Even though being an active member of an army is fun, troops and staff can easily become bored with regular army activities. This is where theme weeks come in. Their purpose is to bring brief periods of extra fun and excitement to the army, often with a story attached, in order to wake the server up.
Note: The post contains the author’s views and does not reflect upon the Club Penguin Armies organization in any way. Armies mentioned in the post are for the purpose of providing a reference. This post is NOT meant to be a collection of all the themed events hosted by armies.
Theme weeks are usually a week full of activities and events centered around a huge ‘theme’. Armies host theme weeks as they are something everyone participates in. Theme weeks are used as an excuse for a wide range of fun activities, to generate hype for a tournament. Some theme weeks are organized around real life holidays, riding on the pre-existing hype surrounding the event in real life. An excellent example of this is Christmas and New Years. All armies, and even army leagues, celebrate this holiday. Other theme weeks originate from popular entertainment media like movies or TV shows. Some armies even host their own versions of real life events, like Pride Parades. Examples of this are the Rebel Penguin Federation‘s Summer and Winter Olympics, the Ice Warriors‘ Sub Zero Olympics and the Help Force‘s Pina Colada Olympics.
Regardless of how theme weeks may appear on the surface, a lot of work goes into organizing them. Thus, armies do not hesitate to completely immerse their server in the experience. The Army of Club Penguin‘s Civil War theme week from 2020 is an example of this. The Clovers launched a huge project to convert their server into a Civil War themed army, with their two divisions Alpha and Echo duking it out on the island and beyond. The army went as far as creating separate army division commands for their division troops to use on the game.
Profile Picture Themes
However, theme weeks do not necessarily need to be that intense. Sometimes, something as simple as actively encouraging people to participate in themed Discord profile pictures hypes the troops up. Moreover, profile picture themes help the new troops feel included in the community, while the veterans enjoy matching with their friends. For example, the Special Weapons And Tactics used this method in their Superhero theme. More recently, you can see several Water Vikings members sporting Water Viking themed profile pictures
and bragging about it.
Regardless of the type of theme week, the events often demand a lot of work from the army’s staff team. However, the results of theme weeks are often too good for most armies to ignore them. Armies commonly host at least one or two major takeovers per year. But, there are a few people who do not believe in hosting extended theme weeks.
Club Penguin Armies reached out to several army leaders and high command members to ask how they manage their themed events.
What exactly is your army’s idea of a theme week? How do you organize them and how often, how important are they for you?
Nacho, Army of Club Penguin: Well, a theme week for ACP is simple, it is a week filled with events of the same theme, for example the one I remember the most was our Civil War theme week. I can’t actually provide any info on the organization because almost every themed week event was organized as hcom, but my job as a mod back then in the themed weeks was to try and keep the engagement of the troops, for example in the Civil War one, our Echo comrades fought against Alpha in different battles, so I as an Echo moderator had to hype chat and say stuff like ECHO OWNS ALPHA, there has not been any big themed weeks for ACP apart of the anniversary themed week and the second Civil War, I’d say that themed weeks are really important for me and I’ll be looking forward for new ones!
Dino, Water Vikings: A theme week in WV is just doing events with a specific “theme” or idea in mind and doing related profile-pictures or statuses with it. I think they’re quite important for community building.
Hidcre, People’s Imperial Confederation: Our idea of a theme week is everyday we have an event, we have some type of design behind our uniform for the day, and kind of curate what we want to do during said event, whether it be a game, tournament, etc.
Jo, Help Force: Theme weeks are kinda random in that they can be planned spontaneously just a week or two before they start. A certain bald person may want a Christmas event in June and then boom, you have an entire week dedicated to holidays. I feel like theme weeks are important as they create cohesion between events. They are not the most important but they certainty are fun and the troops enjoy it.
Gabi, Rebel Penguin Federation: Theme weeks to me very often revolve around the parties that we have in the server and they’re either organised by our party planning committee or the HCOM team. It depends on what’s going on in the wider community too (e.g. tournaments) but ideally having one every couple of months, or around holidays, is ideal since it just sort of livens the place up a bit. They’re pretty important to me personally just because I’m co-lead of PPC and I just really enjoy getting to bring a party to life and seeing everyone interact with it!
Can you describe how your army benefits from a theme week? Are there any other ways to obtain the qualities you look for?
Nacho: A theme week usually keeps the troops interested and engaged on the armies events even MORE than a normal week, but I do believe that there are other ways to motivate the troops, like tournaments or wars.
Dino: It’s good for community building. Sadly, the previous attempts WV has tried theme weeks it didn’t really pan out due to many staff refusing. We have going on right now actually and it’s probably the most successful one in years. I like doing something that everyone can engage in and work as an unit. We are an army but more importantly are a secondary family (or should strive to be one). Everyone should be excited to take part in WV and engage in the theme together.
