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 Judy Leslie in Families,Fathers and have Comments Off on The Powerful 10%!!!

The Art of Manliness

Jacob, one of our full-time boys boarding school therapists, has been doing a focus group with the students entitled “The Art of Manliness”.

boys boarding school students learn to change a tireThe group is covering a large variety of practical things that include such topics as:

how to dress for an job interview
how to tie a tie
how to be a gentleman
how to respectfully ask a girl for a date
what changes take place during puberty

boys boarding school students like to change a tireIn addition to these discussions, the boys each received first-hand experience changing a tire on a car this week. Michael, our maintenance manager, led the fun.

As you can see from the pictures, our boys didn’t just watch… they also go their hands dirty doing it.

The boys are turning into men right in front of our eyes. It all happens so fast!

However, the next time any of you get a flat tire, just call one of the Cherokee Creek boys to change it. They will do it… and do it like gentlemen! 🙂

posted by Judy Leslie in Lessons,Students and have Comments Off on The Art of Manliness

Cross Country Bears

by April Payne

This weekend we officially closed our cross country season with a celebratory get-away. I write this with mixed emotions as I Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding School Cross Country Team 2015have thoroughly enjoyed the time we have spent together.

We left Friday afternoon and spent the evening in a yurt village on the Chattooga River where we indulged in a “Paleo-style” feast from the grill. We let our table manners go and really went for the “caveman” feel, letting the boys eat steak and salmon with their hands (in reality, we only brought plastic forks and they were breaking them left and right!).

After we packed in the protein for our morning workout, we enjoyed some time around a bonfire with team building, story telling, and looking through photos from all our adventures.

Saturday morning, the cross country team had me up before 6:30 a.m. (my plan was 9:00 a.m.), anxious to hit the trails. Getting to run as a team, and without time restraints, made it possible for us to stop along the way for a crossfit workout and yoga by the water (led by Jin).

AnCherokee Creek Boys Boarding School Cross Country Team Having Fundrew did an incredible job of setting up a scenic route through the woods that would land us in a perfect spot on the lake to hang hammocks and spend a day in and out of the water.

I’m not sure any of us were ready to return to the school, which says a lot about their behavior and how laid back we allowed the weekend to be.
Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding School Cross Country Team Member Relaxes

The way we have grown this season, as individuals and a community (myself included), exceeded any expectations I had. I came as a leader for this cross country team thinking I was simply volunteering to participate on a few weekly runs. My attitude quickly grew into anticipating our practices and time with the team above all my other CCBS responsibilities. By the end of the season I spent much of my time dreaming about how we could take what we’ve accomplished to new levels in the future.

Each of our cross country team members who are graduating soon will undoubtedly be missed, but we all are excited to send them off with the great memories we’ve shared and the important values we’ve instilled.

Cheers to an unforgettable cross country team!
posted by Judy Leslie in Athletics,Cross Country Team,Students and have Comments Off on Cross Country Bears

Cherokee Creek Expands Its Borders

— by Beth Black, Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding School founder

As we enter the season of the “VISIONARY” on our Medicine Wheel curriculum — the place of new beginnings and life dreams — we have some exciting news to share!boys boarding school expansion

At our 12th anniversary celebration during the latest Family Seminar, we announced that we have entered into a lease-to-own agreement for the purchase of our current campus! And… on Monday, May 18th, Cherokee Creek Boys School purchased 39 acres of property near our campus, enough to hold our many dreams!

As you can see in the first photo, there are acres of flat pastureland that will soon be turned into playing fields for the boys. Our field sports include soccer, softball, lacrosse and football, so the fields will be great for practice. It will offer great space for running, organicKoblick House gardens, a gymnasium and other buildings. The property also contains an organic chicken coop, so be prepared for fresh eggs on your next visit!

Included with the purchase is the Koblick House, built by the former owners Ian and Tonya Koblick. Named in their honor, this unique home is a fully-furnished 3,300 square foot log house that will initially serKoblick guest cabinve as a place for staff retreats and a meeting place for parents and guests.

Additionally, there is a guest cabin, a 3-bedroom double-wide mobile home, a 60′ x 40′ steel building shop with electricity and concrete floor, three covered sheds, four enclosed sheds, a goat barn, and a horse tack room. Goodness! And, as that weren’t enough, we are also inheriting a truck, tractors, trailers, generators, welders, saws and all kinds of interesting equipment for the Kobrick horsesupkeep of the property. We foresee the building and creation of many new things in our future!

