Dodgeball City

I have been working with Windsor Park Collegiate ("WPC") here in Winnipeg for the past number of years in developing the methods and processes for Butterfly's curriculum. What we are looking for are the things that young people like to do and embrace in terms of project development and community improvement initiatives.

Recently a group of grade 12 students from WPC - Rory Picton, Sukhman Panu, Jeremie Minami, Brendon Yerik, Christian Melendez and Noah Hinds - held a day long dodgeball tournament at their school. As part of the tournament they raised funds and food for Winnipeg Harvest which helps feed hungry people in this city.

People do not typically wake up one morning and decide to do these types of things. Usually they need to work through their ideas; often they need the right setting in order to come up with good ideas in the first place; always they need support.

Through a variety of activities including talking with an association from downtown Winnipeg to discover actual needs and self-documentation to discover empathy and understanding of themselves they were able to identify not only an area they were interested in helping, but also how they intended to help.

I've written about some of the methods and approaches I use for Butterfly elsewhere, but what was really interesting in this particular project was how the team took something that already existed and made it so much better. WPC has been having this day long dodgeball tournament for many years. The team saw an opportunity to take the tournament and change it maybe 5% by adding a fundraising and donation element to the event. What I love about this is how this represents so much about creating and disruption that I love - it doesn't have to be about inventing something completely unique and never seen before. It can be about taking something people already enjoy doing and making it a little bit better and meaningful, and by doing so completely changing it while retaining much of what already works.