This week, Joey and I wanted to give you a peak inside of the week we spent working with a southern California middle school.

Day 1 The Origin of The Hero

Day one was the scariest day for me.

I’ve spoken in public many times, but this time was different, it was in front of hundreds of teenagers.

At most, we probably only spoke to about 200-250 students at a time, but that’s a lot of teens.

The goal was to share a message that was fun and entertaining, yet educational and motivating, and from each period we wanted to get about 10 to 20 students to signup for our 4-day boot camp.

It was amazing to speak to this many students, and it was fun to see the students that were really catching the message, and they were excited to join the boot camp.

The message was basically that it’s easy to live the life of a sidekick but way more fulfilling to live life as your own hero.

We shared the message of me accidentally lighting my school bus on fire which really hooked a lot of the kids and shared how, even if you make mistakes, you can still become a hero.

Every good hero has a good origin story.

No matter what your past looks like, you can start being your own hero TODAY!

Day 2 Hero Thoughts vs Sidekick Thoughts

Day 2 was a lot of fun. This is where we met with the 10-25 kids that signed up with us from the day before and we taught them the difference between facts and stories and the difference between hero thoughts and sidekick thoughts.

For the first activity, we played a game, Fact vs Story.

It was fun helping the students to develop some awareness about whether their thoughts were factual or just stories.

The game was a fun reinforcer.

Basically, your sidekick thoughts are your natural lower-brain thoughts.

The last activity for day one was Your Name the Blank.

This is where students come up with a hero identity.

Mine was Ben the Inspirer. Joey’s was Joey the Creator.

It was fun seeing the students identify as the person they wanted to be!

Day 3 Managing Tough Emotions

This was one of my favorite activities!

On day 3 we taught about managing tough emotions.

We taught that emotions can’t hurt you and that allowing them is better than avoiding, resisting, or ignoring them.

For this day we did two awesome activities.

The first activity was Pull Ben Out of the Circle. We did this with a tug-of-war rope and a circle taped on the ground.

We’d let students try to pull me out of the circle. Sometimes we let 2-3 students try together and none of them could, unless they cheated. lol

Then Joey would ask, “Do you think I can get Ben out of the circle?”, and all the students would yell “No way! Ben’s way bigger.”

Joey would pretend like he was about to pull, then he’d drop the rope, and now without a fight, I’d just leave the circle on my one.

The lesson was that by simply allowing emotions, you lessen their discomfort.

The next game we played at the end of the class was avoiding emotions. It was fun. The lesson was to not try to avoid and run away from your emotions.

Day 4 Let Your Hero Be Your Guide

Day four was my favorite, and by the responses that we got from the students, day four was by far the fan favorite.

On this day we taught that you are responsible for yourself, your thoughts, your feelings, your actions, and your results.

We did an activity with an “Anti-Gravity” stick and challenged the kids to put it on the floor, but there was one rule, your fingers had to be on the bottom of the stick and your fingers couldn’t break contact with the stick. Inevitably the stick would start going up instead of going down and students would start blaming each other.

It was a powerful lesson about taking responsibility and trusting others.

We taught about hero thoughts vs. sidekick thoughts and how we have thoughts that don’t really help us to be the person we want to be. We taught that you can choose which thoughts you listen to and let guide your life.

For this activity, we built a maze and had the students break into groups of 3. One student had to be blindfolded, and the other two students in their group were either their hero voice or their sidekick voice. The hero voice was supposed to tell the blindfolded student where to go to get out of the maze. The sidekick voice was supposed to give them bad directions to keep them stuck. The blindfolded student didn’t know who was their hero voice or who was their sidekick voice. They had to learn from experience.

The students loved this activity.

Day 5 “To Be Honest, It’s Like The Avengers, But In School!”

Day 5 we closed with Joey’s story of the crow and how, now that the students know how to fly, it’s important to intentionally fly rather than simply going back to their old ways.

We also asked had a discussion about the things they learned and how they hope to apply those things to their lives.

Most of the students LOVED the week-long boot camp.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the students in their exit survey responses.

  • “To be honest it’s like the Avengers, but in a school.”
  • “It’s magical you have to go and see yourself.”
  • “This bootcamp is a hands on experience that helps you control your emotions.”
  • “The best experience I have had in middle school.”
  • “I would say it was super helpful for your well being and its a fun way to learn how to control your life.”
  • “We talk about mental health skills and play games.”
  • “The lead your life boot camp is a really peaceful place where you can feel open to be your self.”
  • “I would describe it as a place to help find the superhero in you and help you control your life.”
  • “Thank you so much Ben and Joey. I feel like I became more aware that I’m in control of my emotions and my life.”

Seriously, it was magical!

Are You Interested In Attending a Workshop With Your Teen?

So, Joey and I want to ask you one question.

Would you and your teen be interested in attending a live workshop with us, where we’d do exciting activities that make learning fun?

If yes, please go fill out our interest survey!

All this interest survey does is help us know if this is something that parents and teens would be interested in, and if yes, it will help us make it magical.

It also puts you on a list to be the first to know if we decide to make this happen.