• CARL hosts Board Game Night on Thursdays

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    During the heart of winter weather, it is often hard to find an activity that is fun for the entire family, but the Combined Arms Research Library provides an opportunity for some indoor fun with its bi-weekly Board Game Night from 4-6 p.m. every second and fourth Thursday of the month.
    Board Game Night, which began in November, started when the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sent the library several board games.
    “We didn’t know that FMWR was sending us the games,” said Andrea Gardner, CARL administrative support assistant and Board Game Night coordinator. “(The games) just kind of showed up, then they sat on the shelf. So, I decided I would start the Board Game Night because I love playing games.
    “My goal is to share my love of board games with others,” Gardner said. “I also enjoy helping people learn new games.”
    Gardner said FMWR wasn’t the only one who contributed games.
    “The (Command and General Staff College) Foundation donated one game to our collection. So, we have about 30 games now,” she said. “Some families will also bring in their own games to play and share.”
    Gardner said the games range from age-appropriate games such as Candyland and Chutes and Ladders for children as young as 3 to strategy games such as Monopoly and Scrabble for adults.
    Gardner said Board Game Night averages between 14-20 people per night.
    “The response has been pretty good,” she said. “We have a couple of families that are regulars.”
    Gardner’s husband, Timothy Gardner, an instructor at the U.S. Penitentiary – Leavenworth, said Board Game Night, in general, is a great opportunity for any family.
    “Anything that gets people together and gives them an opportunity to experience something fun helps them develop ties, especially in such a transient community such as the military. Having a central location such as a library, I think it is a decent idea if not a great idea,” Timothy Gardner said.
    “For younger kids, it gives them a chance to see a competitive side of things without becoming competitive because our son, being one of those people who is part of this, when we started playing games he would get extremely upset when he didn’t win. Now, he’s accepted the fact the he’s not going to win every game, and that has made him a better sportsman.”
    Ten-year-old Vincent Gardner said he enjoys playing games.
    “Sometimes it is just the simple fact of just playing games, especially since it is something that we can’t really do often at our house,” he said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Vincent Gardner said his favorite game to play is Azul because it is easy and quick to play.
    “It doesn’t feel competitive,” Andrea Gardner said. “I think that’s what he likes about it. He likes games that you don’t feel like you’re attacking people.”
    Andrea Gardner said game night offers several perks.
    “The purpose is to get the community together to have fun without electronics,” she said. “Playing games helps build stronger relationships, strengthen communication and develop critical thinking skills.”
    The next Board Game Night is at 4 p.m. Feb. 14 in the Learning Resource Center at CARL.
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