Have you ever watched the television show, ‘American Ninja Warrior’? It is a competition that pits athletes against one another by running them through a multitude of challenges requiring strength, balance and speed. To be successful, one must display tremendous physical power and endurance; as well as, great mental fortitude. The ability to control and contort one’s body in an effort to complete the various stations leaves most spectators with a sense of amazement over the way these athletes prepare their body and mind for working through such an arduous endeavor. It is for this reason we chose to begin this camping season by running our fourteen intrepid campers through a small version of the American Ninja course.
Working with our friends at the indoor ropes and fitness center at Bodies in Motion in Boise, ID, we made some modifications to the rules of the game based on the age and lack of proper training of our campers. We divided the group into two teams of seven and explained to them that the object was to get each team member to complete every task. If it took the entire team to help them finish the obstacle, then so be it.
From the Devil Steps, to the Unstable Bridge, to the Climbing Wall and beyond, our campers attempted each task on their own and then worked with teammates to fully complete the event. The kids pushed themselves physically until they were unable to finish on their own. The teams then worked on their critical thinking and communication skills to coordinate the best way to help their teammates. The ingenuity displayed by our campers as they labored to help one another was impressive. In the end, every camper had fully completed the course and the exhaustion they exhibited showed how hard they had toiled. In the end, they displayed great Character, were Committed to the completion of their mission, Communicated well with one another, used Critical Thinking to solve problems, built Credibility with one another and showed Compassion for their fellow camper, no matter if they were on their team, or the other. The 6 C’s of Leadership were well represented on this day.
In all, the first event of the season was a resounding success for our campers and coaches. They are extremely excited to get on the high ropes course in December. Before that, we will be performing a service project and sharing a Thanksgiving meal on November 22nd. Until then,