CCBS at NATSAP National Conference 2018

NATSAP National Conference 2018


Cherokee Creek Boys School showed up in a big way at the recent National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) National Conference Shaler Cooper, Admissions Director at Cherokee Creek Boys School, was Chairperson for the NATSAP 2018 National Conferenceheld in Tampa, FL. last week. Shaler Cooper was honored for her third consecutive year as the national conference chairperson. CCBS Executive Director David LePere is on the Executive Board as the Treasurer having also served as Chairman the Best Practices Committees. This is serious and important work for us, but as you can see below, when it comes to having fun, we can be seriously into that, too! One of our core values at CCBS is FUN!


Michael Gurian at NATSAP 2018CCBS was this year’s Platinum Sponsor, bringing our friend Michael Gurian to the conference as our keynote speaker. In addition to co-founding the Gurian Institute, Michael is a social philosopher, family therapist, corporate consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of twenty books published in fifteen languages. Michael, as usual, was both educational and entertaining…plus, he loves Cherokee Creek! Additionally, we know you will enjoy seeing him at the CCBS May Family Seminar!


NATSAP Conference Fun and FellowshipMichael and former CCBS consultant Susie Pecuch joined CCBS Co-Founders Ron and Beth Black, CCBS Primary Counselor Spencer Palmer, David LePere, CCBS Transition Coach Brandie Burleson and CCBS Therapist Christy Todd for a rollicking dinner of storytelling and friendship.


NATSAP 2018 fun - Cherokee Creek Boys SchoolCCBS also co-sponsored a Great Gatsby Gala during the NATSAP Conference. Music, dancing, trivia games, photo booths, fortune tellers, magicians and great costumes made the evening spectacular. It was a good time for letting our “authentic selves” out to play for a while!

In fact, we proudly announce that the Cherokee Creek brain trust teams took first and second place in the trivia contest. Way to go, Bears!

Each of our staff members returned home with new ideas to continually improve our small school with a big heart! Learning can be fun!



posted by Judy Leslie in NATSAP and have Comments Off on CCBS at NATSAP National Conference 2018

Bullying: How Much Do YOU Know?

Megan Kopscik - Olweus Bullying Prevention TrainingWe are so thankful to have Megan Kopscik, a ClemsonLIFE Graduate Assistant in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, serving with us as an intern at Cherokee Creek Boys School. Another plus is that Megan is certified in the Olweus bullying prevention program. She is doing training with our staff on how to spot bullying, as well as how to respond if and when it occurs.

Here are a few of the notes Megan shared from her wealth of knowledge on bullying:

Bullying is when someone repeatedly and on purpose says or does mean or hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending himself or herself.

The 3 Components of Bullying Behavior:

(1) Involves an aggressive behavior

(2) Typically involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time

(3) Involves an imbalance of power or strength


The Effects of Being Bullied:

(1) Depression, Anxiety, and Illness

(2) Absenteeism & Lowered School Achievement

(3) Thoughts of Suicide

While most people think that bullying is most prevalent in high school, prominent studies actually show a steady decrease as the grade level climbs. Reports of being bullied are highest in the the 3rd grade and continue to decrease all the way to the 12th grade.
Bullying - How Are Students Bullied?Many people think about the physical abuse that occurs in bullying situations, however, the most common form of being bullied was verbal abuse, followed by rumor-spreading and social exclusion. A relatively small percentage of students in the study indicated that they had been cyber-bullied (2-3 times a month or more), compared with verbal abuse, rumor-spreading, exclusion, and sexual threats.

Another troubling statistic reports that 30-60% of children do not report their victimization–at least not to adults at their school or to their parents. Typically, boys and older students do not report their incidents as often as girls and younger students.

Megan ended her presentation with a some words of hope, “It IS possible to reduce bullying, but it requires a team effort and a long-term commitment.”

Thank you so much, Megan, for your wise counsel to our staff in this area. We are so glad that you are part of our team Cherokee Creek Boys School.

posted by Judy Leslie in Bullying and have Comments Off on Bullying: How Much Do YOU Know?

LePere Elected to NATSAP Board of Directors

David LePere - Member - NATSAP Board of DirectorsI am very pleased and proud to announce that CHEROKEE CREEK BOYS SCHOOL’S Executive Director, David LePere, has been elected to the Board of Directors for the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP).

NATSAP was created in January of 1999 to serve as a national resource for programs and professionals, acting as an advocate and resource for innovative organizations dedicated to the effective care and education of struggling young people and their families.

