Big Walnut High School hosted two full-day “Challenge Day” sessions last week at Sunbury United Methodist Church.
For the past eight years all Big Walnut High School incoming freshmen students have experienced Challenge Day.
Last Tuesday and Wednesday was the Class of 2019’s turn. Jennifer Wilson and Dorias Brannon, facilitators from California-based Challenge Day, led the sessions.
Wilson said students in the room should learn to love themselves because they are unique.
“Every single one of you should be full of yourself,” Wilson said. “Of the billions of people on this planet, you are the one and only you. When you go through life’s ups and downs and you feel depressed, do something nice for someone else. If you want people to change, change yourself.”
Wilson shouted out: “Big what?”
The students responded with: “Big Nut.”
Wilson said that, during Challenge Day staff meetings in California, all CD staff members know that that means, even if they have never been to a Big Walnut Challenge Day event.
“You’re the only school of the thousands of schools we go to, that all of our staff members know about you and what that means,” Wilson said. “They know that Big Walnut is a Challenge Day school.”
Challenge Day is a nationally recognized motivation program that brings students together in a series of close-knit, ice-breaking group activities to break down walls created by bullying, teasing, clique problems, and other divisive and isolating activities.
While Challenge Day has become a Big Walnut High School staple, Big Walnut High School Student Council adviser Angie Stooksbury said it’s a community-funded program, with 100 percent of program costs coming from donations and fundraising efforts. No school district money is used to finance Challenge Day.
A two-day Challenge Day event will cost in excess of $10,000, Stooksbury said, including the cost of Challenge Day facilitators, airfare, hotel accommodations and student lunches.
In addition to the cost of holding the two daylong sessions, Stooksbury said a host of community volunteers serve as adult facilitators assisting the Challenge Day team leaders.
For more information about the local Challenge Day initiative and how to contribute as an individual or as a corporate sponsor, contact Stooksbury at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Stooksbury at 740-965-3766, Ext. 1207.
For more information about Challenge Day, go to ChallengeDay.org.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093