Having consistency and a familiar face to greet you is important for parents and members. Wyatt Morris is that face for both groups at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County’s Middlebury Clubhouse.
Since last summer, he’s been there each day as members arrive. The Club Experience Coordinator also interacts with parents picking up their kids at the end of the day.
“I want members to know we’ve been expecting them, we’re ready for them and when they leave they will want to come back,” Morris said.
He helps manage the chaos that happens when an influx of members arrive and makes sure everything that needs to happen does.
“My best capability is to control the chaos. If you spread yourself too thin, nothing will get accomplished,” he said. “I’m basically glue. Whatever needs to be done, I work to make sure it gets done.”
Over the course of the afternoon, members get to help Morris behind the counter, placing backpacks in storage or retrieving items for homework. He said he’s impressed by how seriously the members take their role – many seeking out the job.
“This is part of the experience for them, but I don’t want them to spend all day here. There are a lot of other opportunities for them to experience in the Club.”
Morris didn’t set out to work with kids in this age group. His background was in higher education and he thought he’d be working at the college level. When the pandemic hit, he was looking for work and his cousin told him about the Boys & Girls Club. He’s now found new rewards at the Club.
“It’s so great watching them learn and grow. I can already see how they are growing before my eyes. The mission statement is so accurate. We’re helping them reach their full potential,” Morris said.
He’s also been able to help other team members in their areas, working with kids on their homework or in the gym during volleyball and basketball practice.
“It really helps me make everything flow better when I have those different program perspectives,” he said.
Part of that flow is making sure parents know about Club activities, too.
“I’m the bridge between the parents and the members. I want them to know what their kids are doing here and what opportunities are available. I try to be that constant for them every day.”