NATSAPMembers include therapeutic schools, residential treatment programs, wilderness therapy programs, outdoor therapeutic programs, young adult programs and home-based residential programs. All are working through NATSAP to make sure our industry provides the highest quality services to the young people and families they serve.

Until his recent selection for the Board, David served for two years as the chair of NATSAP’s Best Practices committee and served on the committee a total of 4 years. He has been attending NATSAP national conferences since 2004 and has been a presenter at NATSAP’s national and regional conferences, collaborating with other programs to bring relevant ideas and conversations to conference attendees.

Says David, “As always, NATSAP has an ever-increasing responsibility to bring awareness of our schools and programs to a larger audience. The need for therapeutic services, at the highest level of quality is only increasing, and NATSAP is positioned to help its members continuously improve.”

Congratulations, David, from the CCBS Board and all members of our staff! We are so proud of this recognition of your leadership in our field, and we’re so proud to call you “ours!”

Beth Black, Founder, Cherokee Creek Boys School

posted by Judy Leslie in David LePere,NATSAP and have Comments Off on LePere Elected to NATSAP Board of Directors

Longtime Cherokee Creek Boys School Teacher Wins Regional Award

Longtime Cherokee Creek Boys School teacher Nick Linscott was awarded a staff excellence award at our recent regional NATSAP conference.

Cherokee Creek Boarding School Teacher - Therapeutic Boarding School Teacher wins NATSAP AwardNick is in a very elite group of people who love the logical and rational world of Math and Chemistry and Physics, and are great counselors! He’s especially keyed in on those students for whom Math has been the source of failure in their past.

Under his wise, patient guidance, those students discover what they can do. And from that base of confidence, no matter how small, are able to take a risk and push a little more each day.

He’s been recognized as Coach of the Year in the First Lego League robotics competition twice, not because he sets the plays and tells the team how to program the robot, but because he supports the values of the competition and makes a safe place for the creativity of the team to flourish.

As a staff, we could say much more about our appreciation for Nick. However, it would only be appropriate to share with you a letter we recently received from one of our alumni whom Nick has had a positive impact:
Cherokee Creek Boarding School Teacher - Therapeutic Boarding School Teacher wins NATSAP Award“It is no easy task to describe Nick Linscott without seeming overly dramatic. That’s my take at least. I wish I could be there to see some of the faces Nick may make. Without a doubt, this man has been a crux of my, and many others’ paths. Nick—and everyone around him—has the great fortune of being a compassionate and caring soul, with an immense aptitude for teaching and leading.

Although his job description may only read “Math Teacher”, he serves many other roles outside of the classroom. We all know Nick’s place at the head of the Currahee table, or sometimes in the kitchen with the dish crew, and every year slaving away at a Lego table. Once, and only once—in my time at least—he was sighted on the basketball court, for a few brief seconds, to block a free throw to show his long-lost skills. I had never been so honored.
Cherokee Creek Boarding School Teacher - Therapeutic Boarding School Teacher wins NATSAP Award
All these things show the omniscient nature of Nick’s loving reach. Of course, we cannot go without mentioning the vast intelligence he is so eager to share with our community. Maths, Invertebrate Zoology, Biology, Chemistry, hiking, climbing, rafting, and just darn common sense are a few things he is so adept at. There is no end to Nick’s fatherly influence. Even today, I constantly try to remember every word of wisdom Nick shared with me, that it may better my future.

Without a doubt, Nick is the kind of guy that could complement and enhance any community he touched. This being said, Nick is a soul to be cherished, celebrated, and most obviously, thanked.”


posted by Judy Leslie in Awards,Lego League,Teachers and have Comments Off on Longtime Cherokee Creek Boys School Teacher Wins Regional Award

Learning to be “Warriors” at our Family Seminar

Cherokee Creek Boys School Family Seminar - 2016-02A

by Christy Swafford, CCBS Assistant Admissions Director

Family Seminar is a time that is cherished at Cherokee Creek Boys School by staff, parents, grandparents, siblings, and the boys. It is a time to reconnect and gain tools to put into practice now and continue when a family leaves CCBS. It is a time for families to connect with one another about their experiences, what has worked for them, and what hasn’t worked with them. There is always a lot of laughter to be shared and tears to be shed. It is truly a healing time for all.

