Team 2 Hits The Road!

Hello World,

We have embarked on our tour through Eastern Canada. We actually left a few weeks ago now, but wanted to catch you up on how things have been going. Bryan, one of the School of Leadership students on our team, offered his daily journal to give you all an inside glimpse into a typical week on tour with us…who am I kidding, there’s no such thing as a typical week. But here it is, Week 1 of Team 2’s Eastern Tour. Enjoy!

Team 2 on the bus

Hey everyone,

Our first adventure has begun.  We have actually set off on our Eastern tour. My best friend Adrian’s team has now left westward as well. 

Last Sunday was Day 1 of our journey.  Mel’s parents and Adam showed up to see us off, and we said goodbye to Adrian and Kelsey, acknowledging shockingly that it will have been the longest time we will have been separated since August.  We pulled out of Hamilton and flew on past Toronto.  From the highway in North York, I swear I saw the CN Tower.  Once in Laura’s hometown of Oshawa, we were warmly greeted by her parents at her home.  I beat JP and DJ at Chess and Queen was blaring in the background.  We ate well with leftovers for the road.  Between Belleville and Kingston, we heard a vibration, so we pulled over to discover that we would be pulled over for a while.  Slight change of plansA cop and a mechanic came by, but nothing really got moving until Dave and Sue, old friends of the Earles (our co-founders) arrived to pick up our trailer.  The tow truck failed, but a flat-bed finally succeeded in loading our bus.  In Belleville, we dropped off the bus at a Ford dealership and brought the trailer to their home where we caught the end of the Olympics closing ceremonies, had a beautiful dinner and got to sleep.


Day 2, instead of presenting in Ottawa, as per the plan, we hung around, waiting for the bus to be repaired, watching Titanic and playing pool, until JP, DJ and I decided to make things quicker by driving out to Kingston in Dave’s truck to pick up a new wheel and hub which we brought back.  In forty-five minutes it was fixed and we could be on our way.  We had dinner at Wendy’s in Kingston, and spent the night in a pastor’s vacant house in Cornwall, the most Eastern city in Ontario.  Good news:  The school in Ottawa will be revisited!

Day 3, we packed up the whole lot of food that the pastor left for us and drove the very short distance to the school in Cornwall, where the local police department was having us put on three different shows for all the local schools.  After the first one, we had lunch, and then did the last two, each one better than the last, except for some wireless microphone difficulties…  We drove back to Kingston again to stay at Ashley’s house.  He is the LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) media/marketing manager.  It was Ryan Wood and his family, the current LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) boss of everything, who came with our bus and Rachelle.  We transferred our things into the new, larger bus and went to sleep, glad to have Rachelle join our ranks, making us ten:  JP, Meagan, Christian, DJ, Hammer, Laura, Melissa, Rachelle, Nicole, and myself, Bryan.

Day 4, in the morning, some of us cleaned up the bus to ready it for our voyage.  We left, and picked up some groceries.  On our way east, we picnicked in the bus.  We arrived in Quebec, my first time.  It is really strange to be in a French-speaking land!  It is new for me.  We got some free coffees from McDonald’s and drove on through the old and new sights of Montreal.  We stopped near Trois-Rivieres for dinner at A&W, and then had our first tastes of the show 24, which would lead to a regrettable consuming addiction for us.  In Quebec City, we stopped at a McDonald’s, where we met with an old English-speaking LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute)r-turned Quebecois.  We drove on through the night. I was slated for the duty of talking to JP through the night while he drove.  Just after we crossed into New Brunswick, JP and I got to sleep while Meagan took over driving. 

Day 5, we awoke just beyond Fredericton.  Once in Moncton, JP picked up breakfast groceries.  From then on, DJ did the driving.  A few episodes of 24 later, we were through Antigonish and the bulk of Nova Scotia and into Cape Breton on the Northeast tip of the province, to Sydney Mines.  We ate some local fish and chips and then arrived at our billets, a pastor family.  The band and I got the overflow billet at the house of some guys from their church.

Day 6.  It seems that Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are currently under a freakish grip of snowfall that is uncharacteristic of the region for this time of year.  Anyway, this morning I awoke with a migraine, possibly due to the change in barometric pressure.  We got to our first school in Florence.  The students were quiet, but appreciative and the show went great.  We packed up quick and moved it over to the next school in North Sydney.  We picnicked in the bus before we loaded in.  Our billets sat in for this awesome show, and we went home to have dinner at their house back in Sydney Mines.  That night, we went to a get-together in town, where we experienced small-town Cape Breton fellowship and a little step-set dancing.

