All young adult members (18-39)
This is a monthly gathering (in person or online) where a number YAs meet and lose themselves in the joy of being together and playing games. Games selection varies, but when it’s online, it might include games such as Telestrations, Pictionary, Codenames, Scattergories, Taboo, Spyfall and more. When this group is permitted to meet in person, games night might include going to a murder mystery event or meeting at an escape room. Participants are invited to bring their game spirit, but there is also time and space for deeper discussion and connection for those who are seeking it.
Benefits and Impact
Playing board and card games can teach many new skills, build important social ties, and strengthen relationships, but what is best about a games night for YA cancer survivors is the bonding, sharing and having fun. Other impacts noted by participants include:
- creating community and connection with other young people who have experienced cancer
- experiencing comradery, competition, and communication with others
- strategizing, problem-solving and building critical thinking skills
- finding an outlet for pent up energy and emotions
- sharing laughter and having fun
- enjoying ‘normal’ activity – a break from cancer
What to Expect at a Session
The 90-minute evening begins with a casual icebreaker session – an invitation to engage newcomers and an opportunity for regulars to share a bit about themselves and their experiences. Next the group decides on a game/s for the evening, and once the plan is made and the rules are established, the fun begins! Sometimes the games dictate playing as a whole group, other times it works best to meet and play in break-out rooms. The program leader oversees the technology end of things (when online), and initiates pauses throughout the evening to provide opportunities for open conversation and sharing. Toward the end of the night, gift cards are distributed randomly or to game winners, and those who want to stick around and chat might spend an extra 30 minutes enjoying each other’s company.