We’re thrilled to announce that we’re partnering with The Energy Bus Leadership Journey for Schools to bring The Energy Bus to GAC 2017! As the pilot camp to join the program, we’ll be working closely with the staff of the Jon Gordon companies to develop fun ways to present The Energy Bus ideas to our campers. We believe that many schools and camps would benefit from getting both their staff and campers to live out the positive ideals of The Energy Bus, and we’re excited to be on this bus!
Our journey with The Energy Bus began during the summer of 2016 when counselor Tyler “Bambino” Munoz shared Jon Gordon’s best-selling book The Energy Bus with the young men of cabin 28 by reading it aloud over each session. At the conclusion of each session, he invited his campers to join him on The Energy Bus by giving them a printed bus ticket.
To read Bambino’s whole story and learn about the positive impact he had on his campers, read “Hop on Bambino’s Energy Bus,”
We were so inspired by the impact The Energy Bus had on that small group of campers that we decided to make “Hop on the Energy Bus” our theme for all of camp in 2017.
The Energy Bus book is an allegory for our lives, and shows how making some small, positive changes in how we view the world can make a world of difference. This message of ownership over our lives is a powerful one for children of all ages. In a world that too often sends the message that they will be important “when they’re older”, The Energy Bus shows kids what a big impact they can have on themselves and others right now. By making positive changes in how they see and react to the world, they can and will change it for the better. One of our core values at GAC is “Bringing Positive Changes to the World.” We’re certain that by introducing our campers to the concepts of The Energy Bus, they will be catalysts for positive changes at home, in school, and throughout their lives.
Jon Gordon, author of The Energy Bus, has this to say about why his company started the Energy Bus trainings for schools: “In a world where negativity pervades our education system and schools, we have created a proven model based on The Energy Bus where positive administrators work together with inspired educators to develop positive student leaders who together create an a dynamic and contagious school culture.”
Gold Arrow Camp has been recognized as the first ever Energy Bus Certified Camp, and we have been working closely with Energy Bus Schools director Niki Spears to tailor the program for the camp setting. Sunshine and Bean will be attending a training in March, and Niki will be training our counselors in June to prepare us to lead our campers into a summer full of positive energy!
Energy Bus Schools
To learn more about The Energy Bus, visit Jon Gordon’s website, where you can see many resources related to the program, including the 10 Rules for the Ride of Your Life.
Animated Video Preview of The Energy Bus Training Program
Energy Bus Posters
By Audrey “Sunshine” Monke
One of our treasured camp traditions is reading to campers each evening at bedtime. We adopted the tradition more than a decade ago, because we realized how calming it is and how much even our oldest campers enjoy it. I also know from my own experience how a love of reading comes from being read to and how, with our media- and achievement-focused culture, reading is sometimes going by the wayside these days. There is no better opportunity to get back to reading “real” books than when we’re unplugged AND have more downtime during the summer.
We keep a camp library of good read-aloud chapter books, as well as several Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies. Some counselors also bring their own childhood favorites to read to their campers. This summer, one of our oldest boys’ counselors, Bambino (Cabin #28), selected Jon Gordon’s The Energy Bus to read to his 14-year-old campers. He’s on his third reading, and by the end of August, he will have read the book four times to all 40 of the campers he will have worked with this summer. I really enjoyed the message of The Energy Bus when I read it a few years ago, but I decided to download the audio version and listen to it again on a recent long drive. With my current middle-aged memory, I couldn’t quite recall the key points of the book, only that I really liked it. After listening to it again, I immediately went to the website and printed out “10 Rules for the Ride of Your Life” to share with our leadership staff at our Monday morning meeting.
The Energy Bus is an allegory with a powerful message about the profound daily impact of a positive outlook on life. I would never have thought about reading it to or with my teenage sons, but it’s actually the exact right kind of book for their age group. In the story, the central character is having a bad day, which is representative of his falling-apart, negative life. He’s feeling terrible at both work and home. One day, with his wife unavailable and his car tire flat, he is forced to take the bus to work. That one day turned into two weeks during which the bus driver (Joy) and the other energy bus passengers teach him the “10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy!”
Each day, he learns a new rule and applies it to work or home. Then on the next day, he reports his results to the energy bus team. By the end of the story, as you can imagine, he’s managed to turn his life in a better direction. He’s also learned how much impact he can have on those around him (his family and work team) by changing his own attitude and behaviors.
What a powerful message to share with people of ALL ages! For teenagers, I’ve felt for a long time that one of our cultural problems is that we often make them feel useless. They go to school and sports and often have no responsibilities for others. When teens don’t have a job or volunteer area and have few responsibilities at home (because parents feel they’re too busy with school and sports), they can, I believe, start feeling like they have no purpose in life. Understanding how they can be positive leaders and ambassadors of positive energy wherever they are is a powerful message for teens to hear.
This morning, I checked in with Bambino’s campers to hear what they’ve learned so far from listening to him read The Energy Bus. Here’s what some of them had to say:
“I learned that you should say something and that no one can fill the needs that are left unsaid.”
“You’re the driver of your own bus.”
“You can get your bus wherever you’re going but others help you go faster.”
“It’s encouraged me to be more positive.”
“If something bad is happening, you can change it by changing your attitude.”
“Sometimes the worst things in life aren’t that bad and can lead to something good.”
This is some profound wisdom from 14-year-olds, who will head home from camp tomorrow with a bus ticket from Bambino inviting them to hop on their own energy bus!