Sydney Mines, NS

 Day 7, us guys slept in a little at our billet, and played a little N64 on their big-screen TV and enjoyed a pancake breakfast.  We met up with the rest of our crew and went into town.  Most of us went shopping at the local second-hand store, but JP and I walked around the harbour, contemplating the economy of the region.  I tasted the Atlantic Ocean for fun, and then JP and I took our speculation to research.  We stopped into Blue Star Traders and chatted with the owner.  It seems that the areas core industries of old, coal mining, farming and fishing have long gone, and so general desperation has dominated the area.  People rely on EI and turn to crime to get by in some cases.  It seems that this regrettable phenomenon is increasingly common in Eastern Canada.  After lunch at a local burger stand, our resident local teenager, Britney, showed us the way to an old WWII barracks on the coast cliffs.  We had a blast, climbing the lookout tower, exploring the underbellies of a rotating gun mount, exploring the barracks rooms, spelunking in a well and, for me, seeing the open Atlantic for the first time.  That night we watched 24, had chili, and relaxed for the night.


1 week down, many adventurous weeks to go! Stay tuned. -JP

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: March 21st, 2010

Keys, Pens, and Paperclips

Rock and RollThey are only the elite, specially selected few.They parade across our stage brandishing their weapons of choice. These are no ordinary instruments of torture, unusually, they are in the form of a broom, hockey stick, and a severed pool noodle. These ‘creme of the crop’ are showing us their rock and roll moves like never before (literally, I don’t think any of them have ever done this before!). They head bang as in the days of their youth, and while doing so there are generally three items that come spilling from their pockets.Keys, pens, and paperclips.Once in a while there will be an unlucky individual who flings their glasses inadvertently across that glossy hardwood floor not caring a bit, because they need to rock harder than their students did. They will let nothing stand in the way of their ETERNAL GLORY!  For that is what they will receive if they can rock harder than a bunch of high school wussies!Teachers Know How to RockThese are the teachers who have bravely sacrificed eyesight and dignity alike to participate in our “school of Rock” and no matter how many teachers we see on stage we are always shocked at how well they perform!Canada has some of the most amazing teachers, many of which end up on our stage and its their students who choose them because they know that these are the teachers who know how to have fun. These are the teachers who are trusted and liked by their students. They are the elite only because of the dedication to their students, dedication that is clearly seen when they rock out no holds bar to make sure their students get a laugh! we congratulate you teachers who are chosen for our air band rock off because you are the teachers who care for their students. We did not preselect you, you were chosen by the students you teach. In fact its almost as if you selected yourselves. How you ask? By being there for your students, approachable, and friendly. You selected  yourselves when you decided to love kids and not just teach them. Our country is full of teachers and administratorswho love their students, who only want the best for them and their futures. A lot of the time you are the elite, the specially selected few, who will humbly rock out with us, and for some reason you are always carrying in those magnanimous pockets of yours:Keys, Pens, and Paperclips

