There are times when everyone feels overwhelmed. For members at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County’s Goshen Clubhouse, there is now a dedicated space to help deal with that.
“Regulation Station” has activities to help members focus on getting their emotions under control so they can comfortably return to group activities.
The Clubhouse already has a sensory room for trained staff members to work with kids one on one, but this area allows members to work on minor issues independently with self-guided activities.
“We want to give kids a space where they can regulate themselves in the middle of the Club day,” said Youth Behavior Specialist and Licensed Social Worker Natasha Lantz. “It gives them a quick and effective space where they can go with or without an adult to get their emotions under control.”
Regulation station is in an area that’s easily monitored by a variety of adults. To help members remain calm, there are things like noise cancelling headphones, a sensory pathway with markings on the floor to help them focus on something other than what’s bothering them, stress balls, bean bag chairs and books.
“Our members will now have a safe place to go and relax. They will be able to identify how they’re feeling and assess how they can move forward,” said Goshen Area Director Fidel Mireles. “It makes Club more warm and welcoming. It will make it a better experience for the members.”
Lantz developed the idea while looking for ways to support the team and members.
“This space will help both the members and the staff. It’s a place where kids can work on emotions and it gives the staff a place to let them do that without disrupting the larger group,” she said.
Goshen is the first location to try the regulation station, but there are plans to add similar areas at other Clubs in the county.