Week 1: Team Building, Challenges, and Question of the Year

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Week 1: Team Building, Challenges, and Question of the Year

What happens when you take 29 heroes and group them together in a multi-age setting with only 2 promises and 2 guardrails in place? That’s what our Innovator Eagles experienced this week as we launched into our annual Build the Tribe quest. The focus is on team building. Through individual and group challenges, the Eagles discover more about themselves and their fellow travelers.

Games bring people together and can also tend to bring about conflict. In our team-building exercises, the Eagles have to wrestle through learning to work together. As guides, it’s not our job to “keep the peace.” We have 2 guardrails where we step in right now, physical or emotional harm. As long as everyone is safe, a little chaos is allowed. Even if, in the heat of a game, leaders rise up and demand their way with the team, we don’t intervene. What we can do is offer reflection questions such as, “If you had to rate your team from 1-10, how would you rate your listening? How would you rate yourself? Was it harder to explain your own strategy or understand your teammate’s strategy? Why?”

Allowing the disorder helps drive the desire for the Eagles to create their governing documents, the Studio Contract, Rules of Engagement, Eagle Buck system, Strikes, and so forth. If they never feel the sting of disorder, or the adults arbitrarily impose a top-down system, the Eagles won’t have the same ownership over their contracts. They will look to the adults to solve the problems instead of holding each other accountable to their agreements. The challenges in Build the Tribe are meant in part to create a need for order.

The first group challenge is the Lip Dub in ES, and the Film Fest in MS. Each studio will plan, write, create, film and edit a video. These videos are entered into the Acton Film Fest along with other Acton Academies all over the world. The ES studio worked together beautifully this year, bouncing ideas off one another, creating props, costumes and a story line.

The Sparks stayed busy learning the ropes of their new studio space and new Montessori materials as they entered into their first independent work time. Fun was had in creative play and dress up, and dance parties to release the tension when needed.

Our Overarching Question of the Year is “When Does A Hero Submit To Authority?” Each year a new question is picked as the theme for the learning design and woven into each session. During Build the Tribe, we’ll ask, “when does a hero submit to the tribe?” as they discuss and debate their governing documents and sign them together.

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