Recently, I was invited by Brainerd resident Jim Erickson to speak at the Brainerd Lakes Area Senior Center. During my visit to the senior center, I planned to share my beliefs and vision for Warrior Activities. After my brief introduction, I was thoroughly pleased by the enriching, enlightening, and completely engaging conversation that unfolded with the entire group.
Our conversation ranged from educational and athletic achievement to economic efficiency and the role sports play not only at Brainerd High School but in our broader society. At its core, the discussion centered on the concept that as Warriors, we do extracurricular athletics and activities well and we do them efficiently. True as this may be, this is not license for complacency; our work continues.
On Jan. 11, nearly 70 of our Warrior juniors and seniors will engage in initial leadership training with prep leadership guru Craig Hillier. This training is designed to equip our student leaders with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to positively influence their teams and teammates as they seek to produce “seasons of significance.” More importantly, we want to provide opportunities that will best prepare our young Warriors to strive for lives of significance.
Likewise, we are challenging our coaching staff to be intentional in their thinking, planning, and coaching to ensure our athletes’ experiences as Warriors provide mental, physical, and emotional growth. To ensure we have reached these goals we must ask ourselves the following: Do students want to be part of our program? Are they better, stronger people as a result of their participation in our program? How do we know?
We believe our programs should be equitable and inclusive. This yields additional questions. Does a $450 athletic fee reflect this belief? What will our user fee structure look like when Warrior Way, Inc. funds are exhausted? Our participation numbers have rebounded since the fee spike from a few years ago; would even more students participate if the fees were lower? What if our programs didn’t have to raise funds to support their equipment, travel, and uniform needs?
Moreover, parents of today’s Warriors have a greater investment of both time and money in support of their children’s extracurricular endeavors when compared to previous generations. Are we are proactively working with our parents to educate them on how they can best be a supportive and positive influence in both their children’s success and the overall success of our programs?
As you can see, our work truly does continue. With these questions and many more, there is work to do and challenges to address — and we will embrace them with our core value and knowledge that the children of our community are worthy of our time and effort. I was once given a great piece of advice, “A simple answer to a complex problem is probably a wrong answer.” We have amazing kids, hardworking and committed coaches, and a passionate community that will continue to pave the legacy that is the Warrior Way. While continuing to face complex problems, we are committed to working hard to seek the “right” answers for the benefit of our entire community.
CHARLIE CAMPBELL is activities director at Brainerd High School.