Piecing the community together through games

‘Game Night with the Friends of Penn Treaty’ held at Circle of Hope in Fishtown

Fun and games: Melanie Dansette and Rachel Denny play Hedbanz at a Friends of Penn Treaty Game Night. PHOTO: JOAN DANSETTE

By Lindsey Nolen

As a member of the Broad and Washington location of the Circle of Hope church, Tyler Adam, who is also an alumnus of the Penn Treaty School, first witnessed the development of recreational game nights at this place of worship. Wanting to bring this community event to the Penn Treaty area, he proposed “Game Night with the Friends of Penn Treaty,” which will be held next at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 26 at the Circle of Hope community and church located at 2007 Frankford Ave.

“[The location for the event] was chosen due to its vicinity to Penn Treaty, and that it was easy for me to access within walking distance,” Adam said. “The ideal attendee for me is someone who is always interested in trying a new game, be it strategy, cooperation or just having fun with conversation.”

Offering games that vary in length, but are ultimately fun to play with a large group of friends, the event, which has been occurring monthly for a little more than a year now, will encompass games such as Jenga, Uno, Pandemic, Cards Against Humanity, Khet 2.0 and other strategy games.

“I have the role of bringing the games to events as well as the planner of these events,” Adam said. “It allows me to bridge the gap in the neighborhood and can sometimes bring out-of-town folks, too.”

A 24-year-old living at the intersection of Sepviva and Sergeant, Adam has been involved in the Friends of Penn Treaty for four years and hopes to continue his involvement for many years to come. In organizing these game nights with the purpose of having fun, trying something new and stopping the constant reliance on technology for all amusement and fun, he has taken great pride in the development of these community meetups.

“They reflect the community of the school, bridging the gap and sharing the message of togetherness, the best kind of long friendship and shows that we are making strides in our bridging of these gaps in community,” Adam said.

Similarly, Joan Dansette, a community member who attends the game nights and facilitates faithfully with her daughters, believes the idea of getting families to sit down together and have fun, putting technology and their worries behind them, is both exciting and enticing. She also believes the events reflect Penn Treaty because they’re about meeting new people and coming together to have fun.

“We have been going to family game night for almost a year. My kids love it,” Dansette, a 38-year-old resident of the intersection of Hart Lane and Frankford Avenue, said. “People should come out to family game night to make new friends and to get out of the house for a bit.”

Although Dansette and her kids enjoy these nights filled with board and card games, Adam commented that, while the response to them has been positive, the overall turnout has “sadly been fairly tepid.” While the current number of attendees, just a few at each game night, hasn’t been overwhelming, Adam believes it may be due to members of the community simply not knowing they exist. Thus, a long-term goal of the every fourth Friday of the month event is to increase the number of attendees and their consistency in coming.

“Broad and Washington has at least 40 to 50 people for their game nights, and I want to replicate that same success, The short-term goal is just to have fun and host old-fashioned togetherness,” Adam said. “People should come out if they want to try something new, meet new people, socialize and have a fantastic time playing games based around party, strategy, cooperation and more.”

For more information on the next game night, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1860939764231302/, or contact Amanda Capasso, Gallery and Events team lead for Circle of Hope, at circleofhopegallery@gmail.com.