It’s not the challenges you choose that make you grow, its the challenges you don’t choose which build your character. I don’t know why I said that but it was pretty amazing and Alan wanted me to repeat it so here it is:

“It’s not the challenges you choose that you grow from, it’s the one’s you don’t choose that will build your character.”

I found myself saying that to our candidates this past weekend as we were in the middle of our Leadership training. And it got me thinking.

At every Adventure. Catholic we are hit with new challenges. And sometimes we take it for granted. Yes, we take for granted that during our four day intensive retreat, we will have to face new challenges that we did not ask for, and to which there are no way to prepare for. Situations will arise and stuff will go sideways, Alan and I will get into some heated discussion, things won’t go as planned. And all that makes for a good weekend because as we train our teens to overcome obstacles, we have the opportunity to overcome ours at the same time.

This brought about a very clear message that I passed on to our leadership trainees – It’s not the challenges you choose that you grow from, it’s the ones you don’t choose that will build your character”.  Think about it for a second.  It’s easy to prepare for a test when you know what you will be tested on.  But to truly know something, you have to live it day in and day out.  Many students in school today expect to be told exactly what is on a test in order to prepare for it.  But does that mean they truly know the information they are being taught, or do they only know the information that is important?  Do they really need to pay attention in class at all if they will be told what to study at a later time?  Theoretically, a student being taught this way would really not have to put in much effort, at least until they are told what to study for the final test.

With Adventure Catholic, on the other hand, our leadership trainees are presented with obstacles they have not had the opportunity to prepare for, and asked to use all their resources to complete whatever task they are given.  This type of training offers deeper learning opportunities for our leadership trainee candidates.  It offers them a chance to learn from experiencing rather than only learning what they are told they need to know.  We have found that this type of experience is much stronger for teens in particular.  Allowing them to fail on their own without adult input and without being told HOW to do something creates an opportunity for their cognitive thinking process to be exercised.

If you would like more information about how you can sign up for Adventure Catholic, please contact us at  We look forward to growing with you in your faith!