Cherokee Creek Boys School Family Seminar - 2016-02BThis past Family Seminar focused upon the attribute of the “Warrior” on the Medicine Wheel. A “Warrior” is defined as someone that “chooses to be show up and be present”. It is easy to show-up, but it can be difficult to be present in mind, body, and soul. We have wonderful families that were truly authentic and able to be present at Family Seminar. Through the studying about the Warrior attribute, our boys are learning how to be leaders, how to be courageous, and how to be responsible.

Cherokee Creek Boys School Family Seminar - 2016-02CWe had the privilege of Tim Thayne, founder of Homeward Bound, speak to us at one of our sessions. He discussed the importance of building your Family Counsel at home. We also had sessions discussing natural and logical consequences. It is really easy to be reactive, but it is much harder to take a step back and see every opportunity as a teaching opportunity. For parents to be successful a this, they must utilize every aspect of the Warrior attribute.

During the Family Seminar, we also received insightful tips from our student panel about what it means to them with being a leader, being courageous, and being responsible. By volunteering to be on the student panel, these boys are practicing being a leader, being courageous, and being responsible.

There are so many other great sessions and tools to be learned at each Family Seminar. Our next Family Seminar will take place in a few months, on May 18 – 20.

posted by Judy Leslie in Families and have Comments Off on Learning to be “Warriors” at our Family Seminar

Hydroponics Lab

by Christy Swafford, Assistant Admissions Director at Cherokee Creek Therapeutic Boys School

Christy Swafford - Boys Boarding School AdmissionsCherokee Creek now has a new hydroponics lab!

If you do not know what a hydroponics lab is, follow us on this journey to find out. The boys and staff couldn’t be more excited to start this fun process.

One of our students, Reid R wrote this blog about it.

“In class recently, we have been learning about hydroponics, or food grown without soil. Collectively the classes are going to take care of 15 different plants. The seeds we are planting are Wild Bergamot, Lemon Verbena, Strawberries, Lemon Balm, Lemon Basil, English Lavender, and Chocolate Mint. I am excited for this because Ben (the Environmental Science Teacher) said we could make tea out of the plants when we are done. Also, I have only seen hydroponics on NOVA and stuff like that. We also recently got our seed starters, so we are ready to begin.”

Hydroponics Lab at Therapeutic Boys SchoolIt is really rewarding to see the passion from the boys about the process involved with a hydroponics lab. They are interested in every detail and really want to make sure they do it correctly. All of us are on pins and needles with excitement to see what happens next.

In the pictures you can see the seed pods. The boys put the tiny seeds in the hole in the middle. Once the roots grow 1-2 inches, they will be placed in water inside clay pots. This will allow the roots to expand. Stay tuned to see what happens next!

I’m really proud of all the hard work the students are putting into this project. The boys have done all the research with how it works. Next time you visit our campus, remember to stop over and see how our plants are faring.

I personally can’t wait to sample the goodies when the time comes!

posted by Judy Leslie in Academics,Activities,Gardening,Nature,Students and have Comments Off on Hydroponics Lab

Lego Bears are STATE-BOUND!

Therapeutic Boarding School goes to Lego League State Competitionby Nick Linscott, CCBS Math Teacher and Lego League Coach

I am proud to report that the Cherokee Creek Boys School LEGO Team finished fourth out of 25 teams at our local qualifier in Seneca, SC.

That means we will be taking our show on the road to the Western South Carolina State Championship for a 60 team tournament.

It was really neat to see our team, out of all of the other teams, chosen to be interviewed in front of the whole crowd of tournament attendees. All eyes were on the Bears – all teams, coaches, officials, and families – as they answered questions about their project. How cool is that?

The guys also earned the Second Place trophy in the Project Presentation category.  Quite a day! This team did all of us proud–great teamwork and very positive and appropriate interactions with all other competitors, volunteers and visitors.  They showed up and represented themselves, their families and our school as Warriors–and we made State.  My goal for them was met.

Therapeutic Boarding School goes to Lego League State CompetitionThe championship tournament happens Saturday, Feb. 6 at Easley High School in Easley, S.C.  There are many logistical details to work out to prepare for the Lego League tournament. We will let you know as soon as I have anything definite.  We hope to see you there cheering on our Bears!

Here is the home page of the tournament:

Editor’s Note: This is Nick’s 12th year to take a team to a Lego League competition. We are so grateful for his hard work and dedication to our students.

posted by Judy Leslie in Academics,Activities,Lego League,Students and have Comment (1)

Major League Preparations for Lego League

Lego League Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding Schoolby Christy Swafford, CCBS Assistant Admissions Director

What all goes into a Middle School Lego League Competition?

