As the Club 21 manager, I get the blessing of enjoying our STARS on fun Friday nights. Nights where their only concerns are how to have fun with friends, win a game, or create a craft. Nights where they sing karaoke on a stage or dance the night away. Our Club 21 theme nights are held twice a month in both Castle Rock and Colorado Springs for the STARS to come and have a fun social evening with their friends – old and new.
Through all of the themes, from Disney to Sports, the best moments have nothing to do with what activities are happening during our time together. Instead, my favorite moments are the quiet ones of tender friendship between the STARS. These moments that so often go unseen, but once in a while I get a glimpse of them in the middle of all of the exciting hustle and bustle of our evenings.
In Castle Rock, many of the STARS have known each other for years. The culture from the day programs at Wellspring often carry over into the evenings as they enjoy their friendships they have built through so many hours together. From a STAR winning her softball game with a double play or STAR getting on the stage with his ukulele to sing an encouraging song that he wrote and composed himself, they truly celebrate one another’s successes. However, I also get to see them celebrating each other’s small successes. For example, the moment where a new STAR answered a trivia question correctly and a Club 21 regular jumped out of her seat to go give the new STAR a high five. Or when a STAR wasn’t feeling comfortable with a new game and her friend stayed by her side until she gained the confidence to try!
In Colorado Springs, I often feel like the “new kid at school” since many of the STARS have known each other long before I met them. One of the benefits of Club 21 is that they can bring their friends that are not a part of the day program at Wellspring, so new friends are added each time. During a karaoke night there was a STAR sitting by himself and without any prompting I watched another STAR go chat with him and ask him to join her group of friends for the evening. He went from being timid to having all the confidence in the world to get up on the stage and perform!
These are just a few of many of my favorite moments as the Club 21 Manager. What they all have in common is that NONE of them had anything to do with me! I was simply blessed with witnessing these kind friendships of the STARS that are an example to me of how we should all treat each other. Did someone accomplish something? We should celebrate! Is someone hesitant? We should be patient! Is someone alone? We should befriend them!
If life seems complicated, just come join us for a Club 21. The STARS show me in those quiet moments that life is not always so complicated. Oh, and we have a ton of fun too!