Acton Academy Omaha

Back at Last

Laughter and big smiles. Teamwork and patience. Conflicts and courage. Warm sunshine, cold water and big, loose parts for play.

For 17 weeks, our heroes had been waiting; yearning; asking, “When can we go back to the studio?”

And after 300 Zoom calls, 130+ weekly delivered hands-on Discovery Kits, 100+ badges earned in core skills and 1500+ books read on Epic, it was time. To play together. To build our tribe again as an in-person community. With grateful hearts and peaceful relief, we entered back into the studio for our Acton Summer Camp.

As we embarked on a new journey and welcomed a few new heroes into our studio, I noticed something.

These heroes had been through a journey at home. They had changed since our exit in mid-March.

Many had grown in their ability to focus. Learning to interact over Zoom was a challenge they rose to and grew in during our time at home – and it had changed them. I even saw younger heroes stepping up as leaders in our circle times.

They had even continued to grow in their curiosity and love of learning during our time of learning at home. Many had taken topics they were interested in and after researching would create a video of what they learned and share it back with the rest of us over Zoom. Because of this, a fascination with Big Foot swept faster than a virus through our studio! 😊

As we came back to the studio for Acton Summer Camp, something else caught my attention – something that I hadn’t heard in our studio for a really long time; a hero would say, “I’m done cleaning up my stuff – can I eat my lunch now?” or “I’m ready, can I go outside now?”

A sense of individualism had grown in the absence of living in a community of peers. Completing team challenges like studio maintenance or getting ready to go outside were taking much longer than they had back in March. It was like they had to remember how to be aware of and care for each other in order to complete the challenges, and not just consider themselves.

And yet, as time went on, they began to notice each other’s needs- and it was special. β€œI’ll be his buddy,” one of our newest heroes commented as he noticed our youngest hero (4 years old) could use some extra help as we picked up after our picnic lunch outside.

Or to see how they are coming together in our β€œFloor Is Lava” obstacle course challenges – as they build their own creative path through the β€œlava” with random loose parts and work together to help their team get to the other side. Such focus, passion and excitement!

It’s amazing to see the internal transformation this community of heroes is cultivating – so much more than reading, writing and math. They are learning to serve and take initiative as leaders.

It feels so good to be back.