More Tips for Military Families – #176

BONCO – Tip #176

Several years ago, when we were newly posted, I was given an invitation to attend a BONCO (also spelt – Bunco) party for wives.  At the time, it felt like just one more thing that I had to do, plan for and would not feel comfortable doing.  I was completely wrong (happens a lot)!  It was probably one of the best things I did for myself.  I attended with other wives that had military members deployed, away on training, at home getting on their nerves, etc.  It was the first time I had felt a part of a military community/family and I ended up looking forward to those monthly games not to win a prize or scream “BONCO!” (I liked that too) but more to get together with people who had a shared experience, who would understand what I was thinking or feeling.

The difference between getting together for dinner or coffee or for a chat and playing a game together is that there is a fun distraction.  The important things come up over the course of playing but it is hard to harp on the awful parts of military life when you are together playing a fun game.  You come together and laugh together, remind yourselves that you have each other and that there are still opportunities to enjoy life.

Tips:

* Organize a monthly game (whichever game you choose although I have a love for Bonco!)

* Encourage your spouse, brother, father, mother, cousin, friend, mother, etc. to do this too.  Everyone in your family can benefit from this type of experience

* Set the time a month in advance so people can put it in their schedule (last Thursday of each month)

* Invite a wide group of people (perhaps the only thing you will have in common is military life)

* Take turns doing it at someone’s house (you don’t want to always be the host then it will be an obligation and a lot of work and not as fun)

* Set start and end times so that you don’t have people staying for hours on end when you are already tired

* You don’t have to play the same game each time, you can switch it up each time if you like

For more information about our tips, resources and books go to: http://www.whileyouwereaway.org

To submit a tip of your own, write to: Megan@whileyouwereaway.org

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