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Subject: I'm Bummed Today - Tales of Woe Trying To Keep A Group Together rss

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Hammock Backpacker
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Early this summer my wife and I thought it would be cool to try to get a "couples" gaming group to meet at our house once a month. Bright-eyed we planned, fixed food, got the house ready, and invited 6 couples that had shown more than a passing interest in gaming. Our first meeting went very well (we thought). Great comments, people seemed to have fun, lots of laughing, etc. We made some minor changes, relaxed the couples aspect, invited a person who plays but her husband refuses, I bought several lighter games for those that aren't into the, as they call them, *extremely* thinky games (Pandemic played open hand is a thinky game?!).

Then...nothing. The last two months have been abysmal. Low turn out. Low interest in even responding to emails (pro or con). I'm not so bummed about the people per se (although I'd prefer not having to work so hard at knowing if people are coming or not) but I'm mostly bummed that our attempts to keep the rag-tag group together appear to be failing.

I sent out a reminder of next week's event and I've gotten only one commitment (from an unreliable couple - they tend to back out at the last minute), two definite nos (no reason specified), one on vacation, one maybe, and two no replies. Maybe it's the summer schedule. Maybe it will pick up in the fall. Maybe we suck at it.

soblue


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David Kahnt
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Celina
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August is always a bad time for groups. People are in summer mode, vacation, too hot, whatever. See what September & October bring you before you throw in the towel.
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Rob
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I have two stories that are similar to that - or rather, one story leading into another.

My wife and I tried to get a church game group going at our house. We sent out invites to a lot of people, and actually got a lot of replies. So, we bought a lot of food, snacks and drinks, and were ready to go. My father-in-law - who's definitely not a gamer but is a great help - cooked up a huge number of hamburgers and hot dogs. The day of the party comes and ... one person shows up. We were really peeved and disappointed. So, we decided that in the future, we'll put more of the burden on the other participants, so we came up with...

Gaming at the church in our meeting hall. All participants would bring their own snacks and drinks. This worked well for several months; we averaged about a dozen people each month. And then it started trickling down to six, and then two, and then... nobody.

So, we refocused just on gaming within the family, and finding local gaming groups.

Sorry, I didn't mean that to sound like a downer, but I hope you keep trying other avenues.

Perhaps, instead of neighbors, you could invite couples from established gaming groups.
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JessA
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aw that is a bummer. And I was all jealous of your group, it sounds so nice!

Maybe once a month is too often? You could try for every six weeks or so. Maybe give it a break for August and September and try again in October?

It's probably just a matter of finding the right mix of people that are equally enthusiastic about games.

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Paul DeStefano
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Hammock Backpacker
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Sinister Dexter wrote:

My wife and I tried to get a church game group going at our house. We sent out invites to a lot of people, and actually got a lot of replies. So, we bought a lot of food, snacks and drinks, and were ready to go. My father-in-law - who's definitely not a gamer but is a great help - cooked up a huge number of hamburgers and hot dogs. The day of the party comes and ... one person shows up. We were really peeved and disappointed.


Oh now that stinks. We had way too much food the first time so we cut back (people did brings food in a sort of pot-lucky style of event). The next time...we shouldn't have fixed anything. Maybe we should go with snacks and drinks. BYOSnacks...

Sinister Dexter wrote:

So, we decided that in the future, we'll put more of the burden on the other participants, so we came up with...

Gaming at the church in our meeting hall. All participants would bring their own snacks and drinks. This worked well for several months; we averaged about a dozen people each month. And then it started trickling down to six, and then two, and then... nobody.


I'm hoping it's not failing but maybe it is. My wife is still wanting to keep up the effort into the fall hoping it's just the summer schedule.

Sinister Dexter wrote:

So, we refocused just on gaming within the family, and finding local gaming groups.

Sorry, I didn't mean that to sound like a downer, but I hope you keep trying other avenues.

Perhaps, instead of neighbors, you could invite couples from established gaming groups.


I have access to gaming groups but we were trying to use gaming as a backdrop to a gathering of friends rather than friends as a backdrop to gaming (if that makes any sense). Gaming isn't solely the focus. If it was...I doubt I'd get anybody involved to be honest. We wanted something that our group could use as an excuse to get together more often than...well...never.

 
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Hammock Backpacker
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Jatoha wrote:
aw that is a bummer. And I was all jealous of your group, it sounds so nice!

Maybe once a month is too often? You could try for every six weeks or so. Maybe give it a break for August and September and try again in October?

It's probably just a matter of finding the right mix of people that are equally enthusiastic about games.



It is nice but I'm quite shocked at how hard it is to get people to commit. I feel like such a nag sending out emails to the group but I get no response, positive responses but back outs at the last minute, or negative responses only after numerous "pokes". Seems every time we could have 12 or none...

I suppose we could go to every other month but that may be even harder since I think it's too far in between. One family acts like they can never remember when it is when it's always on the same day of the month (3rd Saturday rain or shine). Some act surprised that it's the coming weekend when I've sent emails, talked to them in person, etc.

I feel like I want to open it up to more people just to feel like we'd get a quorum. In reality, I'd probably just get a bigger headache. And what would I do if 25 people showed up trying to play games (assuming the stars aligned).



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JessA
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We have a group of friends that gets together on more or less a monthly basis. It's kind of hilarious because we call ourselves 'card club' but we never play cards (and only in the last year have I been able to force an occasional party game on them).

This started back when a group of us had toddlers and were starved for adult interactions. We all agreed that we wanted to meet once a month and we'd rotate houses.

As I think about it, the rotation of houses is probably the one thing that keeps our group going now that we are all even busier with tweens and teens.

By rotating the house, people feel an obligation to take their turn. Not that getting together is an obligation -- we always enjoy our time together. But, it keeps it on schedule, otherwise it'd be too easy to say we want to get together but then keep putting it off.

I'm pretty lucky to have this group of friends, too bad they aren't gamers!
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Hammock Backpacker
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Jatoha wrote:

As I think about it, the rotation of houses is probably the one thing that keeps our group going now that we are all even busier with tweens and teens.

...

I'm pretty lucky to have this group of friends, too bad they aren't gamers!



In our case, I think this would totally kill it. I don't think anybody feels compelled to do anything. However, maybe our attempts at trying to make it very easy on everyone has made it too easy for people to opt out...no sense of commitment is necessary if we do all the work?

And yes, count your blessings. You are very lucky.

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Sorry to hear it's not working out. I know the type of people you are talking about--sadly, I think they are not a minority. My wife and I haved talked about it in the past and would love to try and start some sort of regular couples group get-togethers, but first we would have to have some couples as friends.

 
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Erik D
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I feel for ya. The meetup group here changed venues. Great space and lighting, but it's such a pain for me to get there and back that I can't even bother.
 
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