Our first dream will be the construction of a gymnasium. The long-term plans are currently being envisioned by the CCBS team, and we will keep you apprised of our progress. As Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it!”

What would your dreams be for the future of Cherokee Creek Boys School? We’d love to hear from you!

posted by Judy Leslie in Campus,Future Plans and have Comments Off on Cherokee Creek Expands Its Borders

Color Run Fun for CCBS Cross Country Team

Boys Boarding School Cross Country TeamIt is time to celebrate a lot of victories for our boys! The Cherokee Creek Boys School cross country team has been hard at work the last few months. To close their season, they participated in the local Color Run.

The Color Run was founded in March 2011 as an event to promote healthiness and happiness by bringing the community together to participate in the “Happiest 5k on the Planet”. Runners will start the race wearing white shirts. By the time they cross the finish line, they are plastered in color! The fun continues after the race with an unforgettable Finish Festival. This larger than life party is equipped with music, dancing and massive color throws, which create millions of vivid color combinations.

To add to the fun, our boys completed it in the rain!

Before praising all of our boys, we want to give a round of applause for our dedicated staff: Andrew S and April. They have been wonderful role models for these boys, on and off the trails. They have modeled what it looks likes to preserves and have dedication.

CCBS team at Color Run starting lineApril wrote about the successes each of the boys had this season. Enjoy!

I’m seriously so proud of what the boys have made of the season. You should know:

•David has lost 34 lbs and is currently choosing to do his own exercise program (on top of what he does with the team!)

•Jacob has gone from a 10:30 mile to a 6:20 mile!

•Reno, Frankie, and Spencer placed amongst the North GA track region!

•Ryan beat me in a 5-miler (and continues to remind me often !) Note: He used to drag his feet and tell me he didn’t choose to be on team (about 10x every practice). Now he comes with a smile.

CCBS team at Color Run Finish Line•Elliott beat us all with a 400 push-up record (in 20 minutes)!

•Charlie has mastered the art of talking and running!

•Jin is simply a ninja!

•EJ joined the team 6 weeks ago with contagious enthusiasm and crazy work ethic!

•Seth’s endurance has increased from a 1/4 mile to 6 miles!

•Scott remains a source of entertainment and is learning to pace himself in training (we are learning that together)!

•Alex has turned his anxiety into fuel to push himself!

Do not hesitate to compliment these guys. They deserve it!!! What a great group of boys do we have!

posted by Judy Leslie in Athletics and have Comments Off on Color Run Fun for CCBS Cross Country Team

CCBS Students Experience “Lure” of Fly Fishing

CCBS fly fishing TN group 2015If you’ve ever seen the movie “A River Runs Through It” you’ll remember the “romance” that’s associated with fly fishing. Fly fishing offers the opportunity to relax, enjoy and learn about nature, and spend precious time with friends and family in some of the most beautiful locations in the country. It provides one of the best excuses for travel you’ll ever find, and it’s always good for an exciting shot of adrenaline when a “man vs. fish” battle of wits and strength takes place.
David LePere and student fly fishingLast weekend, a group of students and staffers from Cherokee Creek Boys School went to Tennessee to experience the thrill of fly fishing. They had a load of fun fishing in the rain. There were many “firsts” for some of the boys. One night the group enjoyed a “low country boil”. Two of the boys had never tried shrimp before. One of the highlights of the trip also included a fun boat ride in the rain.
CCBS students fly fishingSome people might let the rain keep them from having fun, but not these boys!  The weather is always beyond our control, and they truly made the best of it. These CCBS students will all have memories of the trip that will last a lifetime.
We want to give a big “THANK YOU” to the sweet family that shared their home with the group for the weekend.
We were also so happy that David, Cherokee Creek’s Executive Director, was able to go with the group and enjoy time with the students outside of his office.
So… when’s the next fly fishing trip? Let’s do it again!
posted by Judy Leslie in Activities,Fishing and have Comments Off on CCBS Students Experience “Lure” of Fly Fishing

Cherokee Creek’s Costa Rica Adventure – A Trip Summary

Therapeutic boarding school therapist Jacob Hafkin

CCBS therapist Jacob Hafkin

Well…It has happened!