Many of you may think you just simply build Legos, OR as many of us did growing up, you get the adults around us to do it. That is not the case with the Lego League Competition taking place this week.

The boys are designing and programming the robots on their ownNick Linscott, CCBS’s awesome Lego League Coach is there for moral support only.

The boys are judged in the following areas: Robot Design, Project, Core Values, and Robot Game. What do each of these mean, you may ask?

Lego League - Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding SchoolRobot Design: The boys must give a 4-minute presentation on their robot design and why they designed it the way they did. This involves speaking in front of complete strangers and presenting as a team. There are no adults doing the speaking for them. Wow, that takes a lot of courage for anyone!

Project: This year the competition’s project deals with recycling. They boys have to write a script, act it out, and make costumes to get their point across. The specific problem our boys are wanting to solve is how to minimize the number of paper cups we go through on a daily basis for medication distribution. These boys are not afraid to be authentic with anyone. That is enough to win in my book!

Core Values: The boys are judged as a team on how they cooperate together, whether or not they are “professional”, and if they are “gracious” with one another. We believe that they will be heads and shoulders above the competition since they practice cooperation and grace on a daily basis!

Lego League - Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding SchoolRobot Game: The game this year has to deal with picking up trash with the robot they have created. The boys program the robot in order to complete the tasks at hand. They will score points for the tasks they complete.

Needless to say, there is a lot that goes into the Lego League Competition. Our Lego League teams have had wonderful success in the past. Let’s wish the boys good luck as they tackle Lego League Regionals in Seneca on Saturday!

posted by Judy Leslie in Academics,Activities,Lego League and have Comment (1)

21st Century Academics

by Christy Swafford, Assistant Admissions Director at CCBS

3D Printer at Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding SchoolAt Cherokee Creek Boys School, we use different experiential tools within our program to connect middle school boys with nature, technology, and other unique learning environments. Technology can be a scary thing for most parents. They immediately think of cell phones, video games, iPads, and the list continues. Some great tools we’ve discovered for learning involve technology such as smart boards, mechanical engineering experiments, and 3D printing.

The neat thing about this technology is that it creates excitement and intellectual stimulation within the middle school boy. It becomes something that they can connect with and put their on stamp on, inside and outside of the classroom.

3D Printer at Boys Boarding SchoolCCBS recently had the privilege of getting a 3D printer. The boys were excited about this new tool and many of them viewed it almost as if it was a new toy (the same could be said about some of our staff members!).

Important lessons that our students can learn from 3D printing include: problem solving activities, creative skills by designing and making new objects, and project management aptitude as they follow their project all the way to its completion.

3D Printer at Boys Boarding SchoolWe’ve found that a 3D printer really gets the brainstorming going within a young mind. Each student is tasked with generating an idea of what they would like to make. As they begin the process, their project may not come out the way they had hoped. There may be times that they want to give up when things get tough. However, our boys are learning to endure and finish something that they started, which is rare for a lot of middle school boys. And when their project has successfully been completed and they can hold their product in their hands, there is much joy and a sense of accomplishment.

There is so much that can be learned from these cool tools!

Some of the creative things the boys have already made: mugs and an octopus. What other things are possible?

Here’s to fun learning in 2016!

posted by Judy Leslie in Academics,Activities,Lessons,Students and have Comments Off on 21st Century Academics

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

by Christy Swafford, Assistant Admissions Director

Cherokee Creek Boys School Christmas TreeIt is a wonderful time of year. People are putting up their Christmas Trees, Menorahs, and other fun holiday decorations. The boys have had fun putting up the Christmas Tree on campus, preparing for Hanukkah, listening to Christmas music, and doing fun holiday crafts.

We have been reminded by the boys from up north and Colorado that it cannot be Christmas until we have a foot of snow on the ground! We cannot give them the snow, but we can help them create a lot of fun new memories.

Cherokee Creek Boys Boarding SchoolAnother fun activity the boys participated in recently is the Westminster Festival of Trees. One of our awesome families decorated a Cherokee Creek Boys School Christmas Tree and submitted it into a Christmas Tree decorating contest. We are really excited to share CCBS with our community. Some of the boys went to the lighting of the tree. It is inspiring to see our families excited to share about CCBS with those around them. We always enjoy seeing whole families discovering what is real and true about themselves and the world around them.

We hope you enjoy the pictures of this beautiful Christmas tree. What values do you spot within its ornaments?

Happy Holidays from the CCBS family to yours!

posted by Judy Leslie in Activities,Community,Students and have Comments Off on O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree