Practical lessons learned about hosting club in our home…

image Here is another great post from my wife!

I love getting to host club in our home! It’s my way of getting to be involved even though I’m not currently leading Young Life. We’ve had club here for 2 years now and I’ve learned a few practical lessons along the way that help kids feel more comfortable and help me manage the chaos of so many people moving through our house.

  • A well-placed trash can (or two or three) saves TONS of time in clean up! If kids can find a place to put their garbage without having to ask someone, they will usually throw their stuff away instead of leaving it laying around. Good places include in the club room (or right next to it), next to the door where kids walk in, and on the patio during outside clubs.

  • Cover the carpet to keep spills and dirt from feet/shoes from causing damage. We found some inexpensive (and yes, ugly) throw rugs that we put out in the club room (our living room) each week during club. It helps to keep the carpet clean and also transforms the room from a living room into a space that’s ready for Young Life.
  • Along those lines, a good welcome mat or entry mat both outside and inside the house keep a lot of dirt contained! When things stay cleaner, kids feel more comfortable sitting on the ground.
  • Water cups and a sharpie are out on the counter every week so that kids know where to get a drink when they need one. The sharpie is to write their names on their cups. We have ice and water dispensers in the fridge door and the cups are right next to that. At first, I put out an ice bucket and pitcher of water because without that, some kids decided to dig through the fridge for something to drink. With 50 or so kids each week, that wasn’t practical for us. Once I put out water, the problem was solved. Now, kids know to get water from the fridge door and new kids follow the example of the regulars.
  • Bathroom…this one seems simple, but make sure the bathroom is clean and stocked with toilet paper, soap, and something to dry hands on. I keep extra toilet paper in the cabinet beneath the sink, too, just in case. Also, in the medicine cabinet there is a stash of “female products” in a little pouch (trust me….girls will recognize what this is) just in case! Nothing is worse than being new to club in a strange place and having a problem in the bathroom!
  • Club sometimes gets messy, so there are a few supplies that are nice to have out in easy to find places. Some of these include paper towels, extra hand towels or kitchen towels, trash bags, baby wipes, and hand sanitizer. These are for the skit or mixer that goes not quite as planned or the kid who spills soda on the carpet. When a kids and the club room can be cleaned up easily, it makes for a more comfortable experience for everyone.
  • Fans are essential for us in our attempts to keep the club room cool. Since we’re in Phoenix, the first few clubs in the fall and the last few clubs in the spring can get pretty warm! Our club room does not have the best air circulation, so I try to do what I can to make it comfortable. We open windows and the door to the outside, set the AC lower to help cool the room, and we use several fans in the corners or the room to keep the air moving and as cool as possible.

What are your thoughts about hosting club?

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