Five students, two staff members.  A two-hour van ride followed by a 3.5-hour flight, and there we were…strangers in a foreign land.  From the second we got off the plane ride we were hit with the melodic sounds of Spanish and the oppressive heat of Central America. Customs was a painless endeavor. Only Ben G. was singled out for questioning.  I do believe they were confused as to how someone could smile so big after so much travel!

Upon exiting the airport we met our guides, Ormidas and Jake.  Ormidas, a tiny muscular “chihuahua” of a man was born and raised in the very jungle that we were about to enter.  Forever smiling, he embodied the energy and positivity that Costa Ricans (“Ticos”) are known for.  Jake, originally from Wisconsin, has been living in Costa Rica for four years.  Possessing a wealth of knowledge regarding the local flora and fauna, this yoga practicing pony-tailed zen master was a calming force for the boys throughout.

CCBS boys in Costa Rican hotel pool Our first day saw us drive the two hours to Volcan Arenal.  The boys were excited to see that our hotel had a pool, and eagerly washed off the dust that traveling 1600 miles brings.

The next morning we woke up early and drove to the side of the volcano to go zip lining.  The boys were nervous, and as the morning fog cleared I watched each young man zoom off across the valley and through the jungle canopy.  There was some nervousness, and a few of the boys needed some coaxing, but all got through, and there were smiles all around by the end.  After flying through the jungle we spent some time at ground level, swimming and playing at La Fortuna falls.  Winding down more than 500 steps, the steep staircase leads to a 75 meter cascade into a beautiful Carolina blue pool (go heels).  The water was ice cold, and the guys loved swimming as hard as they could towards the base of the falls, getting pushed back by the force of the water.

Beautiful Costa Rican waterfallWe ended our VERY active first day with a trip to Baldi Hot Springs.  Lets close our eyes and picture a beautiful union between a hot tub and a water park.  Think of cascades of 100 degree water flowing down rock faces.  Up where the water was at its hottest there were adults relaxing in pools, sprawled out like a coon hound in the sunshine! Lower in the park our boys wore themselves out racing down bathtub temperature waterslides and splashing in steaming hot pools.  It was sublime.  And resulted in all students asleep by 8:30…even more sublime!

Our next day was probably the toughest for the guys.  We woke up at 4:30 in the morning and jumped in the van for a 7-hour drive to the southern part of the country.  Most of the trip was quiet, with boys lost in ipods or books, and sometimes even both.  The drive was broken up by a stop at a bridge over a river known as a prime crocodile sunbathing spot.  I asked the boys to choose a sacrificial victim.  Didn’t plan on them nominating me…

The end of the drive saw us leave one car and head into a pair of off road vehicles for another 2.5 hours of  4×4 low rockcrawling to our first home stay.  Overlooking the Rio Savegre Valley, the Rancho Tiramu was a mountaintop paradise. The patriarch Santiago and his family made us feel welcome from the start. It wasn’t long before Ben and Harrison were plucking feathers off a chicken, the same one we ate later that night.

The boys played soccer with the kids and taught each other tunes on the guitar.  Our bunks were comfy, in the way only a foam mattress in a wooden structure can be.  We fell asleep to the sounds of tree frogs and cicadas, and woke to the crowing of a rooster.  Harrison especially was perturbed to realize that the rooster does not, in fact, crow only once when its time to wake up,  and he had to learn to ignore the fowl noise (see what I did there?? Foul/fowl??…it’s a pun!)

Hard work also in Costa RicaOur day was spent helping the family repair a road that was rutted and washed out from numerous rains and landslides.  Griffin especially enjoyed using a pickaxe, and Lars, as usual, could be counted on to work hard and smile big.  We were rewarded with a  trip to a hidden waterfall pool a short hike away from the homestead.  The boys relaxed in the water and Santiago’s grandson reveled in the opportunity to play with kids his own age.  Through hand gestures, periodic translations and two languages the boys asked him about school and his life, and found that he had been born at the same ranch they were staying. It was a true cross cultural experience.

The afternoon was spent sorting black beans.  Hours of examining tiny legumes for imperfections gave us all a whole new understanding for what goes into our food.

