader is not a dictator, but a charismatic fighter—someone who can get the people going. The leader is called the captain and they vote to elect who will be the captain. The captain will lead them in battle during which time they do not switch captains because that could cause chaos. But the captain can be voted out and replaced by another captain at any other time.
- Their plundering is always an invitation for other common folk to join their crew in rebellion against the wealthy capitalist elites that exploit the labor of the masses.
So… with all of that, when I play with the pirates and these kiddos, I will emphasize them doing all the fun things in life, always sharing with each other, always voting to make a decision, and always inviting others to join their crew… and, of course, going on naughty raids through the house to get what they want.
This crew is called The Buccaneers (for obvious reasons). Some are real, historical pirates; others are another type of Buccaneer. As with every pirate crew they have a captain (which changes whenever a child wants them to vote on a new captain and put the little captain’s hat on someone else), a quartermaster (who keeps track of all the resources and divides them evenly… a great chance to practice counting), a doctor (to take care of people who get hurt), and a carpenter (to fix things).