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.
* 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
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Filed under: Military Family Support - Tips from the 101 Tips books, Tips for Educators and Deployment Support Workers | Tagged: deployment, get together, military families, play games, reintegration |