The next morning we woke up and hiked the three miles to our next homestead.  After winding our way down the mountain we climbed in twos up to a platform and stepped into a cable car.  Suspended over the Rio Savegre, the slightly terrifying contraption of welded scrap metal allowed us to hand over hand work our way across.   This next home stay was a lesson in kitchen skills for our boys.  We made chocolate bread and banana bread.  We made our own cheese and called in the cows.  We cut and pressed sugarcane, and the boys tasted Tico Gatorade (sugar cane water).  After the inevitable sugar rush/crash we tucked in to bed.  More foam mattresses on the floor and another early morning.  The guys learned that 5 am is not, in fact, an early wakeup if you went to sleep before 9 the night before!  Lars, however, was still not a fan of mornings.

Our final home stay was reached after a 4-mile hike. Turns out that “flat” is a relative term in Costa Rica.  Harrison dropped his hat in a cow pie, and Griffin and Lorcan made sure we knew they weren’t happy.  All was as it should be.  Ben grinned goofily, and Lars cracked jokes.  The boys all rallied around struggling group members, and we really came together as a team.

Costa Rican ziplining and ropesOur final home stay was a gorgeous setup.  8 bunks, 16 beds in total were built into a wall that overlooked a covered “living room”.  Just over the railing was a sheer drop down to the river.  Across the river was a cliff.  We were told that in the rainy season there’s a waterfall, but we had to make do with beautiful orchids and a green scene of dreams.  This site was the home of our rappelling adventure.  All the boys were active participants, and those who were nervous were able to conquer their fear of heights.  Our tree climbing was canceled due to rain, and instead we visited a traditional sweat lodge.

Three times we went into the sauna.  First for the body, next to cleanse the mind, and finally for our spirits.  In between we dipped our bodies into the cold river.  We were told to maintain silence and remain introspective.  I was proud of the guys, as they took the opportunity seriously.  Nicholas laughed afterwards about feeling a frog jump across his hand and having to stifle his squeal.  On our way back we were reminded of the cycle of life, when we saw a snake in the process of swallowing another.  After a meal (guess what…more rice n beans!) The guys learned how to make chocolate.  From grinding the beans to adding milk and sugar we were taught that chocolate doesn’t taste all that terrific before we add the necessary ingredients!  That night, after a few games with the kids the boys tucked into their beds.  Griffin was excited to sleep in his hammock!

Hard work also in Costa RicaOur last section of the trip was a journey down the coast to Playa Matapalo.  Our accommodations were right off the beach, so the location was stupendous.  Nick and I managed to snag a room with AC, but the boys had fans (totally a teachable moment…life isn’t always fair ☺).  We took surf lessons, and the next two days were an adventure of crashing waves, repeated spills, multiple applications of sunscreen and finally getting the hang of it!  I am so proud of all our crew.  Every single student was able to stand up on the surfboard.  Lars, Ben and Griffin were our water babies, and had to practically be dragged out of the water!  Lars rocked a headstand on a surfboard (can you believe it?!)  and all had a blast.

Our final day was a nature hike through Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio.  We saw bats, we saw howler monkeys, we saw deer and we saw toucan.  Spiders and sloths and lizards OH MY!  It finished at a gorgeous beach…what a way to say goodbye to the Pacific!  Our drive back to San Jose was painless, and we celebrated our final night with a visit to the celebrated Machu Picchu restaurant. (Cause Peruvian food in Costa Rica makes sense!)  The guides and staff took part in a traditional ceviche and lomo salteado, and the boys ate more cheeseburgers and pasta.  You can lead a horse to water!…

The next morning we woke up and jumped on our plane back.  The boys were sad to say goodbye to Central America,  and as we stepped off the plane Harrison turned to Nick and said “This is the best trip I’ve ever been on.”  I feel the same way, dude.

We did it.  Cherokee Creek Boys School stepped (way) outside of our comfort zone.  We jumped headfirst into a foreign country and navigated the unfamiliar language, culture, food and terrain.  Our boys went from exclaiming about the poverty to exclaiming about the locals’ eternal happiness and positivity.  We built confidence and overcame obstacles.  We lived with authenticity and we thrived in the moment. And in the process discovered what is real and true about ourselves and the world around.

posted by Judy Leslie in Spring Break Trips and have Comments (2)

A Week in Review at Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding School – P.A.T.H Style

It’s been an exciting week at Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding School as we prepare for Spring Break. We thought it would be fun to share some updates through the lens of the P.A.T.H.  (The model we use to help create balance in the key areas of Personal Enrichment, Academics, Therapeutics, and Health and Recreation.)

