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Students Learn Lessons In Courage

Posted at: 12/06/2012 5:37 PM
Updated at: 12/06/2012 6:16 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 News) -- Sometimes the best lessons are the ones you don't read in a book.

There wasn't a book in sight, but more than a hundred middle school students learned lessons today they'll never forget.

"Today we are doing a courage retreat with the eighth graders from Ellis Middle School and Southland Middle School," Eric Malmberg explained.

With two other team members, Malmberg and his group spent the day with 150 students, loud music and fun, all with a goal of teaching lessons in courage.

"The courage to do the right thing, to stand up for somebody who's getting picked on, to follow your heart instead of the crowd, to do the right thing when fear sometimes gets in the way."

“Courage is like you're not afraid to do stuff that makes you uncomfortable," added Ellis eighth grader Kaleb Blaser, who spent the day with his classmates at the Cornerstone Church in Austin for the retreat.

They weren’t lessons to be learned out of a text book

“A lot of games and just ice breaking and just getting them in the zone, like okay, this is going to be fun," Malmberg explained.

"It's kind of like studying for a test” eighth grader Kaleb Blaser added. “Studying for a test isn't very fun, but if you study for a test in a group it makes it a little bit more memorable."

And part of the “courage” lesson was teaching the importance of standing up against one of the biggest problems affecting adolescents today.

"Part of what we hope to achieve by having them really act with courage and follow your heart is do things like stand-up against bullying," said Malmberg.

And the students were left with a challenge – to pledge to do one act of courage that would make their school a better place.

"There are 150 some people in here, and there could rally be that many different acts of courage, but it could be to apologize to someone you've picked on that could be an act of courage," Malmberg told us.

“Our hope is tomorrow at school that they really begin to live out that act of courage."

The courage retreat was hosted by Minnesota-based “Youth Frontiers."