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: November 5th, 2009

Its the Circle of our Lives

Think Day, Hero Holiday, School of Leadership, ONE Book … LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute).org has a variety of interesting programs, but are they related, tied together somehow? LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) is like a ring, no no not the one ring…you know the one…”in the darkness bind them?” That’s not us, that’s some other guy. At LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute).org every one of our programs support and lead into the other. Someone asked me today what I do for LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute), in what capacity I work for them. The truth is that my job title is irrelevant. Each of our jobs support and are connected to each other’s. LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) is a circle.I just returned from a Hero Holiday trip in the Dominican Republic. I met some fantastic people. There are few things more surprising than how content the people of Dominican Republic really are, compared with someone living in a developed country. Even more surprising is the effervescent joy that overflows and spills onto us from the displaced people of Haiti living in Dominican Republic. There are too many stories to tell here and now. For more on Hero Holiday, please visit Hero Holiday’s site or subscribe to 52 Stories. What I’ve come to realize is that my job, my official job at LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute), is incredibly tied into Hero Holiday. The members of Team 3, my Hero Holiday team, had students (and one mom) from all across our fine country. Almost every province was represented by Team 3’s members, and we even had a girl from the Yukon! Most of these participants were there because of Think Day, a multimedia motivational experience that visited their schools. That is my job, Think Day. I am a Road Team Manager, along with my husband JP. We travel with teams across Canada from September to June (we break for Christmas of course!) tirelessly (most days) driving, setting up, performing, speaking, running workshops, discussion groups, etc etc etc. We tell our stories to bring hope and courage to our listeners and to let our generation know that they have value, that their voice can be heard, and that we want to join our voice with theirs to change our world!On my Hero Holiday trip I saw those values not only realized in the lives of our participants, but applied to a people who are considered regrettable and forgettable by a world who has done very little to better their situation. All year I talk, and I talk, and I talk about social justice and trips like Hero Holiday, telling Canadian students that they can do something about the injustices they see in their world, and that it is just that; THEIR WORLD. And here they were! All 19 of them on Team 3 asking the same question I asked myself over and over again this year. “Have I actually accomplished anything? What is it that I’ve really done?”The answer to my question was in the 100+ students who participated in Hero Holiday Dominican Republic Week 1, and more directly in the 19 members of my team. Not all had been at the shows that I spoke at, but there were quite a few who had been, and most of them had seen an LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) show or had known someone who did, and that was why they were there! Their experiences in Dominican Republic taught them, not just told them, that they matter to the world. They matter to that stateless Haitian child, or to that Dominican Grandmother. They are actually making a difference.My purpose in LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) was reflected in the eyes of a girl who had been given the power and opportunity to help when she thought she couldn’t. When she thought she was helpless to do anything about the situation she saw in front of her, I got to help her realize that we’re stronger together and that we really could help this life, this girl, this time.Hero Holiday had changed my life before I had ever been on one and experienced it for myself, but now it’s not just stories, it’s real. I got to work alongside some people I had met briefly in a gym somewhere in Canada and had asked “Now that you know, what will you do?” and they showed up. That gives me 19 new reasons to keep going. To keep telling my stories, stories about myself, and about the people I have met and been inspired by. To keep touring, and driving, and setting up, and tearing down, and talking and talking and talking, because though you may not all come on a Hero Holiday, some of you may. Some of you will hear for the first time that you are valuable, that your life counts for something, and you will take that message with you wherever you go, including a Hero Holiday.I will step out onto the road again with fresh perspective on what it is that I do. 19 faces and stories to keep me going, and this is the cycle, this is the circle: Think Day, School of Leadership, Hero Holiday, 52, One, Think Day, School of Leadership…So watch for us this Fall. Are we coming to your school? If we’re not and you want us there, CLICK HERE .

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: August 5th, 2009

What’s Going on in Adam’s Head?

Hope, value, dedication, purpose,and love.To accomplish anything great in this life, all of those character traits are needed. The funny thing about those character traits is that you never really know you have them until challenges arrive!Team One has had some challenges recently. As many of you are aware, we didn’t make it out west for our tour. On March 3rd, in Minnesota, our tour bus hit some black ice driving along the I-94. We flipped, rolled and destroyed our bus. Thankfully, none of us were seriously injured and we can go back to life as normal- if we want to.This accident has thrown us some challenges- the band we were touring with, along with our sound guy decided to leave after the accident to spend time at home. The rest of us decided to keep going. For Team One, we believe nothing worth doing comes easy and we believe in the message we share with students all across Canada. We can’t stop now – there is too much to do!So here we go… we have a new tour and a new team. The Ocean Buried is now touring with us. They have done a great job so far in the shows we have had here in Ontario! We are all super pumped to have them with us! With a band, we also need a sound man; so now we have Jesse. Jesse literally dropped everything he was doing to join our team! He is an amazing guy and has been a great help these past few weeks.Hope, value, dedication, purpose, and love.In LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute), we share a message that we get to choose who we become. Every day, life gives us opportunities to become who we want to be. Those choices rarely come through easy events. Growth comes through the difficult times, and we all have them. How we respond shapes who we become.And…that is why we are all excited to get back out on the road!See ya on the road!Adam Churchman, Road Team Manager, Team One

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: April 2nd, 2009

Press Release: Absolute launches character education initiative, sponsors services to Canadian schools

