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Hero’s Journey Retreat

The seventh grade’s year-long “Hero’s Journey” began with an overnight camping trip. The class hiked the Appalachian Trail together, took a ceremonial dip into frigid water, and worked on farm projects at South Kent’s Center for Innovation.

The Hero’s Journey is the year-long life skills project for 7th-graders at WMS. The project is based on “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” a non-fiction book, and seminal work of comparative mythology by Joseph Campbell. A well-know quote from the book’s introduction summarizes the universal journey of heroes. “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

Our hope is that by exploring the ways in which we become responsible to ourselves and each other, by developing strategies to develop new skills and how to deal with setbacks, and by learning to appreciate and use the guidance of an ally, our seventh-year students will be better able to handle the temptations and road blocks that invariably arise during this important change. The symbolism of the Hero’s Journey, the public presentation of the initiate, and the achievement of a challenging personal goal all serve to give the adolescent a sense of the significance and nobility of his or her own personal journey.