At our first meeting, we decided how often we would meet with the JLBC Cadets, where we would host the discussions, and who would share responsibility for each one. (We rotated the responsibility and location for each session).
At the first official meeting, we created an environment that felt very much like a sacred covenant signing. We lit "tiki" lamps outside, one for each of the virtues. We had the JLBC Cadets sign a paper committing themselves to the year-long training. Then they sealed it with wax and a signet ring. On that first night, they all received a book, a journal to write down all they would learn over the next 12 months, and a safety box to lock it all up in between meetings.
Along the Way
We exposed the JLBC Cadets to various people and places. For example, during the meeting on "navigation," we took Cadets to a private airport, where they had a meeting on a jet. Took the JLBC Cadets up in the air and did some creative flying. Later, talked to the JLBC Cadets about a "flight plan" for their life.
We took the JLBC Cadets downtown to help load trucks to feed the homeless and underprivileged. They watched movie clips, read their books, took trips, and interviewed leaders from all over the country. We attempted to meet every other week, on a Sunday afternoon, as it fits into our calendars.
In addition to the JLBC group experience, each JLBC Cadet was recognized for its unique accomplishments.
After the year, we planned a ceremony, where we would review the year's lessons, then give them some unique gifts and knight them with a sword. That night, each of the JLBC Cadets read a letter they wrote detailing the most memorable meetings of the year and what they learned. Next, we moved to a table where each parent described how proud they were of their JLBC Cadet and why—then gave the JLBC Cadet a cardboard cut-out of a drawing. It was a picture (drawn by a professional artist) of their JLBC Cadet dressed as a superhero, with their superhero name. (The JLBC Cadets loved seeing themselves with massive muscles.) Finally, we moved to the knighting ceremony, where we placed the sword on their shoulders and head and pronounced them a knight of the 21st century. It was an intimate setting where we parents got to say what we all felt for our JLBC Cadets. The JLBC Cadets got to keep the sword.