Everyday Warrior Project
Heroic Youth is a training ground to prepare youth to be faithful warriors in God’s army. Youth become HEROES as they engage in servant leadership, and identify and pursue their God-given individual missions.
As our Heroic Youth mission statement (above) indicates, we are a principle-based organization. One set of those important principles that we regularly recite in our clubs and at our trainings and other meetings is the Hero’s Creed.
We use these vital principles in all of our trainings and events for Heroic Youth, but they are even more essential in everyday life. These are gospel-based principles.
How do we successfully incorporate these principles into everyday life?
We encourage you to incorporate this program into other projects and activities you are already participating in, such as Duty to God, Scouting, Personal Progress, and other educational, spiritual and enriching pursuits. The design of this program is not to create an additional burden of responsibility but to enhance learning and growth. Our desire is to help each individual who chooses to participate, to fully and deeply integrate the Hero’s Creed into everyday living.
We will do this through a system of creating goals and providing positive accountability through our already existing Heroic Youth peer network. We have an amazing group of youth! Master Knights and Princesses will step up to a new level of responsibility. They will be our Team Leaders in this project and will be responsible to follow up with their team members once per week through email, group chat or other electronic communication. Teams will also hold a gathering about once per month for support and assistance in reaching goals.
All Master Knights and Princesses are required to participate in the Everyday Warrior Project and will report to our Royal Master Knight and Crown Princess, who will report to their respective Royalty. All youth leaders and adult leaders are invited and encouraged to participate. (Adults, please see our separately outlined accountability process.) All youth can earn the award and any who complete their projects by Summit will receive a special award at our closing awards ceremony and ball.
To begin, you will submit your Everyday Warrior Project Proposal Worksheet with your application. This will include a summary of how your goals will incorporate the Hero’s Creed. Your proposal will be read by members of the governing board of Heroic Youth in preparation for your interview. You will resubmit your Everyday Warrior Project Proposal Worksheet without the attached Hero’s Creed summary to your Master Knight or Princess once we have assigned Camps and Kingdoms.
There are five areas of our lives that we’d like to create goals in, 1 in each, to generate balanced growth. These areas are:
- I am a Heroic Youth in my family.
- I am a Heroic Youth in my congregation.
- I am a Heroic Youth in my local community (neighborhood).
- I am a Heroic Youth in my faith.
- I am a Heroic Youth in my education.
These 5 goals should stretch you to take steps that are otherwise challenging to accomplish but are possible to complete within the five months of April – August.
Let’s look at some examples of S.M.A.R.T. goals in each of these categories:
Example 1: For Sally’s “I am a Heroic Youth in my Family” goal, she wants to improve her relationship with her younger sister. Let’s improve her goal “I will be nice to my sister” and make it a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
Let’s change this to “I will say 3 kind things to my sister each day.” This is specific and measurable (did I say kind things 3 times or not?), achievable and realistic (Sally and her sister spend at least part of each day together so there is opportunity), and timely or time-bound (she is measuring what takes place each day).
Example 2: Fred has taken a few years of piano lessons but feels like he still has need of improvement. Since there is no one to play the piano, when needed, in his youth group, he chooses for his “I am a Heroic Youth in my congregation” goal to improve his skill in this area so he can be helpful and prepared when the opportunity comes. This can also fulfill a Duty to God or Scout service requirement.
Writing out his goal as a S.M.A.R.T. goal could look like this: “I will practice piano, playing hymns, for 30 minutes a day, 5 or more times per week.” This goal is specific in the objective with a measurable amount of time, it’s achievable and realistic since Fred can fit 30 minutes into his day on most days. Also, because he is only requiring 5 days in a week it means he can still meet his goal if something (like a special field trip or seminar) gets in the way on one day. It’s timely or time-bound in that it’s measured on a daily/weekly basis.
Example 3: For his “I am a Heroic Youth in my local community” goal, Zeke chooses to befriend an autistic boy in his neighborhood who has a hard time making friends. This also doubles as service in his Scouting requirements.
He states his S.M.A.R.T. goal, “I will spend 1 hour per week with Bobby reading, playing games, talking or helping him with chores, homework or other activities.”
Example 4: For her “I am a Heroic Youth in my education” goal, Maryjane chooses to focus on progressing one of her academic subjects- math. She creates this goal, “I will do 30 minutes of Math practice on Khan Academy 5 days per week.”
Example 5: Molly sets her goal for “I am a Heroic Youth in my faith” and decides to work on being more consistent with her prayers. She establishes this goal “I will kneel down and pray for a minimum of 2 minutes, morning and night.” This can also go toward Personal Progress or other spiritual goals.
