Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix (HSGP) Message Board › Game night evolution

Game night evolution

Bex B
user 11085931
Chandler, AZ
Post #: 36
Hi everyone.
Since game night started in February of 2011 – we’ve seen many changes and I’m sure many changes will happen in the future as well.

Recently I’ve heard a few different suggestions to how game night can further evolve moving forward and I wanted to post them here to give everyone a chance to share input/ideas and suggestions.
One suggestion has been to change the week and the night of game night in 2013- so instead of doing it on the 2nd Friday or Saturday of every month, to just the 2nd Saturday of every month. The rational being a lot of dedicated game-players who are already in the habit of going to Game Night on the second Saturday of the month from another group are losing their location and could join ours.

Another suggestion has been to alternate 2 versions of game night – one that’s kid-free and one that’s kid-friendly . This might cause our game night group members to choose to only go to 6 a year instead of 12 a year though- on the other hand, it provide an opportunity for humanist families to get together some months, and parents and non-parents a chance to socialize without kids for half the year.

Some other tangents to that suggestion are to have all game nights open to kids, but for the parents to provide child care. Or, an idea is to run 2 game nights every month, one that’s kid-friendly and one that’s kid-free.

What other ideas does everyone have?
Thanks for your input!
Angela K.
Chandler, AZ
Post #: 1
This is the type of gathering/activity that I would be most likely to attend WITH my kids (4yo twins + a 7yo), but I might be interested in kid-free game nights as well.

I have my kids on Friday OR Saturday, alternating each week. So it would be hit or miss for me either way.

I would vote for having game night every other week (alternating kid-free & kid-friendly). I would hate to limit the the fun for people with a kid-free preference, and having more occasions increases opportunities to attend. ;)

A former member
Post #: 1
I agree with Angela about having more opportunities. Also, having a 4-year-old and 7-year-old, I think we need to coordinate to show up on the same nights! Angela -- message me off the board if you get a chance.
Richard D.
user 12435537
Tempe, AZ
Post #: 1
I would like to weigh in on this as well. First, I am happy to hear that we might grow this event even more and if that means sticking to all Saturday events, that's great because it's easier for me to get there on Saturdays anyway.

As for the "kid-free" events, I really hope that we don't go that route and I think we can find alternative solutions that would work for everybody. One of my goals as president has been to add a more family-friendly atmosphere and I have been very excited about the progress that we're making. And I know that the board is looking for us to continue in that direction as well. Cutting back on game nights open to kids to just 6 times a year is counter to that goal. And I would never feel very good about making anything exclusionary without some very compelling reason that everybody understands. I also think that having kids interact with adults in a fun setting is good for the kids.

My suggestion is to organize a table or tables focused on kid's games and/or artsy crafty things to keep them occupied but still allowing them to interact with the adults if they want and talk to their parents if they want, with the understanding that one or more adults are in charge of the kid's tables and keeping the kids from getting too rambunctious (with the help of parents if need be). I would be happy to rotate that responsibility with others and, in conversations with Henry (our VP), he said he would be willing as well. If we get more volunteers for that, I believe that solves everything. I'm not saying that it's that simple but I believe we can work it out.

All that said, I want to add something a bit off-topic. I didn't know if I would enjoy doing game nights at first but, the way that Rebecca handles it, I have found it to be fantastic fun, even though she whips my butt at anything that requires any Thank you Rebecca for doing such a wonderful job. Keep it up!

Richard Dewey
President, HSGP
Michal O.
user 12704818
Chandler, AZ
Post #: 1
I'd like to add my two cents to this discussion. First off, I'm glad to see more families joining us and feeling comfortable enough to bring their children. That is a very good thing for HSGP. However, I don't feel it is appropriate to bring children and then allow them to run around unsupervised, which has happened once or twice at game nights and has been distracting to others. As far as I know, this hasn't been happening at other events.

I'm of the belief that if children come to game night or any other event, parents should bring games or other activities for them. If kids get too wild or noisy, parents should step in. It should not be the responsibility of other adults to say "your kid is too loud" and request the parent do something; that is uncomfortable and could put the parent on the defensive.

If some adults are saying they don't want to come because there are too many loud kids running around, that hurts HSGP. However, it is important for families to join us and for parents to feel comfortable bringing children to events without feeling they are being attacked.

