I had the privilege to spend the entire day today doing a Ropes Course with a group of high school students that are members of my 13th Project: Inside Out leadership team. These kids were freshman and sophomores....a total of 6 kids. Unfortunately, I had two kids miss the mark as no-shows for this event, leaving me a bit disappointed at first, which soon changed to full acceptance. It was obvious the way it worked out was just as it was meant to be.
In creating the Project: Inside Out groups, I purposely seek out a variety of students. GPA status, level of popularity, social groups or cliques, quiet and outgoing personalities are a few of the areas of diversity they represent. All students are interviewed beforehand where they sign an agreement to be respectful and kind and agree that all those present are equal....including the adult leaders. There is no room for comparison since all are appreciated equally.
As usual, my expectations came true. I expected that with a safe space created where there would be no fear of judgment, all involved would show up fully. They did. I expected we would all have great fun. We did. I expected they would meet all challenges without fear of failure holding them back. They did. I expected them to outwardly support one another, physically, emotionally and verbally. They did. I expected them to be creative problem solvers. They were.
I expected them to learn from their experiences. They did. I expected them to experiment with their abilities. They did. I expected them to learn something new about themselves and one another. They did. I expected them to be authentic. They were. I expected a great day. It was!!
Tomorrow we will meet again for two hours and co-create our Alliance for how we will work together from here. Following that I will meet with them weekly during school where we will continue playing with leadership experiences focusing on appreciating themselves (Inside) and also appreciating the uniqueness of others (Outside). I expect they will continue to grow and learn and develop in a very positive way. And then....they will impact others being their best, authentic selves...in the same way they did today. Just as I expected!