by Matt Foran, Director of Camp Ockanickon for boys

We tell Ockanickon campers, “The Hero Is You.”


Think about the heroes of stories. When you read or hear a story, there’s something you’re meant to understand. In fact, we believe it’s the main reason we tell stories.  You’re meant to understand that the hero is you.

In your own life, it’s you who is at the center of the story.  It’s you who encounters fear and failure.  It’s you who meets allies and mentors.  It’s you who could explore, grow, and discover new potential. It’s you who could use that potential to make the world a better place for all!

You could do this, but first, you would have to see yourself as the hero.

You would have to choose to take on this responsibility. You’d have to reject the easy route and head towards the difficult truth. By doing this, you may find a greater purpose and meaning. You may discover a better, more heroic version of yourself!

We want our campers to see the hero within themselves and within others.  We want them to push their potential not to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world.

Pulling from the steps of the hero’s journey, our six core values, and inspirational stories and people from our camp’s history, we created the six heroic potentials to help aid your son on this great adventure.

They are:

Ascender, Elder, Spirit, Stargazer, Storm, and Monk.

These character and performance strengths are the developmental-core of the Ockanickon program.


They are depicted as shields because they represent sources of strength.  Rotated sideways, they are depicted as arrows because they point the path towards reaching potential.

Think back again to the stories we tell. So many of them at the core are exactly the same. The hero goes on a journey. Broken into three parts, he or she explores, grows, and thrives. This is the great adventure of life – to reach your potential and share it with world.

The great tragedy of life is to not.

So remember, the hero is you!