Play: The Universal Language
BEVERLY, Mass. Jun.1, 2017
There is a wonderful event that occurs on the first Thursday of each month. This event not only serves dinner and allows for a safe space for neighborhood kids to come out and play, but it also links families with community organizations that can provide further support. So what is it? It’s called 1st Thursday, and it’s hosted by the Beverly Police Department and the North Shore Community Development Coalition.
Each month, they get the neighborhood of Gloucester Crossing together to enjoy each other, the outdoors, and this time, they got to enjoy playing with Project Adventure. It was our first time at this gathering, and we cannot wait for next month. The kids were immediately taken with Laura’s bag of treats, not to mention her dog, and only stopped playing when it was time to go home. They flocked to the field once Bacon, the rubber pig tossed around in many games, made an appearance.
Both PA trainers, Larry and Laura, strategized with the kids about how to be the most successful at playing Hide the Bacon. What started out as chaos soon slowed to a clever game, attempting to outsmart Laura and her helper as kids found new ways to hide Bacon from their view. One game evolved into a new game, which evolved into yet another new game and then another soon after that. Play brought all the kids together, and it also brought smiles to the faces of the mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, and grandparents in attendance.
While speaking with members of the community, we found out so much more about the area and how some of them have been there for generations. They took pride in knowing each other and looking out for everyone that passed through. A family isn’t defined just by parents and children to the Gloucester Crossing community; they seemed to define family as anyone you take care of regardless of relation. So by that definition, Captain Negrotti and Sergeant Costa from the Beverly Police Department are also part of their family, and we hope to be as well. Judging by the positive response, we’ll be hosting a community day on our challenge course soon, and we look forward to seeing even more families on July 6th.