Keeping an active Family Readiness Group (FRG) right now can be quite difficult, but it’s so important that we stay connected during this hard time. So we must provide comfort and friendship to our fellow spouses. As many of you know, a deployment can be extremely hard without a global pandemic, so this just makes things worse.
So, here are some steps you can take:
Maintain communication with the families
It’s very important to maintain communication with our fellow spouses and families. A simple way my FRG does this is by starting conversations on our private Facebook group, posing questions such as:
What did everyone do this weekend?
How has everyone been holding up?
Does anyone need anything or just want to talk? PM me!
What is the first thing you guys are gonna do when COVID-19 is over? (this is a big one lol)
Keep in mind that just starting a conversation can really make someone’s day better! But remember OPSEC when talking on the private page or anywhere to be honest.
Provide safe social distancing activities
Given social distancing protocols, providing safe activities or hosting events during COVID-19 can be difficult But my FRG has managed to find some unique ways to get together:
One of the guidelines for families and sailors is that you should not gather in groups of 10 or more. Well, my husband’s divisional chief’s wife held a couple of gatherings of divisional spouses and hosted a brunch. There were about six of us and it offered quite a respite! You could honestly see people’s moods change from when they arrived to when they left. A little bit goes a long way!
Zoom or Skype can be an FRGs best friend! We would host meetings every month via Zoom and regardless of the amount of people that logged on we would still hold the meeting. Remember that the people who logged on obviously wanted to be there for a reason, so try to have a “How are you doing moment” and make sure everyone is doing ok.
Go beyond a formal meeting and use Zoom/Skype to host a virtual bingo night or a wine night! This can be a real blast if done right. Bingo was super fun and all we had to do was download cards from a website and email people their card. Once everyone had a card they could print them out or just look on their phone or tablet. Also you can download a bingo ball randomizer from your phones app store! For more virtual gathering inspiration, click here.
Keeping people’s spirits up is what an FRG is supposed to do! So use this time as an opportunity to get to get closer, and make your FRG the best one around. As always, please remember OPSEC regardless of virtual or not! But especially while using virtual forms of communication and activities.
For more information on FRGs, click here.