Medicine Wheel Art Project

CCBS Medicine Wheel

by Christy Swafford, CCBS Assistant Admissions Director

The Four-Fold Way by cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien is a book we use at Cherokee Creek Boys School as part of our self-development curriculum. In the book, there is a Medicine Wheel that highlights four universal values that hold meaning to almost every person. The values of the CCBS Medicine Wheel are “Truth”, “Love”, “Wisdom” and “Courage”. Through the study of these values people can learn meaningful life lessons such as how to be “open to outcome”, how to be a leader, and how to be forgiving. Our boys and families have the opportunity to  learn and practice these values during their time at Cherokee Creek.

Last week, we had the privilege of having Melissa, one of our moms, come and do an awesome art project that focused upon the Medicine Wheel.

The boys took CCBS Medicine Wheelbeaded necklaces, cut off each bead, and then placed the beads strategically on the table. With the placement of thousands of beads, the project actually took us about 7 hours to complete. The boys did a fantastic job with staying focused, and they worked very hard to complete the table. In fact, the boys had to be pulled away from this fun project for bedtime!

Thank you, Melissa, for the wonderful way you interacted and helped the boys with the Medicine Wheel. We look forward to the next creative art project you have for us!

 

posted by Morgan Arnold in Activities,Art and have No Comments

Sowing Seeds of Success

boys boarding school gardenby Christy Swafford, CCBS Assistant Admissions Director

 

“The season of failure is the best time for sowing seeds of success.” – Paramahasa Yogananda

 

So many boys come to Cherokee Creek Boys School upon facing failure after failure. What is always amazing for me to see is when they finally find success for the first time in a long time. Once they find it, it continues to grow and reproduce. Like seeds that are planted in a garden, successful habits consistently need care and attention for them to reproduce season after season.

 

boys boarding school gardenUpon this premise, our Environmental Science teacher Ben Briggs decided to start a CCBS Garden Club. Each boy is given a 5′ x 5′ plot in which they get to plant a range of in-season fruits, vegetables and flowers.

 

The students were able to start this project with a “blank slate” that some would see a dirty and unkept. They were then given all the tools they would need to succeed. Over time, they will reap what they’ve planted and cultivated. This may take a couple months or even several months, but what is important for each boy to understand and remember is that this process takes time. The end result will be a bountiful harvest.

 

boys boarding school gardenThe same could be said about many of the boys at our therapeutic boarding school. They are a wonderful mess when they come to us. What they need are the right tools, support, and guidance. It takes time and patience, but the end product is incredibly beautiful. It is important to remember that they cannot do this alone. It truly is a team effort: family, therapist, staff, and friends.

 

On a fun note, the boys get to wear some awesome straw hats when they are gardening. I hope you enjoy these this pictures. Keep your eye out for the progress of these gardens, the one in the ground and the one in their hearts!

 

posted by Morgan Arnold in Activities,Gardening,Lessons,Nature,Students and have No Comments

Et tu, Brute?

Boys Boarding School students read Julius Caesar Our students were required to read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar this summer. Believe it or not, there wasn’t a single boy who had requested to read it. Go figure!?! For some, they learned that Caesar was much more than just a salad!

Anyway, we required them to not only read the book, but to be involved with acting the play out in class. As we gave campus tours to prospective families last week, you could hear a lot of stomping going on upstairs in the classrooms. One of the visiting parents quipped that it sounded like that often at his home when his son does homework. The difference? Our boys are having FUN doing their schoolwork!

Boys Boarding School students read Julius CaesarAt our Family Seminar last week the boys were given an opportunity to perform a Julius Caesar play for their families. They even created costumes for the occasion!

Because of this experience, the students grew deeper in their understanding of some of the Medicine Wheel values. If you are familiar with the CCBS Medicine Wheel, can you think of any values that may have been utilized and enhanced?

posted by Morgan Arnold in Academics,Activities,Lessons,Students and have No Comments

Having a Field Day on Field Day

by Christy Swafford, CCBS Assistant Admissions Director

Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding School Field Day fun at the beachOur students went back to school on Tuesday, but before they started another semester of books and learning, they had two awesome days of fun activities. After all, Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding School IS a place “where boys can be boys!”

On the first day, the boys had a Field Day… literally! They played popular games such as Cornhole, KanJam, and shared in other fun outdoor activities.

Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding School Field Day 2105On the second day, our students went to the beach. Okay… okay… it isn’t the “real” beach like over at Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head, but  the boys loved playing in the sand and swimming in the man-made lake.

Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding School Field Day FunAs you can see from this these pictures, they had opportunities to build traditional sand castles. And, of course, when you get a bunch of teenage boys together at a beach, you know for sure that someone is going to get buried up to their neck in sand!

Yes, we did make sure that he was dug back up before we left!

It is so important for families to have traditions. What are some of the traditions your family celebrated in the summer before you headed back to school? Did you go to the beach? Was it an amusement park? Did you enjoy being in the middle of nature by going camping?

Please share those with us in the comments section below!

posted by Morgan Arnold in Activities,Nature,Students and have No Comments

Momma Bird

boys boarding school students discover birds nestBy Christy Swafford, Assistant Admissions Director at CCBS

At Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding School, there is always an adventure taking place! These adventures not only happen with students, but also to our awesome team of staff members, too!

Our science teacher, Ben Briggs, found an amazing gem of a bird’s nest. But not just any bird’s nest… this bird’s nest was different that the average one. It wasn’t found way up high in a tree somewhere. In fact, it wasn’t even found in a tree at all. Ben found this bird’s nest in our pole barn. Our pole barn is filled with Wilderness Trek gear (rafting helmets, canoes, and life jackets).

Can you guess where this sweet momma bird made her nest?

If you guessed the rafting helmets, you are correct!

boys boarding school students discover birds nest
Some of the boys went on a “quiet” adventure to meet these baby birds. Yes, I did said quiet. They didn’t want to scare the birds and really wanted to see the momma bird come and visit her babies. A couple of the more patient boys waited around quite a while to see that would happen. Well, there patience paid off. The momma bird brought her babies some food and then went out to find more for them. It was truly an amazing experience to see this take place.

boys boarding school students discover birds nest

Nick, one of our students, loves photography. He took these pictures. I truly love the creativity our boys possess. Not only that, but I also love to see their wonder and appreciation for animals and nature. These boys made sure to tell me about how a momma bird tenderly cares for her babies. I feel there is a lesson to be learned here…

What lesson do you think that these boys learned?
posted by Morgan Arnold in Lessons,Nature,Students and have No Comments

Graduation Celebrations Summer 2015

Boys Boarding School GraduationOne thing to know about Cherokee Creek Boys School… Graduations are a BIG deal on campus!

Each graduation ceremony is a solemn, important, and true “rite of passage” for our students. Each of our boys enter into the program as one person… and after months of hard work, they have been transformed into older, wiser, healthier, and confident young men.

Boys Boarding School graduation ceremonyDuring the Summer of 2015, we were blessed to hold several graduations for very deserving students. We won’t give away much of what happens during these special events because of the “sacredness” involved. Each part of the ceremony has a unique symbolic meaning for the boy, his parents and family members, his fellow students, and us as mentors and staffers at Cherokee Creek. If you’ve ever attended one of our graduation ceremonies, you’ll remember how special and sacred this occasion can be for all involved.

Boys Boarding School graduateHere are a few things we can share with you about some of the symbols used within our graduations:

As many of you know, at Cherokee Creek Boys School we challenge boys to discover “what is real and true about themselves and the world around them”.  We understand that this involves a journey of learning. The journey is symbolized by the representation of a canoe on our logo.

Boarding School for Boys GraduationThe CCBS Medicine Wheel symbolizes a graduate’s journey and his growth in truth, love, wisdom, and courage while at Cherokee Creek Boys School.  Family, friends, staff and students gather around the Medicine Wheel for “honorable closure”.

During the graduation celebration, students express what they have learned – what is real and true about themselves – while at Cherokee Creek.

Boys Boarding School GraduationIt is also a time to share meaningful goodbyes with their CCBS brothers and be reunited with those who have supported them from a distance.

We have more graduation ceremonies scheduled in the upcoming months. What a joy it is to celebrate the transformations that are taking place in the lives of these very special boys and their incredible families!

 

posted by Morgan Arnold in Families,Graduations,Students and have No Comments

Tour de Cherokee?

Cherokee Creek Boys School student attend spin classMany of the boys at Cherokee Creek Boys School have been really getting into health and fitness. A few days ago, several of our awesome staff members organized a trip to a local gym for a spin class.

 

They boys were really excited to try something new. They were challenged physically, but like true CCBS Bears, they didn’t give up.

 

After the event ended, we asked several of the boys what they thought about the experience. Did they learn any thing new about themselves?

 

Cherokee Creek Boys School at Spin ClassHere are some of their answers:


Eli
– (What did you learn that was new?) There are a lot of ways to be active. (What did you learn about yourself?) It can still be fun even if you aren’t really going anywhere. (What did you think about the overall experience?) I want to do it again.

James – (What did you learn about yourself) I found out I enjoy pushing myself. (What did think about the overall experience?) It was fun.

 

Scott – (What did you learn about yourself) Spin is harder than real biking. (What did you think about the overall experience?)I thought it was pretty good.

Cherokee Creek Boys School attends Spin Class

Lars – (What did you learn about yourself) I can bike. (What did you think about the overall experience?) I would do it again.

 

We have a great group of boys at Cherokee Creek Boys School that continue to push their limits mentally, emotionally, and physically. In addition to burning off a lot of stored up energy that teenage boys have, they also had the opportunity to build their confidence by trying something new, and being successful with completing the challenge.
posted by Morgan Arnold in Activities and have No Comments

Summer Cross Training Season Races On!

Jacob C represents Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding School at a local high school track meet.Cross Training season has officially begun and we are proud to announce that Cherokee Creek Boys School is moving forward with an official team!

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce the coaches that will be undertaking this summer season with the boys. The coaches for the team will include April Payne and Andrew Stevenson.

