(Year 4, Week 24)
The week of exhibition brings all motivation to the surface. It is crunch time for many heroes and they are working toward reaching their goals and finishing the session strong.
On Monday, the heroes were submitting their badges left and right. They knew that if they wanted to be part of the Badge Ceremony, they needed to get some work done. It was a rather silent day as they worked through the last minutes of core skills and collaboration.
They worked with their squad leaders in the afternoon to finish getting checked off and making sure they are on level with their badge plan. Many heroes realized that they needed to put in some extra work. The heroes who are on the cusp of 4th and 5th worked incredibly hard to finish up the tasks and make sure that they were where they needed to be.
Monday could be wrapped up in two words: Intentional Work.
On Tuesday, it was the last day to finish Quest. Many of the heroes felt crunched for time. Some heroes still could not figure out where the design flaws were coming from in their hot air balloons. This is when some breakdowns happened.
There were a few heroes left in tears by the end of Tuesday. Even though failure is part of the hero’s journey, nobody has ever said failure is easy. Especially when someone is new to failure.
The guide decided it was time for the potato, egg and coffee launch. The heroes gathered round and listened to the following:
Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.
He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.
After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.
He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”
“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.
“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.
“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.
He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.
However, each one reacted differently.
The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.
The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.
However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “
In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.
Which one are you?”
The heroes reflected. They were wide-eyed and blown away with how deeply the story touched them. They realized then and there that their tendencies to be potatoes or eggs was so natural. They discussed ways that they could try to be more like the coffee beans. They walked away from launch with a new attitude and ultimately, a new perspective.
The Hodgepodge Forest rehearsals took place on Thursday. The heroes decided they wanted to do three in total. One took place earlier in the week but it was more for fixing minor details. The two important ones took place in front of the Spark studio and then later in the afternoon in front of the Adventure studio.
The heroes smiles could not have been bigger after they did rehearsals in front of the Spark heroes. They felt so accomplished. So strong. Most of all, they felt that all the work and energy that they put into the play was coming to fruition.
In the afternoon however, they faced challenges. There were mistakes, arguments and even issues with when to close the “curtains.” This created a sense of tenseness that hadn’t been felt before. After it was all over one hero said,
“What is going to happen if we bomb at exhibition?”
A hard reality to face and an impossible question to answer.
The heroes were full of nerves on the day of exhibition. This was the first exhibition of the year where heroes were presenting as an entire group in front of their families. What was truly inspiring about this exhibition was that the heroes had a huge challenge given to them by the guide on day one and then the rest of the session it was up to them to pull it off.
They did absolutely everything themselves. They chose the play, made the costumes, did the makeup, decided on sound effects and visual/audio. There wasn’t a single adult or guide that stepped in to show them where to stand, what to make or how to do their roles. This was 100% learner driven and 100% from their imaginations and work ethic.
On the day, the studio was buzzing with excitement. From 8:30am until the final curtain call, the heroes were absolutely ready to showcase their work. Once parents started arriving, it got real. Heroes were doing last minute touchups and prepping the stage. After the parents were seated, Adri welcomed the parents and gave a rundown on what the heroes had worked on.
The heroes proceeded to put on the play and nailed their lines. During rehearsals they were so nervous about remembering but come showtime, there was no doubt about how hard they worked.
After the play finished, Naomi introduced the parents to round two of exhibition and the parents followed the heroes in to watch their hot air balloons and listen to their success and failures.
The next day, the heroes went over the feedback. The warm feedback ranged from the following:
“Set design was well-done and prepared.”
“Make-up and hair were on point!”
“They showed that they worked incredibly hard and put a ton of time into remembering lines.”
Their cool feedback was:
“Volume, don’t be afraid to speak up.”
“Be confident in your part.”
After reflecting, the heroes chatted about how good it felt to do something outside their comfort zone and how they want to preform in other ways for future exhibitions. The day ended with one hero saying,
“I finally got over my stage fright!”
The heroes spent the day on Friday touching up on some last minute town halls and organizing the studio. The heroes like to challenge each other by doing a boys versus girls clean up and rushing to get everything done. The faster they deep clean the studio, the more time they have for their afternoon celebrations.
Along with cleaning, they got to celebrate with their Badge Ceremony. The heroes sat around and cheered on their fellow travelers for completing their badges. This is also a time for deep reflections. The heroes only have two sessions left and they are down to crunch time to get their badges.
At the end of the day, the heroes sat around giving character call-outs and big hugs to their friends who they won’t see for two weeks. It has been fun watching them grow not only as a studio, but in friendship. A great reminder that connection and friendship can be a couple of the most important components of life.
The heroes started the week full of determination and motivation towards earning their badges. They then faced the reality of failure with Quest. It was a hard turn around in just two days. Yet they trudged through and never gave up on working and trying to construct the perfect balloon. Their spirits were then lifted when they nailed rehearsals and they couldn’t wait to put on a good show. Come exhibition, the heroes were full of nerves and the studio buzzed with excitement. When the curtains were pulled the heroes gave their best and were so proud of themselves by the time it was over. Their smiles could not have been bigger and their confidence could not have been better. They ended the week with their badge ceremony and playing board games. The studio is now entering Spring and the heroes are off for two weeks to rest and rejoice in all that they accomplished.