Perhaps parents can work to form a co-op babysitting group, so one or two parents or adults can supervise at each event while other parents can sit back and enjoy themselves - this is similar to what Richard suggested and I think it is a great way to make everyone happy. I know babysitting is being provided at some Sunday events, but it is not consistent yet. I think if some parents got together to form this group, we could make the child care option more consistent at more of our events, which will allow HSGP to better serve its families.

I also second Richard's compliments to Rebecca - I've loved coming to game night since my first time, and I look forward to many more in the future.

A former member
Post #: 1
I agree with Michal.
A former member
Post #: 274
I also agree with Michal. Rebecca, what has been decided?
Bex B
user 11085931
Chandler, AZ
Post #: 37
Hi Everyone,
Thanks for all the great insights and suggestions. Last game night had lots of kids and the kids stayed in the children's room while the adults played games in the main area.
Many people in attendance let me know that they felt that it worked out very nicely.
So, for the near future, let's see if we can continue in this manner and keep everyone relatively happy.
If you have other ideas, suggestions or comments for Game Night population.. please feel free to continue to use this thread.
Thanks again everyone!
I'm looking forward to August Game Night- 2nd Saturday of August (the 11th)- 6:30 pm
Sadie R.
user 10459566
Phoenix, AZ
Post #: 1
I waited to respond to this thread, for 2 reasons: first of all, this topic upset me. I feel that my children in particular are not a part of this problem so much as a part of the solution. My daughter Celia is the oldest kid in HSGP. She takes it upon herself to watch over the littler kids - help them play, keep them safe, and break it up when they become too noisy. But also I wanted to attend another game night and see if it was just an internet mis-communication problem that could easily be solved in person. We did attend last month's game night, and the kids and I found it very frustrating.

I joined HSGP after the Dawkins talk, because out of all the groups represented by tables there, this was the only one that said they actively desire to have more children participate. As many of you know, I homeschool my kids, and therefore they are raised unconventionally. We enjoy interacting with people of various ages in the real world, as opposed to the artificial social constructs of institutionalized education. My children are accustomed to being treated with the same respect as adults.

Since I first read this thread, I've felt as if the children aren't being treated fairly. I agree that kids shouldn't be unsupervised, nor should they be allowed to run amok. I personally supervise my own kids and step in whenever I feel things are getting out of hand. I must say that I feel alone in this mindset. Last month I felt compelled to supervise all of the kids {with Richard's help, thanks for that} and didn't get a chance to enjoy myself much. It wouldn't be appropriate for a family to go out to eat, sit down at a table and ignore their kids as they run through a restaurant, and I don't think its appropriate to do the same at game night. Also, I must point out that no one steps in when the adults become boisterous- that this seems to be a double standard.

I don't think that it is fair, or welcoming, to expect children to be segregated from the adults during game night. We do not attend other HSGP events regularly.. most months it is the only event we attend. I do this because I assumed that a game night would be an appropriate setting for the kids to have fun with adults and others of various ages.

I am more than willing to continue to provide crafts at a separate table for the kids. However, I do not wish to take on the role of supervising all children present throughout the duration of the evening, leaving no time for myself to socialize. My suggestion is as follows - why don't we expect each parent to be responsible for their own children's behaviour? To me, that is the most logical way to handle this.

With respect,

Michal O.
user 12704818
Chandler, AZ
Post #: 3
Sadie, I completely agree with you that it is unfair that you were the only parent actively involved in supervising children at the last game night. I also agree that the children should not be segregated from the adults - if the kids want to play with the adults or set up a kids game or craft table in the main room, I feel they have every right to do so, as they are an important part of our community. I've had fun playing games with your kids at game night before and very much enjoyed their company. However, if the kids decide they want to play in the back, where they can get a little more silly and rowdy, that's fine too. I'm glad you chimed in, because I think this is an important discussion for the group to be having. If HSGP is going to continue to grow as a community (which I hope we do), we do need to get more families involved, and we need to work with families to make sure they feel welcome and comfortable when they attend events. I agree with the expectation that each parent be responsible for their own children's behavior, but I think having some sort of system in place to ensure all children are actively supervised is important, since as you mentioned in your post, the responsibility seems to fall more to 1-2 adults for the night rather than being shared. That's not fair to the 1-2 adults that role falls to, as then they miss out on socializing with friends as well, which defeats the purpose of coming out to game night.
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