April is in her inaugural year at Cherokee Creek and is excited to bring to our school her passion for running, fitness, and teaching healthy habits. She began running during middle school track, and has gone on to run multiple half marathons.  April recently completed the Disney Marathon in a time of 4:12. She is currently training to become a strength and conditioning specialist.

Andrew is in his third year coaching Cross Country at CCBS. He has truly been impressed watching the impact that fitness has had on the growth and personal enrichment for each of the students.

We will be developing a contract to outline the expectations of each team member. The expectations will detail bothCCBS team at Color Run starting line the mental and physical barriers that all runners struggle with, and how we expect team members to cope and overcome these challenges.

The students have responded very well to training thus far and we are excited to be more intentional about training, quantifying results, and defining success. We will be updating families, primaries, and therapists on the progress. We’ve created a series of benchmarks to provide measurable progress and we will be continuing to track and challenge students to strive for personal improvement.
Boys Boarding School Cross Country

Our coaches are convinced that cross training will incorporate student-specific challenges and reinforce a lifestyle of fitness and healthy choices. We plan to provide a safe and quality program that is both challenging and fun. The team is excited to see what they can accomplish. As students develop their skills, we’re confident that the summer success will transfer to other sports and activities they will participate in.

We believe that participating in individual sports are a great way to have important core values such as personal accountability and accomplishment instilled into the boys. Here’s to a great summer cross training season!

posted by Morgan Arnold in Athletics,Cross Country Team and have No Comments

EARTH TREK (CCBS Father-Son Trek – Summer 2015)

For the third time, Lake Jocassee in Devil’s Fork State Park served as a gorgeous backdrop to our Father-Son Trek. The three Father-Son Trek Summer 2015Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding Schoolnights and four days were nowhere near enough time to take in all of the spectacular scenery that Jocassee offers. However, it was the perfect amount of time for some unique father and son bonding.

Day one of our Summer 2015 Father-Son Trek consisted of setting up camp and a crash course in kayaks. There was also a new twist with a friendly game of “Ultimate Wilderness Survival”. We could all feel our survival ratings rise with this new-found knowledge!

Father-Son Trek Summer 2015Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding SchoolDays two and three brought with them a couple of outdoor adventure opportunities. One was paddling through open water to a beautiful white sandy beach for swimming and lunch and the other was a relaxing pontoon ride to natural waterfalls for exploring, swimming and some great fishing. Luckily for us the fish were ready and willing to strike during our stay at Jocassee!

Whether it was laughing around the campfire, soaking up the sun on a warm sandy beach, or paddling a kayak in wide open water, this Father-Son Trek offered us the opportunity to find out what is real and true about ourselves and the world around us. Just ask any father who has taken the time to participate and he will surely tell you that there is just something special about these Father-Son Treks.

 

posted by Morgan Arnold in Activities,Fathers,Treks and have No Comments

The Powerful 10%!!!

Janet Allison - Founder, Boys Alive

Janet Allison – Founder, Boys Alive

With Father’s Day only 9 days away the Cherokee Creek Boys School team would like to share very special Father’s Day reminder from Janet Allison, Founder, Boys Alive!

Happy Father’s Day! 
A tender day for all who have lost their dads, didn’t know their dads, or feel estranged from their dads. May you take heart in your “dad” connections to other people in your world! And even if you aren’t a dad, know that there are plenty of little boys around you that are watching you, copying you, wanting to know “What is it to be a man?” Give them an awesome role model to emulate! And THANK YOU.

 

How do you get along with your father?

Father reading to sonsWhen Steve Biddulph, author of The Secret Lives of Men, asks this question in parenting seminars, men’s responses were similar, whether they were from China, Colorado, or New Zealand:

30% (or so): Barely speak
30% (or so): Prickly. Easily hurt with wounding comments and awkward exchanges.
30% (or so): Looks good – from the outside. Surface involvement but not much intimacy
10% (or so): He’s the best!

What are you doing now so that your son will be among the rare 10% when asked this question?

I absolutely encourage you to seek resolution with your own father – whether he’s been present or absent in your life. (More about that another time.)

With Hallmark images of ties, cars, and fishing with dad flooding every store, make this month the moment YOU take a stand.

Take a stand for the generations that will come after you, so they can answer that question with, “He’s the best!”

This Father’s Day, Take A Stand For:

  • Protecting partner and children by being an involved father – positive, loving, and firm
  • Valuing the wisdom of your elders and passing it on to your children
  • Relating with partner and children with emotional honesty
  • Providing for partner and children to the best of your ability

In 99% of our human history, elders – fathers and sons – hunted together, passing down age-old, hard-won wisdom which ensured the survival of the tribe. In our 1% of NOW, many boys and men suffer from the lack of guidance, mentoring, bonding, hardship, challenges, and connection.

They yearn to have this deep, hard-wired connection and supply it in less-than-productive ways when they join together to form gangs or other groups. Often these are peer-directed and lack the wisdom teachings that they so deeply crave.

Take a stand for fostering and recognizing ways that men and boys need to regain their feelings of being whole – down to their core.

 

posted by Morgan Arnold in Families,Fathers and have No Comments