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Heroes Academy
5 min readSep 11, 2020


(Year 4, Week 1)


Twenty nine Discovery heroes walked through the doors at 8am on Tuesday to either start or continue their hero’s journey. Twenty nine personalities, fears, hopes and dreams. The Discovery Studio was as quiet as a mouse before morning launch. Everyone seemed to be feeling each other out and getting used to their new surroundings.

The ice was finally broken after morning launch when the heroes were challenged to do an ice breaker. Having fun together and getting to know each other helped them feel more bonded and secure with one another. After the activity, the heroes were sorted into their squads. The squads then voted on their team leaders and the five who were picked to lead their squad held their heads high and committed to being the best leaders they could be.

They then got to work. Laughter and fun filled the Discovery studio while they debated on team names and logos. They worked diligently for an entire hour. After they had finished they came out to the rug and presented their squads. They appeared to be all smiles and filled with pride when showcasing their individual squads.

Introducing Session 1 Squads!

The Legends

Team Candle Light


Mountain Wolf

Easy W

Drop Everything and Read

On Wednesday, the heroes were introduced to an activity called DEAR, Drop Everything and Read. This is a time in the Discovery Studio where the heroes pick a book or continue reading one they love and are silent for thirty minutes. To be able to participate in DEAR, the heroes had to do one very important thing. Open the library!

Each small room in the Discovery Studio has a purpose, from taking time to practice stillness to using one for collaboration. One of the rooms is the dedicated library. The heroes were challenged to come up with guardrails to follow in the library and vote on library leaders. They got to work talking about how they could have a world-class library. Their guardrails included:

  1. Being silent.
  2. Treating the library like a sacred place.
  3. Returning books.
  4. Treating books with respect.
  5. Returning the books to the library.

After the guardrails were set, the heroes lined up to check out their books. After all the heroes had books, silence filled the studio. Some could be seen reading large chapter books, while others worked their ways through picture book treasure hunts. They talked about their feelings of accomplishment and the joy they had in finding a book that they loved.

Chocolate River

Thursday morning opened up with a team building exercise called the Chocolate River. The heroes were tasked with getting into their squads and walking out to the volleyball courts in the field. Each squad was given one less “marshmallow” aka notecard, than there were team members.

For example- Each squad had six members, so each squad received five marshmallows.

The concept was to get to the other side of the volleyball court, while only stepping on the marshmallows. If they touched the sand, they had to start over. The heroes got creative. Some tried carrying others on their backs, other squads went two by two with have one member have to return and then others simply didn’t feel up to the challenge.

After 45 min, a winning team was crowned, The Legends came out on top! They worked diligently and never gave up through the entire process. Later, back in the Discovery Studio when the heroes reflecting, they brought up having a growth mindset during the process. One hero stated,

“I just don’t give up, even if I don’t win, I want to know I did my best.”

The heroes also brought up how it was hard to want to compete when their team members were being negative.

“It was hard to keep everyone happy. People got upset easily.”

Team building isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. Communication and leadership get messy and sometimes feelings get hurt, but learning how to overcome those challenges and learn from them is exactly what the Discovery heroes are in the studio to do.

Town Hall

On the last day of the first week, a few of the heroes came up to the guide and asked if Town Hall could be executed.

“Are their Town Hall slips!?” Asked the guide,

“Yeah! we have been doing them all week.”

With a smile, the guide moved aside the morning launch to allow time for the heroes to discuss their Town Hall requests. The plan was to implement that in week two, but some of the returning heroes felt the need to talk about a few things that were happening in the studio.

Every Friday morning, the heroes conduct Town Hall. Throughout the week the heroes get an opportunity to submit Town Hall requests to suggest something or change something in the studio.

Some of the requests from the week were:

  1. Longer studio maintenance time.
  2. Eating inside not outside.
  3. Treating Pumpkin Seed with more respect.
  4. Implementing a spirit week.

This gives them the opportunity to build the Discovery Studio and create a space that they love showing up to and working hard in. They thrive on the accountability and ownership that Town Hall gives them.


The heroes got to work on week one. Not only did they do six different team building activities, but they sat in on 16 launches and worked through the challenges of setting up Chromebooks. The heroes worked on their contract, rules of engagement and were even able to open up three rooms!

New friendships were made and there was lots of buzzing around who would score leadership roles. A couple of the conversations that could be heard throughout the studio was,

“When do we get our freedom levels!?”

How do hero bucks works!?

It looks like week two is going to be full of learning the ropes of Freedom Levels and figuring how they want to implement hero bucks! However, first thing is first and that is building the love of learning.



Heroes Academy

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