The Call to Adventure: Year Two Week One in Review


Operation Save Sam. Mini Expeditions. Drop Everything and Read. The Nail Challenge.

The 2019-2020 school year is officially launched!

Read below for updates from each of our three Studios.

High School Update

Laying The Foundation

“Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest of the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development” - Kofi Annan

Imagine a world in which you get to design, construct, and have an impact on how systems are formulated? This week TFS founding high schoolers took charge in creating and building a studio design that fits them; from contracts and covenants to governing systems, goal setting, beginning to build their badge plan through deep reflection, and time keeping. Heroes received real world contractual feedback from Fayetteville Mayor, Ed Johnson and Cathy Lawrence (Role). All while laying ground work for who they are versus who they want to become. Let’s not forget about games and team building challenges that help establish community and make TFS a place they feel safe to be themselves and explore new options.

Our high school heroes learned about what learning experiences will help guide them towards a self-paced, self-driven environment, and ultimately to graduation. If there was one word to summarize the past week it would be instrumental.

Their call to adventure is only the beginning of the greatness to come.

Middle School Update

The Call to Adventure

“You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path." -Joseph Campbell

Beginnings always carry with them a mix of emotions. Excitement, anticipation, anxiety, fear - a hero feels a dose of all these things as they first step foot into the unknown. This is true whether you're starting a new job, moving to a new town, or cultivating a new friendship - beginnings or full of near infinite possibilities.

So, as our heroes embark on a new year and new adventure in the middle school studio, they're weighing all the possibilities, all of the possible outcomes. Will I make friends? Will I have fun? Will I belong? Will I learn cool stuff and do amazing things? What if I fail?

This week, our focus has been on building the tribe, making sure that every hero feels that they belong and that they see The Forest School as a place where they can be themselves, have fun, and thrive. We made space for team building activities, small group connection time, and whole group reflections. We've reflected a lot on identity, asking the questions: Who am I as a person? What do I add to this group?

We've also started equipping for the journey ahead. We've talked through badge plans and long-term goals (ask your hero about their badge plan and their Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal for the year). Heroes have explored tools (like Journey Tracker), been connected to Running Partners to help them set goals and dream big. We're excited for where this adventure will lead.

Elementary Update

"Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter." -Izaak Walton

week one in review.jpeg

Like marriages and births, new beginnings are always a time to celebrate. A time to meet new friends, reconnect with old ones, and imagine what the future holds ahead. But with them, also comes the unknown - will I fit in, am I smart enough, can I do this. Our heroes stepped through the TFS gates ready to embark on a new journey. For many this would look like something they’ve never seen before, while others came with the comfort of returning to the familiar.

Our heroes have taken the plunge and are in full swing of creating an Elementary studio that represents them! This first week we’ve focused on “Building the Tribe”. Heroes are learning to live together and what that means. We strive to make The Forest School a place where heroes can be exactly who they are, and learn in a way that is conducive to each individual. As we travel through this first week heroes are tackling team-building challenges, understanding just what a “Hero’s Journey” is, and how they can identify that in their own lives. We’ve had the opportunity to reflect as a whole group about who we are as a studio, and individually, about where we fit into that picture.

As our week came to an end, heroes received their Chromebooks and were able to begin learning to use some of the new e-learning platforms, as well as work in teams on their very first quest. I’d say these Elementary heroes are answering their “Call to Adventure” and ready for the journey ahead!

Enjoy your weekend!

Tyler Thigpen