New Year, New Goals

After a restful break, the travelers walked in bright eyed and ready for action. During morning launch they were presented with the new character trait of the session, stillness.

The term stillness is being used as a way to equip the heroes with tools to help them internally and externally reset. Every morning after launch, the travelers meet in the Stillness Room and listen to a guided stillness practice. During the activity many of the travelers laid down, closed their eyes and listened intently on the voice guiding them through the practice. Some of the travelers found great difficulty finding their inner stillness center for three minutes. This was to be expected and was very welcomed.

A quote by Guy Finley, writer and philosopher, describes the art of stillness as,

Stillness is directly aligned with the Hero’s Journey. Equipping the travelers with tools and information to learn the art of silence, may open them up to their inner strengths and power. However, as stated earlier, the act of stillness can seem daunting at first. After the three minutes, the travelers explained feelings of sadness, inner turmoil and joy. One of the most eye-opening points a traveler made was,

“I cannot figure out why I feel so sad, I feel like there is something inside me that isn’t ready to show itself.”

For the guides, this was incredibly powerful to hear. The guides then shared stories about being open to feelings of sadness or pain and showing how that can be a step in the right direction to understanding their true inner selves.

Passion Projects

As always, the guides are looking for opportunities to help the travelers dig deep and find areas of joy while on their journeys. Over the break there was much discussion on how they could put more energy into activities and research that they love. Fostering a passion leads to strong intrinsic motivation and a deeper love of learning. For some time now, passion projects have only been for the travelers in soaring. This session things have changed. Passion projects are now open to everyone and during collaboration M/W/F they have the opportunity to work on these goals.

The travelers were overwhelmed with the excitement of passion projects. After the launch they got started on crafting ideas and dreams to pursue. There was talk of developing Hero’s Academy News, dissecting animals, creating YouTube channels and more.

Hero’s Academy News

There were a few travelers who struggled with the initial concept. Passion projects sounded a little easier said than done. There were many questions and statements such as;

“What am I supposed to be passionate about!?”

“I don’t know what to do.”

“I don’t like anything.”

Those reactions were normal. Adults still struggle with this. Do I run a marathon? Do I write a book? Can I become an advanced rock climber? Does what I do matter?

Passion IS hard to find when you aren’t sure where to look. However, they had incredible grit and turned to each other for advice. Some even offered to let them team up with them until they developed their own passion. A community that supports one another is a community that thrives.

Stop Motion

The quest this session is Stop Motion Video. The travelers were more than thrilled. The afternoon kicked off with them watching this video that defined Stop Motion and all the fun one can have with this technique.

What was even more thrilling than the act of creating was when they found out that they will be presenting their Stop Motion videos at a movie theater here in the the valley. They could not believe that they will get to bring their family and friends to an actual theater to showcase their work. This added a few more elements to their videos, including them brainstorming an intro, credits and possible bloopers.

This set the bar high right from the get-go. The determination to get the videos right filled the air.

Kai and Tyson’s Rendition of King Kong
Adri and Betsy Working on Stop Motion

Only one week in and they had created multiple videos, drafted countless scripts and have played around with clay and slime. Even with the excitement, let down is inevitable. Many travelers have come to the studio, excited to keep working only to find their entire production has been erased. The dreaded “I FORGOT TO SAVE!!!!” rang through the studio.

This has led to many conversations about the importance of saving in multiple places and platforms.

Welcome Pumpkin Seed!

Jake, Betsy and Olivia were the winners of Pitch-a-Pet and were able to go with Jake on Thursday, to pick out the new studio pet! Everyone, please welcome the newest member of Hero’s Academy

Pumpkin Seed

Ms. Pumpkin Seed

The travelers had a meeting right before Pumpkin Seed was brought in. They wanted a plan of attack to keep the volume low and their hamster happy. They decided on a volume level based on the Yacker Tracker and they deserved to lose a hero buck if their goal was not met.

They were thrilled to welcome their new friend and developed a cleaning, feeding and water schedule. Their dedication to their new friend and her happiness is beyond admirable.


This session the travelers are working on not one but two final Writer’s Workshop pieces. The first part of Writer’s Workshop is focused on the travelers writing a letter to someone that they look up to. They can write a letter to a professional athlete, writer or their own family.

They were presented with multiple definitions of heroes and what it means to be one in the community, at home or for themselves. They spent the week writing long, detailed letters on why they admire their specific hero.

Many of them decided to write more than one letter. They explained that it is just too hard to narrow it down to one person, when they feel so many people have been influential in their lives. In one of the discussions the travelers brought up the fact that they admire so many people for multiple reasons. Their strength, courage, stillness, kindness and much much more. The challenge led them to writing letters to one another, about things they admire in each other.

Letter to a Hero


The highlights this week were endless. The travelers also started up Outdoor Experience. They thoroughly enjoyed pitching games to one another then trotting off to the field to participate. Having more physical activity incorporated into the day set them up for success when it came to afternoon DEAR (drop everything and read). For 30 minutes after Outdoor Experience, they ran inside, grabbed a book and got to work. At the end of the 30 minutes they shared what they think will happen next and their favorite character traits. It was a great way to brainstorm character developments and grow their love of reading all in one.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store