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A Purposeful Approach to Building Character

Marc Cadet

Bethel House Parent at McCallie Cottage

Marc Cadet and his wife Tessa are House Parents in Bethel's McCallie cottage. They provide residential care for as many as eight boys at a time, and have two young daughters of their own. Marc, who grew up in Haiti, enjoys blogging about the special and everyday moments in McCallie as their boys make the journey to healing and hope.


My wife Tessa and I are constantly looking for diverse ways to teach the boys in our Bethel cottage about how to interact with one another. Our goal is for them to interact amongst themselves with the utmost respect, attentiveness, and consideration whilst enjoying each other’s company.

My wife recently came up with the brilliant idea of team building activities. Having done these activities so often, she can get very creative.

The Towel Challenge

A few days ago, we rounded up the boys and presented the idea. Tessa then took them outside and did an activity. All six of the boys stood on a towel laid on the grass, and they were to flip the towel over without ever stepping on the grass.

It was quite interesting to watch. Each of our boy’s distinctive qualities, strengths, and weaknesses were exposed. Our oldest, who tends to want to be the leader, started off leading but failed to execute. The frustration was evident.

Our second oldest who likes to present suggestions appeared to want to give up since none of his suggestions were accepted by the leader. Our youngest follows along and does what is asked of him.

A Creative Approach

Our second to last boy was the most intriguing of them all. He is the one that builds little trinkets, fiddles with legos, creates something out of anything, and makes paper airplanes. After a few minutes of him following directions, he decided to take the lead on the project. He effortlessly and successfully completed the challenge. I was proud to see his character shine amidst the rest of the boys.

Building on Strengths

Watching the interaction of the boys reminded me how important it is to be purposeful in providing opportunities for them to build their character. So often my wife and I preach the need for good character, the need to behave properly, and the need to treat others as one would like to be treated.

We tend to forget that they have their own strengths that they can build upon. I am excited to see how far my wife and I can take our team building opportunities to help provide a platform for our boys to positively shape and build their character.

“…we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”  Romans 5 2-4 (NIV)

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