Acton Academy Omaha

The Hero Buck Game

She came over with eyes ablaze. “He stepped on my fingers!” she shared with an intensity in her voice and body that caught my attention. It was her older brother… again.

After examining her fingers and offering a little hug to this 7 year old hero, I asked, “Would you like to talk with him about this? Or would you like to let this go?”

“Talk with him about it,” she said. “And ask for a Hero Buck… will you come with me?”

She went and grabbed a Hero Buck Form to fill out. She carefully wrote her name, the name of her brother and dictated the reason as I jotted it down for her.

Then came the moment of courage. She approached her brother, gripping each side of the Hero Buck Form firmly with her hands, barely looking up from the paper as she addressed her brother.

“I didn’t like it when you stepped on my fingers,” she said firmly. “That’s crossing the studio guardrails and so I ask for a Hero Buck.”

“Do you agree or disagree?” she asked after a moment.

The look in her brother’s eyes softened. “Ok. I’m sorry,” he said tenderly. Taking the pencil, he put a little x in the box for “agree”, signed it, and handed it back to her gently. She received it, looking pleasantly surprised.

As she walked back to hand me the form, something had changed in her. Peaceful confidence was sweeping through her like a fresh breeze after a rainstorm.

She had shared her voice; her brother had listened.

Conflicts happen in games. In life. When people don’t do what you want them to – or aren’t following through on what they said they would do.Our heroes face conflicts every day. And every day, they are learning how to work through them – solving their own problems.

This week, we reached the next milestone in our journey as we introduced the “Hero Buck Game”. At the end of our summer session, the heroes had decided unanimously that they wanted another way to hold each other accountable to their promises – and to earn freedoms in the studio based on how well they were following their promises. Thus, the Hero Buck Game was born.

Transformation happens in these little moments.

Moments when challenges become opportunities. Moments when new possibilities are discovered. Moments where enemies are turned into friends.

Having the courage to solve problems yourself – this is the seed it all begins with.