Not Just Mere Survivors, but More Than Conquerors


The ELS Heroes surely did not only survive through challenges and struggles this school year, but they conquered them all. Empowered by the Spirit of the Lord from the moment they sang the Fruits of the Spirit song at the beginning of the school year, they have been victorious in every quest. As they look back to their own “Dip,” the heroes reflected on their most challenging Dip and how they got out of it, even way back during the Children’s Business Fair. The heroes described how they accomplished their goals because they never gave up and believed that they could really do it. With a growth mindset, they did not set any limitations on themselves, truly believing that they can achieve anything when they put their hearts and minds to it. As a result, they were not afraid to challenge themselves, taking the road less traveled and paving the way for others to follow, and surprised us all of what they are truly capable of. And they are just beginning!

The heroes undoubtedly conquered all their challenges during the Survival Quest exhibition, especially setting up a tent on their own. During their first try, the heroes tackled this job without asking for written or verbal instructions nor any assistance from an adult. Once a hero figured out how to straighten out a tent pole, where to put it through, or how to stabilize it, he or she would immediately go and help others showing them their discovery and share their successes with each other. Then after their initial tent set up, the heroes strategized how to decrease set up time from 30 minutes to 20 minutes the second try, then 10 minutes for the third time. They assigned “shorties,” those who would handle the shorter poles, and “longies,” those who will do the longer poles. They also discussed amongst themselves which steps should go first, learning from mistakes they made along the way. Their strategies worked as they beat their time from 18 minutes to 14 minutes to 8 minutes!

The Lord’s work in each hero is so evident, especially when they talk about Jesus not only during our morning launch, in their prayers or Bible reading, but throughout the day. They would remind each other to care for God’s creation when we are outside either at the playground or hiking in the woods. One hero talked about being like “the wise man who built his house upon a rock” when they were building their own shelters. They sing worship songs while writing prayers and letters of encouragement for other heroes during writer’s workshop. In everything they do, their choices, their goals, their victories, and even in their failures, they are filled with wisdom that could only come from the Lord!

Week 3: 6/11 – 6/15








Colossians 3:11

Christ is all and is in all

Can you get out of The Dip without Jesus?

Colossians 3:12

Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience

Which character trait would help you when you are in The Dip?

Colossians 3:13

Bear with each other and forgive one another

Think of a time you forgave someone or when someone forgave you. Was it in your comfort, challenge, or comfort zone?

Colossians 3:14

Put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity

Why does the Bible instruct us to put on love? How do you put on love?

Colossians 3:15

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts

Why is peace important? Think of a time you needed some peace. How did you have peace in your heart?

Discovering the Dip

Stories to read

Zendaya Coleman

Simone Biles

J.K. Rowling

Malala Yousafzai

JA Heroes

Writer’s workshop

Writing folders

Writing journals

Spelling city

Typing club


Google Docs


Play-based TWTh



Gift wrapping Dad’s present

Magnet tiles

Park course


Making History- Basic Shelter.”]  

When creating a shelter, what would you prioritize: warmth, protection from animals, or comfort so you could get some rest?

If you were to build a home for you and your family, would you choose beautiful but temporary materials or unattractive materials that would last much longer than you’ll even be alive?

Think of all of the different shelters you have used in your life. Think about which one matters the most? How would you rank shelter amongst the other needs for human survival: food, water,  safety?

Primitive Technology: Tiled Roof Hut.” [Play on 2x speed on YouTube.]

What is most impressive about this hero: that he has made a living by building shelters and posting it online, that he learned how to use natural material to create such strong shelters, or that he is brave enough to spend so much time working and living outside?

Besides a house, what type of shelter would you prefer: tipi, mud hut, or a tent? Why?

Why do humans need shelter? Is it because we don’t have natural protection from the weather (for example, fur, scales, shells) because we need to stay safe from predators, or is it because we are social and want to live together?

[Show video “Leave No Trace: Outdoor Ethics” (YouTube).]

Why is the “leave no trace” philosophy so important: to preserve nature for the wildlife, or to preserve it for the humans who visit?

Based on this philosophy, what rules should we establish for our campsite so that we leave it better than we found it? What safety rules should we include? [Write down and bring with the group on the trip.]

It’s up to us to make the world a better place. How we conduct ourselves on our camping trip matters not only to our group but also to those who will come to our campsite after us!

and start a fire? Why?  

Today we’re going to watch these videos to learn about a hero who was an avid outdoorsman, a naturalist, a taxidermist, and a president: “Theodore Roosevelt: Mini Biography (YouTube)

Which to you is a greater or more important accomplishment: passing laws to make employees and customers safe, or passing laws protecting our landmarks and wildlife?

Theodore Roosevelt was from New York but left to go live a life out in the badlands of South Dakota, in the Wild(er) West. He didn’t have to go to work or for any other reason; he went for himself, and he learned a lot about living in the outdoors. Do you remember when we discussed whether or not first aid should be required in schools? Do you think outdoor-survival skills should be required as well?

Project time

Food and shelter

Your challenge today is to set up the tent on your own without instructions.  Work together as a team to set up the tent.

Here is an example of an important outdoor survival skill: [Show Primitive Technology video on building a shelter out of grass.]

What skills do you already have that would help you survive in the outdoors? In what other situations, besides an outdoor emergency, would these skills be useful?

Build a Debris shelter

 We used to have to cook everything. Now we have corporations that do the cooking for us: frozen food, jarred sauces, etc. Is this a positive move in the right direction, or a negative move away from this important cultural and biological root that “makes us human”?

Campfire cooking



How an Igloo Keeps You Warm

Building a Roundhouse with Woodhenge and Cobwood

Build a shelter with rope/twine and burlap (or other fabric).

Tin foil dinner prep

Do you enjoy cooking? Why? Is it because you like to eat or because it brings you closer to family?

Exhibition practice

Pack first aid kit, camping supplies

On this quest, you explored basic needs of human survival, and you pushed yourself to the edge of your challenge zone. You’ve done so much, but what can you do to retain that information? Reflect! Reflection is a powerful tool in growing your brain by processing the information you gather.

Quest survey

Hero Feedback

Quest reflection


Water day


Think about the spaces you live in: your school, your church, your home. Think about what you are most grateful for within each of those living spaces.

If shelter is a basic human need that can be made with basic materials like you saw in the video, why do we have so much more than that?

What is the difference between a victim mindset and hero’s mindset today?

Who was in their panic zones today? Who was in their challenge zone? For those of you who found yourself in your panic zone, what did you do to get yourself out of it without quitting on yourself or the team?

What do you hope to gain from this camping trip: a deeper curiosity about nature, confidence in your outdoor survival skills, a better understanding of your own limits, or something else?

What are you most looking forward to showing your parents?

Do you consider the skills you’ve learned in this quest useful? Previous quests?

How might skills you’ve gained on this quest help you on your Hero’s Journey, or in ways not related to outdoor survival? How was this quest relevant to your Hero’s Journey?

After spending some time reflecting, what do you think is your greatest takeaway from this quest that will influence your Hero’s Journey?

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