Now let’s examine how we integrate the Hero’s Creed into these goals.
In the examples above, what does it mean to stay at your post? Notice that some of these goals don’t necessarily have a specific location. In some cases, their posts are situations instead. One of Sally’s posts is her relationship with a family member, being mindful of her sister and the words she speaks. In another, kneeling to pray could happen anywhere, even the privacy of a bathroom, for example, when traveling.
In each of the example goals above, we see that needs are recognized and actions are taken to fill those needs. Improving our relationships with family and God, refining needed skills like playing the piano and math, befriending someone, and serving in a variety of ways are all examples of actively looking to See a need, Fill a need. Live life with intention!
How do you perform with exactness “I will say 3 kind things to my sister each day”? There are different ways we measure exactness:
Of course, we have the measurable exactness of “Did I do what I needed to do on the day (and maybe time) I said I’d do it? Did I do it enough times?
Exactness is also partly defined by purpose. Are the words I’m using really kind? What is my purpose in saying kind things to my sister? To make her feel good? To create a closer relationship? “Your handwriting is really looking good in that assignment” will perhaps fulfill your purpose whereas “You’re handwriting is not as terrible as it used to be” likely will not.
Reflect on purpose to decide how you want to measure success with your goal.
For the final step in any new habit or goal we desire to accomplish, we need a form of accountability.
Return and report happens in two ways with this project:
Mark your tracking sheet each time you complete a task, which may be daily or one or more times per week.
In addition, report to your Princess/ Master Knight, and/or Royalty where applicable, one time per week and turn in your midway (where applicable) and final report(s) at the end.
Any service or task can be done with a happy heart or a not so happy heart. If we move into our responsibilities with a positive attitude, kind words and a soft voice, we feel better and so do those we are serving and interacting with. But graciousness is more than just an attitude. We challenge you to look up the definition and apply it to its fullest potential!
In a nutshell here are the Everyday Warrior Project steps:
- Thoughtfully, prayerfully create 5 goals, 1 in each category, and write a summary for your application
- Work each day/week on your goals, as appropriate, to accomplish them
- Report to your Master Knight/Princess by the evening of the last day of each week (Saturday night)
- Master Knights/Princesses report for themselves and their group to Royal Master Knight/Crown Princess, for previous week, by Monday morning of the of the next week, after all reports have been received from your accountability group. Reach out if reports are not received.
- Royal Master Knight/Crown Princess report for themselves and their group to their respective Royalty, for the previous week, by Monday evening of the next week, after all reports have come in from Master Knights/Princesses. Reach out if reports are not received.
- Midway Reports from all Master Knights/Princesses are due to Royal Master Knight/Crown Princess on Friday, June 15.
- Royal Master Knight/Crown Princess forward all to Royalty by Saturday, June 16.
- For the last qualifying step in the Everyday Warrior Project, Individual Final Reports are due by Saturday, September 8 (night of the debrief)- turn into your Master Knight/Princess.
- Master Knight/Princess forward all individual final reports to the Royal Master Knight/Crown Princess, along with their own by Monday, September 10.
- Royal Master Knight/Crown Princess forward all individual final reports, along with their own, to the Royalty along with a Group Final Report by Tuesday, September 11.
What if the goal I set is not working for me?
As with anything in life, we sometimes need to refine things before our actions feel right. Thoughtfully prepare your goals and try it out for a few days. If you need to change it in some way to meet the need you are trying to fill, then report that change to your Master Knight/ Princess.
Can I change my goal in a category during the 5 months?
Yes! Shorter term goals are great! For this program we recommend no shorter than 1 month. Report your new goal(s).
What if I forget to report?
Report as soon as you remember.
What if I didn’t accomplish all or any of my goals this week?
What if my goal is personal and I don’t want to share it?
There are many options for goals. For the purposes of this project, please choose goals you feel comfortable sharing with your Master Knight/Princess, the rest of your accountability group and the governing board of Heroic Youth. They will be read in preparation for the interview process and you will feel free to participate in valuable discussion with your group.
I am taking a family trip and will be gone for an entire week? I will not be able to accomplish (piano practice, specific service for my neighbor, or fill in the blank). Do I fail?
We encourage you to look ahead and make careful plans to be able to successfully accomplish your goals wherever possible, even when you have special events or vacations. That being said, certain situations won’t accommodate all worthy goals, so make a special allowance for that situation. Just be careful not to allow the special accommodation to become the norm or it will undermine your personal growth.
What if I'm an adult and would like to participate...?