“No. We’re not going to restart.” Much as I value resilience, and much as I value student voice, I couldn’t imagine what they were thinking. A group of 14 middle schoolers, on their annual bonding overnight trip to Camp Becket, were trying to get across a 20-foot “lava river” using only six rubber dots about 10” in diameter. They were only allowed to step on the dots. If any of the dots were left untouched, even for a moment, they melted away (meaning Edie, the Camp Becket staff person supervising the group, took it back). They had gotten maybe nine people over but had just lost their fourth dot, meaning they were down to only two. How could they ever get five middle schoolers across a 20-foot lava river with only two safety dots?!?!
Last night, I was able to to participate in a Twitter #resiliencechat on the topic of “Tapping resilience in the wake of current events around the world,” and I left the chat feeling profoundly grateful. That has to start with Sara Truebridge, who facilitated the chat, and Rob Martinez, her co-moderator. They are phenomenally inclusive - for one example, Sara sends out an endless series of tweets each Monday evening tagging individual people who’ve participated before and reminding them of the chat. They also help create an atmosphere where people can feel safe enough to be quite honest and where support is regularly offered. That doesn’t mean chat members receive uncritical acceptance; sometimes, a gentle challenge may be appropriate in order to lead to personal growth, and such moments are generally taken in that context.