Think Day LogoHamilton, ONTARIO – May 23, 2008 – LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) Leadership Development, Canada’s leading student empowerment organization, is a charity that has been partnering with Canadian schools since 2001. Their “Motivational Experience” – a hard hitting mixture of young speakers, multimedia and music – was the most popular motivational assembly amongst Canadian schools. Building upon the success of this presentation, LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) is launching a new program called Think Day. Remaking the popular one hour motivational presentation with cutting-edge MakeYouThink® character education curriculum, Think Day will also give schools the option of adding workshops and global awareness sessions to create a comprehensive motivational program that will have lasting results in student’s lives. All of Think Day’s content is suitable for both Catholic and public schools.”We look forward to increasing the effectiveness of our motivational teams, and we believe these additions will do just that”, says Vaden Earle, CEO of LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) Leadership Development. “Our goal is to continue to inspire this generation with a relevant message that their lives have purpose and value”The workshops and leave behind video curriculum are designed to facilitate discussion between students on issues that are fundamental to them. Global awareness sessions have a huge impact on the perspective students have of not only the world, but their own lives as well. Together, the package is a vital tool for schools that want their motivational and character education efforts to have a lasting impact.The incredible news for schools is that in conjunction with the launch of Think Day, LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) is fully sponsoring their services (that other organizations charge over $5000 for) with a donation based model of payment, so that all schools, regardless of budget or demographic, will be able to take advantage of the best student empowerment opportunity in North America.LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) is accepting bookings for the 2008-2009 school year and can be reached at or 1-866-432-4464Click here for promotional brochure PDF!

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: May 23rd, 2008

Danica: How we all fell in Love

I only know her first name: Danica. She was 18 months old, abandoned, and a Haitian child of parents with no country of origin, living in Dominican Republic. She was stateless, and no one knew she existed.
I had only heard her cry once, and had never seen her give any response to anyone. My friends, Phil and Donna, had found her in a house where she had been left alone for up to 8 hours a day because her mother had abandoned her and her father was in another part of the country working. He had people watching her, but he was no where to be found.
LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) had decided that we would adopt her and we would commit to her medical and personal care. She was unable to walk or talk, and was very sick from a urinary tract infection that had been left untreated for weeks, perhaps months, on end. We had taken pictures of her and we were all excited


Author: LiveDifferent

Date: August 2nd, 2007

Now He Knows His Name!

DSC_7141.JPG Some of you reading this blog may remember my story about the little boy at the garbage dump that I found that told me he couldn’t remember what his name was that his mother called him. He was an orphan and had been without parents for more than 7 years. He was at the dump that day because he often came there looking for food and to collect bottles to get some form of income (less than 25 cents a day).

As our truck pulled once more into the village


Author: LiveDifferent

Date: July 31st, 2007 Article: Youth challenged to get involved in global community Article: Youth challenged to get involved in global communityBy Scott RostsWest LincolnJun 15, 2007

SMITHVILLE — Christal Earle wants youth to know they can make a difference.The co-founder of LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) Leadership Development, a Hamilton-based charity that encourages hundreds of students to engage in humanitarian relief work, says youth need to understand that they can follow their “dream of what (they) want to be and do”. Earle recently visited South Lincoln High School in Smithville to spread her message during an assembly presented by the Youth for Change.”You and I can make a difference,” Earle told the students and special guests from organizations such as Grimsby Life Centre and International Justice Mission.After a tumultuous time during her youth growing up in Saskatchewan, Earle said one day she decided she wanted “something more”. Looking around the world today and some of the global issues such as aids orphans and children dieing from starvation, Earle said her and her husband Vaden “decided we wanted to do something about it”.From there, Hero Holiday was born. The program provides opportunities for high school students to participate in a humanitarian relief project by bringing practical assistance to those living in extreme poverty. Activities include everything from building homes to distributing supplies to working with children at risk. Last year they even built a school.”People like you and me are going to Third World countries and making a difference,” said Earle.The stories, she admits, are touching and their outlook on life changes as they see first-hand what people living in other parts of the world go through.In 2005, the first year of Hero Holiday, about 180 students went to work with Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic. She said the refugees lived in a garbage dump, a site that “blows your mind”. She warned the students to ensure they wore their shoes while spending the two hours with their refugees there, so they would remain safe while walking through the dump. When the time was over, she noticed one student wasn’t wearing their shoes. She looked around and discovered none of the students had their shoes anymore.”Every one of the students that day gave their own shoes off their feet to the refugees living there,” she said. “They made a difference.”Earle challenged students to get involved and “make a difference”. She said programs like Hero Holiday are an “invaluable opportunity” to show how lives can change and provide “brand new beginnings” for those in impoverished countries.Opportunities exist this summer, she said, with Hero Holiday. Upcoming trips include the Dominican and Mexico. Information on the organization can be found at .”You will never regret it,” she said of the experiences.

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: June 15th, 2007