"Opportunity Class"

Quotes from Righetti High School 9th Grade Opportunity Class [The Opportunity class is made up of identified 9th grade students at risk of not graduating from high school. The purpose of this class is to better prepare them with skills and coping methods for the challenges of high school.] These quotes are from student participants in Mr. Tognazzini’s class and were written on March 19th, 2018, ten weeks into the Thrive{ology} lessons and after two local hikes.

"We are loving the direction this Thrive{ology} program is headed and are so excited about the upcoming weeks. These kids are more excited to come to school than I have ever seen. Our attendance is amazing, and these kids are experiencing things they have never done before." ~ Kyle Tognazzini, 9th Grade Opportunity Class Teacher, Righetti High School.

"The simple answer is yes, I do enjoy having Mr. Miles & the Camp Fire crew with us on the hikes. To me it makes it more fun and exciting! I also like the fact that they give us little ideas, facts, what to expect in the area we're hiking in and in the classroom. They are giving, not just me, but my peers around me tons of ideas for careers that we love to get into as an actual job, (really help us get to our goals too) and that I and others really, really appreciate. I have learned to keep going. To never give up on your "Spark,"  different types of mindsets, making good choices. etc. These things will help me in the future or in MY future by increasing the chances to become more successful at finding out what my "Spark" is or to help achieve it." ~ Rene

"So first off, I think that it would benefit me in the future because I would have more of an open mindset and I have been hiking a lot recently, so Camp Fire gave me a spark for that. Also, yes, I do enjoy being with Mr. Miles because he takes us on hikes and he's passionate about it. Another reason why I enjoy being with them is because they introduced me to hiking, now I absolutely enjoy hiking. What I have learned from them is how to control my mind and take care of myself. Another thing I learned from them is that your surrounding can affect the way you live your lifestyle. Finally, the last thing I've learned from Mr. Miles and Janet is that you can do anything you want in life. but the people you hang out with can steal your dream aka a “fearship.” ~ David

"I do enjoy having them around because they talk to us about so many different things about our spark and what not. They've really made me feel comfortable on talking about my spark and what I'm good at or what I want to do in the future when I'm older or what I want to start doing now. I very well enjoy them going on the hikes with and that guy Wes, he was telling me that the native American women would eat the leaves of poison ivy when they were pregnant and through the generation they would get used to it, that it wouldn't affect them anymore. I've learned that they want to hear my spark and what I want to do in my life. They are very interested, they will sit there and listen to what we say we want to do. What they are talking to us about and teaching us will help realize that there are people like them who care about what we all want to do and be in life and that motivates me." ~ Ralphi

"Intro to Highschool, Camp Fire Spark: Camp Fire and everyone who comes to the program has really impacted us. I do enjoy going on the hikes with Janet and Mr. Miles. Even if you fall behind they don’t make you feel as if your presence is a burden they make you feel as if you are impacting them. What I have learned from them is be the best you can be, don't let your past define you. Also, that only you can stand in yourselves way. It can help me with my future because it will be a lot harder for people to get under my skin. Also, that it’s okay not to live up to other people's expectations as long as you live up to your own." ~ Leia

"Yes, I really like having them in the classroom. I feel like they bring out everyone's talents and help us find our spark. I've learned that not everyone's going to find their spark like that. The time will come when you work for it. I've learned to try not to go off task and hangout with the wrong crowd although most of my friends are positive and push me to do better. I think they will help me a lot in the future because when Ms. Janet told me her story, her story really inspired me to do better and try harder. They taught me that you can do things if you really try and really want it. They also helped me to think more positively. Based on them being here I think they really help and make things better." ~ Trinity

"I love when Mr. Miles and Janet come to our classrooms, they bring a lot of energy they also will put a smile on somebody's face even if that person is not in the mood. That if your willing to open up to opportunities then you will succeed, and your dreams will come true. Just got to work hard and earn what you want. One thing I will use in the future that Mr. Miles and Janet taught me is to eliminate any bad influences because they will not help me succeed. If I don't eliminate them, then in the future, I may not even be able to go outside the gates of a prison yard. But that's not where I want to see myself." ~ Reyna

Camp Fire in January 2018 began presenting social/emotional Thrive{ology} lessons on a weekly basis. Lesson plans are given to the school teachers on Thursday. Vocabulary and lesson plan concepts are introduced to the students on Monday by the school teachers. Camp Fire’s Youth Development Specialist present the curriculum on Tuesday. The school teachers incorporate these new concepts into their weekly lessons.

At the core of Camp Fire's work is the goal of helping all youth Thrive while preparing them for a lifetime of success. When youth thrive, they become connected and engaged. Camp Fire's 'Thriveology' focus is a successful, proven approach to youth developing social and emotional skills and is an integral part of the Camp Fire experience. Staff, school educators and volunteers are trained by Camp Fire and facilitate intentional activities and lessons designed to help youth Identify interests, adopt a growth mindset, build goals management skills, and learn to reflect on experiences and growth. All Camp Fire programs implement a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum through which youth Identify and explore SEL concepts. This is done through planned activities that teach competencies such as social awareness, self-regulation, empathy, gratitude, conflict management, and effective communication skills. Camp Fire curriculum has been adapted for English Learners and at-risk youth.

For over 100 years, Camp Fire has helped youth Thrive and grow in Social Emotional Learning, gaining life skills known as the Six C's: Competence, Confidence, Connection, Contribution, Caring, and Character. Recent youth development research supports what Camp Fire has known for a century: these valuable skills can be a greater indicator of a young person's success trajectory than their math and reading scores.

In addition to the weekly lesson plans, monthly hikes are organized by the school teachers and Camp Fire staff. Studies show that children who have extensive outdoor experiences, especially English-learning students, are more likely to show up to school, and afterward, are more confident at public speaking, more interested in volunteer opportunities, develop critical thinking skills and more likely to use conflict mediation skills with their peers. The classroom delivery of the Thrive{ology} framework is implemented by Janet Medina, one of our council's two Youth Development Specialists, along with Kenneth Miles, Executive Director. Wes Armstrong, Camp Fire Board Member and Volunteer, also helps plan and facilitate hikes.