(Year 4, week 2)

Emergency Town Hall

Monday morning started out intentional with the heroes getting settled into core skills. However, as the day progressed, intentionality fell by the wayside and one by one the heroes fell into chaos. Many of the heroes moved into leadership roles and felt the need to step up.

An emergency town hall meeting was called. All of the heroes gathered to the rug and listened as their fellow travelers voiced their concerns.

“It is too loud in the studio and many heroes are crying. Is this what we want?”

Unfortunately, many of the heroes shouted out,

“who cares!”

The chaos continued. The guide and leaders in the studio offered choices, but to no avail, the chaos continued. As the day progressed, more heroes started to become irritated and agitation led to hurt feelings and confusion. At the end of the day, the guide circled the heroes back and reflected on the day. By this time energy had fallen and most of the heroes were teary-eyed and needed some time to reflect. They were given a challenge,

“Tonight, I challenge you to eat a good dinner, get some sleep and reflect one what it means to bring your best self to the studio. To your family. And most importantly, to yourself.”

The heroes then silently grabbed their things and walked to the door. Some hugging and some still upset. The road of trials on the hero’s journey is significant, it is important and it is a must for growth. Even if it is painful in the moment.

Together

Building a community is full of joyous moments but it can also be hard and frustrating. On Tuesday the day centered around team building activities. To create a safe and powerful community, the heroes had to learn to trust one another and rely on each other. Team building helped to remind the heroes that they are all in this together and that every day there is a choice to either be frustrated or choose to work together.

One of their favorite team building activities took place in the afternoon. The heroes were challenged with working together in their squads to do the, “pass the ball” game. The objective of the game was to walk from one point to another, with a ball between their knees. Every member of the squad had to do it without using their hands or dropping the ball. That means they had to pass the ball to their partner without using their hands!

Lots of laughter erupted while the heroes worked their way across the field. Trying so hard to keep the ball from touching the grass. Being called out to run back and start over if they used their hands. There was so much teamwork and communication between the heroes. They worked hard to give one another advice and to cheer each other on as they were hopping down the field.

Later when the heroes reflected, they talked about the importance of working together and making sure everyone on their team felt heard and understood.

New Systems

During the week, the heroes were introduced to the red light system. The red light system was implemented to keep the community safe and to give the heroes the tools to be able to manage their community and uphold the studio contract.

The system is simple and based on keeping the contract sacred. In the system, the heroes start out on green during the week. If a contract promise is broken, after being offered choices and a chance to reset, the hero gets their name moved to orange. Each day, the hero gets the opportunity to move down a color and could end up back at green during the week. If the hero decides to make choices that break their sacred contract, the hero could have their name moved all the way up which results in a strike.

The strikes are an amazing way for the hero and their family to have a discussion about contracts and upholding promises. This is seen as a transformational moment in the studio. An opportunity for self-reflection and an opportunity for the hero to look deep within themselves to make the choices that will best serve them on their journey.

Dear Future Self

At afternoon launch, the heroes were asked these questions…

“I want you to imagine yourself in ten years, where do you see yourself? What are you doing? What makes you happy? What type of life are you living? Hero, where are you on your journey?”

The heroes shared magical and hilarious thoughts:

“Probably trying to learn how to do a backflip.”

“Eating cake at my sisters wedding.”

“Traveling the world as a graphic novelist!”

“Saving lives as a firefighter.”

“hugging my mom and dad good bye as I move out on my own.”

In just ten short years, these Discovery heroes will be either on their own or quickly approaching the time that they start to spread their wings. So much will happen between now and then. Laughter, tears, self-discovery, all magical, some heartbreaking and completely transformational.

The guide used this opportunity to challenge the heroes to write letters to themselves. Writing letters to their future-selves created a buzz of excitement. They were also challenged to fold their letters into origami shapes that best represent who they are in the present.

When they were done writing, coloring and folding, the guide gathered them around to let them in on a little secret. In ten years, those letters will find them again on their journey. They will get to open them whether they are 18 or 21, whether they are in college or backpacking across the country. In ten years they get to laugh and smile and hopefully remember to keep making themselves proud while traveling on their journey.

Community

Friday was a magical day in the studio. The Discovery heroes had pre-planned a little celebration for the guide. After welcoming the heroes at the door, the guide walked into the studio to see the lights off, candles lit and balloons scattered around. The heroes had planned a sweet little birthday celebration and were so excited to show the guide the cards they made and little gifts. They all exclaimed how excited they were to celebrate their birthdays throughout the year!

As the day continued on, they were focused on team-building and working together to uphold their studio contract. Many of the heroes could be seen working together on tasks and helping each other in core skills.

The best moment of the day is when two of the studios collided. The Spark studio got to come and visit with the Discovery studio. The older heroes were so excited to help the younger heroes. There was an excited buzz that filled the room. Heroes could be seen working side by side, coloring, reading and petting the studio hamster. Many of the Discovery heroes really stepped up and showed their true leadership colors. Guiding the Spark heroes to put away their things, to speak at a lower volume and to work with them on reading and writing. Looking in, it was easy to see how much the Discovery heroes respect their space and love helping out.

Wrap-Up

As stated earlier, the heroes had some growing pains throughout the week. Learning how to work together and to uphold contracts can be a tricky business. However, as the week went on the heroes really worked together to hold not only each other accountable, but themselves. They were able to set a standard and work through their communication challenges even when things got tough. It was also really special to see the heroes step up and help out one another. When the week ended, the heroes had really bonded, especially when it came to character call-outs. Every Friday, the entire closing is dedicated to giving out character call outs. Here were some highlights from Friday.

I have a character call out for Ian, he helped pick things up and I call that helpfulness.

I have a character call out for Benett, I saw him having people uphold the rules of engagement.

I have a character call out for Cole, he felt sick but still did his core skills.

I have a character call out for Adri, she was really helpful with the Spark heroes.

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