Beautiful artwork donated by Garlinghouse Family to our Boys Boarding School

Garlinghouse Family


We were honored to receive a very thoughtful and generous gift from Jeff and Kim. The gift is truly a labor of love!  With 250,000 stitches, Kim created an intricate Medicine Wheel for us. Jeff made an easel to display this one-of-a-kind project. They spent over 9 months making this beautiful piece of art.  That is right, 250,000 stitches! As the boys would say, THANK YOU MAMA AND PAPA G!

Teacher Nick and the boys looking at Smart Board at our Boys Boarding School


Nick hasn’t missed a beat! After returning from the State Lego League Competition he jumped right back into class. He continues to have fun in his classroom by finding creative ways to use his new Smart Board tool.  The image to the left gives you a peek into a lesson with the boys on angles. That sure makes geometry look more approachable and interesting!


Parent Passages Transition WorkshopTHERAPEUTICS

Today wraps up a 2-day Parent Passages transition workshop. With 17 families attending, we know that the collaboration and support will help them to gain many additional tools and ideas to begin the process planning for their son’s graduation.

We had the privilege of Dr. Tim Thayne, author of the book Not By Chance to speak at this workshop. He is helping to fortify, heal, and inspire the family unit. We are excited for these families to start a new season in their lives. Keep up the good work everyone!

Jacob C represents Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding School at a local high school track meet.HEALTH AND RECREATION

Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding School had their first track meet with a local high school. Our boys did great! It was a fun experience for all of them.

Reno got 3rd in the 800 meter and 5th in the 400 meter. Frankie got 2nd in the 400 meter. These boys competed against other high schoolers! How cool is that!? Talk about being powerful and strong!

Let’s get a ‘Go Bears’ on the count of three…

1…2…3…GO BEARS!


What a terrific week!

Stay tuned for more exciting updates! We have a group of boys and staff leaving for Costa Rica today for the first Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding School International trip. We look forward to sharing pictures and stories soon!

We hope everyone has a wonderful Spring Break!

posted by Judy Leslie in Academics,Athletics,Donations,Families,Students and have Comment (1)

Smart Boards in the Woods?

boy diagrams a sentence on one the smart boards

Carson and the students are having fun diagramming sentences. Don’t you wish you could be a part of this class?

We have been having fun the last couple weeks as we learn how to use our new Smart Boards!

Smart Boards are interactive whiteboards that use DViT (Digital Vision Touch) technology for user input such as scrolling and right mouse-click in the same way as normal PC input devices. This camera-based touch technology for interactive whiteboards and interactive displays uses digital cameras and proprietary software and firmware to detect finger or pen contact with the screen.

boys boarding school student writes on one of the smart boards

Math teacher, Nick, gets a lesson from the boys on how to use the smart board. Who said the teacher is the only one who can teach?

Each Smart Board interactive whiteboard operates as part of a system that includes interactive whiteboards, computers, projectors and Smart Notebook collaborative learning software.

At Cherokee Creek Boys School we know it’s important to incorporate a variety of teaching styles and methods to meet the needs of our students. These Smart Boards will certainly enrich our efforts and offer a more successful learning environment for our boarding school for boys.

After all, our mission states: ‘We are a learning community!’

Thank you to the friend of Cherokee Creek Boys School for this generous donation of Smart Boards! These extra tools will be of great value to our teachers and will benefit many CCBS students for years to come!

posted by Judy Leslie in Academics,Donations and have Comments Off on Smart Boards in the Woods?

CCBS Dominates Howl-O-Ween Run

First Row: "Loki," Jackson, Holden, Carter, and John Second Row: CCBS Weekend Manager Andrew Stevenson, Tristan, Tyler, Josh and Counselor Kurt Brandon

Cherokee Creek boys showed up in force at the 3rd Annual Strut Your Mutt and Howl-O-Ween on the Green
3K Race to benefit the Humane Society of Seneca, SC this past weekend. Seven boys, two counselors and Academic Dean Denise Savidge all participated in the event which has been getting bigger and bigger every year. About 60 humans participated and CCBS Student Tristan finished first overall. Another 15 dogs ran with their owners and most popular finisher was “Dexter,” who rolled across the finish line to a round of applause and a lot of head-patting.

Dexter and his owner finish with pride

Academic Dean Denise Savidge finished her first race with the support of her students, although far behind early finishers Tristan and Carter.

posted by Judy Leslie in Community,Students and have Comment (1)