(Year 4, Week 25)

Badges

The heroes were welcomed Monday morning with a launch centered around all of their Spring Break activities. The heroes were excited to share what they had been up to and all of the adventures that they had. After the morning launch, they headed into core skills with ease. After two weeks off, the heroes are always ready to get back in the swing of things. They are excited to track their points and get going on earning freedom levels.

There was a certain air of immediacy when it came to their overall core skills. Many of the heroes realized they needed to get moving on collecting their badges. By the end of core skills, the guide had over twenty new badges to sort through and approve. Many of the badges were denied for not showing proof, which had the heroes springing into action. Taking screenshots, finding old documents and chasing their squad leader around to be re-checked.

Watching the heroes overcome the challenge of having the right documentation turned into a powerful reflection. They discussed ways they need to hold themselves accountable to their friends, families and most of all, themselves. Realizing that it was possible to fall behind on their badge plan really lit a fire under them and kept them focused all week in core skills. With many of the heroes choosing to focus on core skills even in the afternoon. While bumps in the road are hard, its always a beautiful wake up call that deadlines really do matter.

Quest

The heroes were excited when they found out this sessions quest. They have been set with the challenge of building a successful lemonade stand. Their goal is to market, create and sell their products at exhibition. As always, the heroes took off the first day adding in their own elements. They decided they would also be selling merchandise, food and making all of their own marketing materials.

The heroes got together in their teams and by the end of the week had the following:

  1. Company name
  2. Logo
  3. Drink recipe
  4. Food recipe
  5. T-Shirt designs

Even with the excitement, some heroes had a hard time working together in their teams. There were a ton of disagreements and hurt feelings centered around the logo design and main drink recipes. It is challenging to work really hard and then not have your ideas voted on. During the week many heroes wanted different groups or to work solo. This led to a bigger discussion on what it means to work with people that sometimes, you might not agree with. In any type of work or group setting, people will be faced with the challenges of miscommunication and disagreements. The heroes all agreed that they couldn’t just quit a job or project simply because things didn’t go their way. They decided to buckle down and use their options of conflict resolutions to pave their way through the bumps.

Writer’s Workshop

This session, the heroes were challenged with not one but two Writer’s Workshops. They are both totally related to quest and the heroes have a big time crunch to get their projects done. For the first part of the session, the heroes will be working on and completing cookbooks. They need to be branded, filled with multiple recipes and contain about me stories for each of the members. When they have finished their cookbooks, phase two of Writer’s Workshop will begin.

Phase two will be a series of commercials. The heroes are challenged with creating commercials that represent their Lemonade Stands. They need to include the following:

  1. Their logo
  2. Items they are selling
  3. A catch phrase or jingle
  4. Strong transitions

This Writer’s Workshop is no easy feat, but the heroes felt up to the challenge. By the end of the first week, the heroes were more than halfway done with their cookbooks and begging to get started on their jingles. So, many of the groups decided to split up the work. Some could be seen designing on Canva while others were using sound studios and microphones to record their jingles. The race is officially on for exhibition!

Conflict Resolutions

Coming back after a long break isn’t always easy. Transitioning into a daily routine and being surrounded by friends can be triggering. A few heroes really butted heads during the week. There was a total of six conflict resolutions. Now, that might seem like a lot, but the real work comes through the hard work.

During a quest disagreement, two heroes came running to the guide in tears. Both pointing fingers and both overwhelmed with all of the responsibilities of a hero. This was their sixth conflict resolution. The guide listened to both sides. They talked and got to the bottom of their conflict and during one, magical moment, a hero turned and said,

“I am just so tired. I don’t want to keep doing this. I am not going to get my way and I think it just makes me feel like I am not good enough.”

The guide said, “tell me more about that.”

“All week I just haven’t had an idea win. I hate losing. I HATE IT. So I have been mean. I am tired of being mean. I just don’t know how to lose.”

Six conflict resolutions are a lot. Big feelings are a lot. But, if there was not such thing as conflict resolutions and ways for the heroes to work out their problems, realizations like this might not happen. The fear of losing. The fear of not being good enough. Two of some of the biggest challenges people face. Coming to that realization at the age of ten though, can mean a lot of work can going into learning how to lose gracefully. Work can go into remembering that self worth isn’t tied with outward production.

After that last conflict resolution, those two heroes had their disagreements but not any big blowouts or arguments. The hero who stated that losing was difficult could later be seen clapping for her friend at the rug when she showed off her winning logo.

Internet Outage

On Friday, the internet went down. This caused a lot of shouting, such as,

“THE INTERNET ISN’T WORKING!”

The whole morning was spent trying to get the internet back on and a lot of heroes worried about their points. Many of them feared they wouldn’t be able to submit a badge and that their freedom levels would be deeply affected. By the time the afternoon hit the heroes had already come up with a gameplan. They were focused and ready. Now, usually, Friday afternoons are reserved for free time and lots of activities.

This Friday was different. The heroes decided they needed to work on core skills and Quest before any hero’s choice happened. They didn’t blame the internet for not getting their work done, they simply saw it as another, “bump.” And a challenge they could overcome.

It was a powerful moment. Seeing the heroes choose the hard thing, so they could then do the fun thing. After all work was finished, the heroes played hard. From eating snacks together to full on wild freeze tag, there wasn’t a single game left untouched.

Wrap-Up

The heroes started their week strong by catching up on badges and getting all of their work submitted. They really pushed through and learned the value of not procrastinating on tasks. They were then greeted with Quest and Writer’s Workshop. Each hero taking on a task and putting in the work to get their future Lemonade Stand business up and running. A few heroes had big breakthroughs in terms of mindsets holding them back. Learning they have a fear of failure was a huge and defining moment of the week. On Friday, when the internet went down, not a single hero was phased. They decided to use their fun Friday time to finish their core skills and catch up on work. The heroes had no problem getting into the swing of things and are looking forward to the weeks ahead.

Elementary blog for Heroes Academy, an innovative school in Boise, Idaho. We inspire children to find a calling and change the world → http://heroesacademy.org