Wearing homemade lab coats, the children at Rosecrance Berry Campus used different tactics to create pulleys with spools, yarn and tape.
In one exercise, they had to raise and lower a rock with their creative contraptions. In another, they had to move the rock without the yarn attached.
The lesson embedded in the fun activity? Even though we might do things differently, we can still accomplish the same goals. It’s one of several lessons the young clients learn as part of the Therapeutic Wellness Groups running throughout the summer at the Berry Campus.
Wellness groups create a fun and interactive environment where children with behavioral health problems learn how to empower themselves and more effectively manage their behaviors. The groups started June 13 and have different themes each week.
The pulley exercise was part of a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Group. The kids created their own lab coats from plain white T-shirts and worked together to make the pulleys, balloon rockets that they raced along a zip line and volcanoes.
Starr Chase, a mental health clinician at the Rosecrance Berry Campus, led the STEM session and said the groups teach social skills, conflict resolution, problem-solving skills and much more. The volcano exercise, for instance, allowed the group to talk about how we sometimes hold emotions in until the point where we want to explode, and how that can make a mess if we don’t handle those emotions directly.
“A lot of the kids think black and white – if they don’t make pulleys or balloons exactly like someone else, then it’s wrong,” Chase said. “We teach them to celebrate their successes, their creative and unique ideas, and working together with someone else to produce a successful result.”
There is still space available in some of the remaining groups. The themes are as follows: Superheroes, July 11-14; Healthy Connections, July 18-20; Art Group, July 25-28; and Mindfulness Group, Aug. 8-10.
Participants must be active Rosecrance clients or open to Rosecrance services. Services may be covered by insurance, or staff will attempt to pre-authorize group services through insurance. Call 815-332-6000 for more information about the groups.