I am guessing that many of you think that the words “wisdom” and “9th grade boy” do not belong in the same sentence.  A recent exercise, however, suggests differently.

The counselors of 007 gave their young men an assignment.  In case you do not know, “007” is our 9th grade boys cabin.  These campers are starting their first year of our three year senior camper program.  During their first couple of nights, we take them on a special trip (along with the girls’ 9th grade cabin called “7-11”) and talk with them about our expectations for the senior camper program.  One of the exercises we do is ask the guys what it means to be a man and a Champion.  They also suggested rules to live by in pursuit of becoming men and Champions.

We thought we would share some of their thoughts.  Let us assure you that the girls’ responses were equally as good, but they responded orally while the 007 counselor asked them to write their answers down.

Here is a sampling:

• When you display a positive attitude, people will look for your help, giving you the chance to reach out.
• A champion lives each moment to its full potential.
• If I am in disagreement with a camper, I will still respect him even though we do not agree.
• I would like to teach younger campers to be better people and to respect others, to take responsibility and to be leaders themselves.
• Give more than is expected.
• If you do not feel something is right, do something to change it.
• If you live by your morals everyday, chances are someone will notice and they might live by them as well and be a better person – and the good living continues!
• Ignore bad comments and just keep focus on what to do.

One camper summed it up as follows:

“A man is responsible for his actions and sets a good example for everyone.  He supports those around and always shows respect.  A man listens to his heart and his mind to determine the best course of action.  He lives his life honorably in the face of all obstacles.

A Champion, on the other hand, is a leader and raises the level of everyone around him.  He puts the team before himself, and in doing so helps bring everyone to happiness.  A Champion takes responsibility for his words and actions.

In life, it is important to act as both a man and a Champion, using morals to help guide your life.”

Not bad for 9th graders!

Steve Sir

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