Hidcre: We usually benefit by more visitors coming to see what we do, we tend to max more, and we honestly just get a boost in traction and fun.
Jo: Theme weeks create a lot of hype for the army. This week, with our holidays theme, we’ve gotten higher maxes than in previous weeks. Theme weeks also offer a good structure that’s useful when it comes to planning events, as you have an idea that you can use and implement. Another benefit is that I’ve noticed is more and more troops hyping the chat while logging on for events, when it used to be just mainly staff. While there are other ways to obtain these qualities, such as tournament or war hype, theme weeks are one of the easier ways to do so.
Gabi: RPF really enjoys our theme weeks/parties overall and we tend to get a lot of engagement with the wider aspects of the server. Most of the time we’ll run them with incentives for getting involved, mostly collectible roles, and something like a bingo card to complete in order to get those roles. This means that things like the contests we run or our art channel get more engagement than they usually would otherwise. It sort of serves to make everything feel extremely connected I guess. Our biggest theme week is our olympics though and that really helps us see a surge in activity since everyone really enjoys getting involved and showing team spirit which is something which can be slightly harder to achieve through regular events.
What do you think your army enjoys more – a war, a tournament, or a theme week? Why?
Nacho: That’s a really hard question, in all the time I’ve been in ACP, I think that ACP troops enjoy tournaments more than anything, we just turn competitive and bring out the best of our staff team and troops, I have never seen our staff so motivated since Fight or Fright, March Madness, Legends Cup or even Aces of Ausia.
Dino: WV is not a war army so uhhhhhh… yeah not war. WV definitely enjoys tournaments the most. It’s when we work the hardest. I feel like that is when WV shows up the most, too. The AUSIA Arena tournament is a good recent example. Our AUSIA before was like a 5th/6th overall AUSIA before the war (and is still not a top 3) and yet the thrill that comes with tournaments motivated us to wanna do better every single battle, even if we felt it could be a cakewalk. WV is at its best during tournaments.
Hidcre: We’ll always enjoy all 3, but after a while, wars can get pretty tiring, as well as tournaments, but themed weeks just give us something to look forward to and you never know whats gonna happen at the next event.
Jo: The troops like tournaments a lot more than theme weeks, however, the hype for tournaments are usually for that one battle while the hype for theme weeks lasts the entire week. For example, during Ausia Arena, we maxed really high on the day of the finals, but for the trainings we had earlier that week, we maxed less than what we’re maxing now with our holiday week theme. I think the main reason for this is that veterans enjoy tournaments more than theme weeks, which explains why the battle maxed highly but not the trainings.
Gabi: I think that’s probably an answer which changes depending on the person and the time of year to be honest. Wars and tournaments will always take priority in RPF because we are primarily an army and these aspects of the server really let us stay involved in the wider community and stick to our roots. These are only fun in moderation though – the same can be said for themed weeks – including all of these events mean that we’re very varied in what we do over the year.
If your army was not to organize any theme weeks till the end of the year, what impact would it make?
Nacho: ACP doesn’t host theme weeks that often and it usually does not impact our troops, but we will try to do more themed weeks for our fellow troops!
Dino: I don’t think it’d be a negative impact but also doing no theme weeks until the very end of the year makes it kinda redundant and defeats the point. There’s no drawbacks for theme weeks in my eyes; it’s more so how much will it be plentiful in the end. You gotta actually have passion behind the theme week and hype it up.
Hidcre: if we didn’t organize any themed weeks until the end of the year i feel like us as leaders and hcom would just be tired of trying to think of the same 15 events over and over again 😭
Jo: It would have a small impact but not a big one. In reality, all theme weeks are are just events with a common theme. While they are fun, how enjoyable they are in the end depends more on the events themselves.
Gabi: To be entirely honest I think people would be disappointed. Olympics are some of the most anticipated weeks of the year and a look through our chat shows people being hyped over past olympics or upcoming ones throughout the year. In some ways I think they’ve become as much a part of RPF culture as wars and tournaments and people noticeably miss them when they’re gone. The same can be said to a lesser extent with other parties and out suggestion channel will usually get a party suggestion if people think it’s been too long. Between now and the end of the year there are at least 3 themed weeks which people most likely expect to happen (summer olympics, Halloween, Christmas) and I do think people would take notice or be disappointed if they didn’t take place.
Whether an army has monthly theme weeks or only a few a year, it seems clear that they are something troops and staff can enjoy alike. Do you think that theme weeks are beneficial to armies? Or are they only temporary hype creators that cost more effort to produce than they are worth?