Promises we make to one another. Week 1 in ES

Promises We Make to One Another

Week 1: Aug 31 – Sept 4

Fingerprints of God – in the hero and in the butterfly


The gradual progression of settling into our daily schedule continues. Tribe Building activities were still abundant this week, but certain routines and elements that the heroes look forward to are taking shape. With this comes the creation of the promises that the heroes will make to one another for this school year (via studio contracts).

“I cannot wait to start doing work.” – Hero’s comment from the first day of school

The ES heroes began setting one goal for Silent Core Skills (CS) this week. A special option for the heroes during Tribe Building’s Silent CS time is “Bublup.” This launchpad of organized links and documents that I as the guide add and share with the heroes has been a quickly growing favorite for Tribe Building Week. Next week, each hero will pick out a Deep Book and begin working towards their Reading Badge.

Team building activities have included outdoor games, structure building challenges, art projects, a love language quiz and personality quiz for each hero, and the start of a time capsule.

A free-standing structure building challenge in process


A hero observed in one free-standing structure challenge involving pencils that one individual pencil standing up was taller than their carefully built “log cabin” structure. Using only the amount of pencils that were given, the log cabin was not tall enough to beat one standing pencil.


Animal Personality Quiz by


Accountability is needed to create a strong community. Peers holding one another accountable for promises that they agreed on as a group aids in the development of a powerful community.

Want to “listen in” on how the ES Hero’s Contract was developed this week? Here’s the start of the discussion:

“Over the next several weeks, you will be making promises to each other, so we can build a strong community, and so you can start on your Hero’s Journey. How do you want to be treated by me? How do you want to be treated by each other?”

We began with key promises from past contracts heroes made to each other:

  1. I promise to reflect Jesus in my actions and words.
  2. I promise to take full responsibility for my education.
  3. I promise not to intentionally hurt another hero with my actions or words.
  4. I promise to show respect towards:
    • other heroes
    • my surroundings
    • the rules

From here, the heroes discussed and evaluated over the course of this past week to create and sign their Hero’s Contract. Other contracts that were created were the Studio Etiquette and Rules of Engagement for during discussions. Parents can find these documents now saved in the JA Family Drive. A contract still to come is the Chromebook Covenant.


Another Silent Core Skill favorite this week with the heroes has been “Interland.” Interland is a creation of Google’s Be Internet Awesome program that makes learning about internet safety super fun and engaging! We also discussed being “SMART” with the internet and technology the heroes will be using on a daily basis.

  • S: Be safe as you search. If it feels wrong, don’t.
  • M: Email is to be limited to people at Journey and parents/guardians. Google Chat is not allowed unless JA is doing distance learning.
  • A: Your allowed device is your JA’s Chromebook.
  • R: The role of your Chromebook is to support your learning towards badge work and projects.
  • T: Tell a guide when you receive unknown emails or if you end up on a bad website.

“Interland is an adventure-packed online game that puts the key lessons of digital citizenship and safety into hands-on practice.” – Be Internet Awesome by Google


And of course, there was more Maker Play this week!! Here are some of the things I heard during the ES Maker Play:

  • “This is failing, but we can do it.”
  • “I already finished my plan. Now what?”
  • “It made me sad when you got distracted from our project.”
  • “We might just get it.”
  • “We need ladders. That’s what we need.”
  • “Let’s make something else, guys. We’ve failed.” “No, let’s keep going. Let’s make a new plan instead of giving up.”


Other nuggets of gold from this week:

  • We had our first time of reading Character Callouts. Each Character Callout provides us with a formal opportunity to thank or honor a hero for a character trait that they demonstrated that week. The heroes like when I sign the Character Callouts as people from history, book characters, current day people, inventors, etc. They watch very carefully how I sign because I am “not allowed to sign as the same person twice.”
  • During capture the flag this week, I observed heroes laying down their life for their friends (as Dr. T’s Kingdom Time Scripture (John 15:13) focused on this week). They were willing to risk going to jail in attempts to free one of their teammates. I also observed heroes taking risks for their teammates as they worked towards a common goal.


Happy Labor Day! See you Tuesday!

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