SuperCamp LMU Junior Forum Journal – Day 5
Today, SuperCamp began with our Apollo Mission, which was to fashion the best aircraft you could with the allotted supplies, and then try to hit a target to earn points as a team. We had fun while learning about the Flexibility Key, teamwork, and a little bit about the Failure Leads to Success Key as they re-engineered their aircraft during competition.
FLEXIBILITY – Be willing to do things differently
Recognize what’s not working and be willing to change what you’re doing to achieve your goal.
Next we practiced our location memory technique to learn polygons 3 – 12, then reviewed the two previous lists we’ve learned, the presidents and states. It’s amazing how easy it is to learn and retain information by doing it this way.
We took a little break and then headed to our academic skills sessions. I went to Quantum Writing with Facilitator Silvia. We learned some of the obstacles we feel about writing and that we have the choice to overcome them or not. Next we tackled the most common obstacle for everyone in the room, figuring out what to write! We learned how to brainstorm for our writing assignments and get in the flow that way. Then we practiced our writing on our choice of three assignments and got feedback from our peers. I think it was a valuable opportunity to start feeling good about writing and feeling empowered to be great writers.
After dinner, we completed the “X” activity as teams. The object was to step on each number 1-30, in order as fast as you can, without stepping on a number out of order. It required teamwork and some strategizing but mostly persistence.
It was an object lesson to teach the Failure Leads to Success Key of Excellence but the campers also said they used other Keys to Excellence such as Integrity, Flexibility, Speak with Good Purpose and Ownership. Everything the Facilitators do at SuperCamp is intended to be ‘on purpose’ and this is just one small example of their achieving that goal, where they are able to teach a new key while practicing others. Through this activity we learned that failure is an opportunity for growth.
FAILURE LEADS TO SUCCESS – Learn from mistakes
View failures as feedback that provides you with the information you need to learn, grow, and succeed.
We ended day 5 at SuperCamp with a powerful session, called the “Rejection Talk.” During this piece, Facilitator Brett played the role of “The Rejector” – the grim reaper of self-esteem – and went around the room passing out ‘rejections’ on little black cards. These put-downs were typical bullying comments that increased in intensity until the campers realized that they didn’t have to accept these rejections. It was very moving when the campers began to stand up for themselves and each other.
Lead Facilitator Karen did a wonderful job moderating the experience, throwing out prompts for the students to reflect on their behavior and reactions to this bullying. She is a profoundly talented teacher. Facilitator Brett played his part well, despite his abhorrence for such bullying, in order to help the campers avoid it in the future. It was very uncomfortable to stand by and watch this scene unfold, but it gave me chills and brought a tears to my eyes when two boys literally stood up and yelled ‘stop’ to the Rejector.
The other campers took that cue and jumped in as well, booing the Rejector, throwing their rejection slips back at him or tearing them up and, finally, refusing to accept them at all. As the students stood up for themselves, the Rejector backed off and slinked away. Facilitator Karen took it from there, bringing it around to understand that we don’t need to accept rejections and we don’t want to standby if others are being bullied either. It was such a profound experience and I’m very sorry that my words cannot do it justice. I am very grateful to have been able to witness this crucial instruction to help students avoid bullying and the brave kids who stood up for themselves and others. Very inspiring indeed.