Archive for the 'Families' Category

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

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 Judy Leslie in Families,Graduations,Students and have Comments Off on Graduation Celebrations Summer 2015

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%!!!

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)

Family Seminar Fun

The week of February 10 was very special for Cherokee Creek Boys School as a multitude of events happened concurrently for our wonderful families. Some of our CCBS mothers kicked off the festivities by attending Women’s Seminar hosted by our founder, Beth Black. They then attended, en masse, CCBS’s final basketball game of the season — or at least the last few minutes of it once they found it — but cheered loud enough for the team to double the points scored the entire game within that short time frame!

The party then moved to The Dillard House as the rest of the CCBS families arrived to attend a seminar led by Guest Speaker Merilee Emerson on Transitioning the boys to their next placement beyond CCBS. Merilee is President and Founder of MyMarilee/Fair Pair and is a Person Centered Planning Specialist, working with families  in building structured, individualized life plans for their children

Enjoy the photos of our week of family reunions and celebrations

[cincopa AACAnGr–CEL]

posted by Judy Leslie in Families and have Comments Off on Family Seminar Fun

Headed to the Coast

From left: Artie, William and David are headed for the coast

The Father & Son Sea Kayaking Adventure is underway!

At about 10:00 this morning Executive Director David LePere, Counseling Department Manager William Carpenter and Therapist Artie Smith – along with students Alex, Alexander, Jake, James, Loucas, Sam, Sam, Tommy and Vincent – began their journey to the Georgia coast. Now, this is not what David, William and Artie are typically up to on a Tuesday morning. But for our first Father and Son Adventure it would be hard to find a more perfect crew!

The boys are looking forward to connecting with their dads tomorrow morning. Together, they will paddle with the tide to Cumberland Island National Seashore where they will spend the next few days camping in a primitive area of the island. This exciting Father & Son Adventure has been months in the making and is sure to garner many “tall tales” and “fish stories.”

More to come…

posted by Judy Leslie in Community,Families,Students,Treks and have Comments (2)

Two Very Special Programs

In the next few months we have two very special programs coming up for mothers and fathers of Cherokee Creek Boys School students. It is important to note that these programs are not restricted to moms and dads. Participants may include other significant adults invested in the success of CCBS students.

On deck first is the Women of Courage Retreat in February (February 12-14), just preceding the February Family Seminar facilitated by Founder, Beth Black and Manager of Clinical Services, Jane Barker. This event is for mothers of current CCBS students. For more information please read the Women of Courage Invitation.

In April, Fathers and Sons are invited to launch into a multi-day sea kayaking adventure to Cumberland Island. The Father & Son Sea Kayaking Adventure (April 18-22 – possible evening travel on April 17) will be facilitated by Cherokee Creek staff and Breakwater Expeditions and is designed to be the perfect combination of activity, rest, relationship development and fun! For trip details, download the Cumberland Island Trip Packet.

Both of these events have limited availability. Please RSVP to Beth Venable if you are interested in attending: (864) 647-1885 or via email at

We look forward to seeing you!

posted by Judy Leslie in Community,Families,Students and have Comments Off on Two Very Special Programs

2012 Calendar Updates

We have a lot to look forward to in 2012. Check out the “Upcoming Events” column to the right for a listing of happenings in the first 6 months of 2012 at Cherokee Creek Boys School. Everything from LEGO League to the last day of school are listed. Stay tuned for the Basketball schedule, which will be posted as soon as we receive it!

posted by Judy Leslie in Community,Families,Students and have Comments Off on 2012 Calendar Updates

Thanksgiving 2011

Surrounded by family and friends, Jackson and Dain are enjoying Thanksgiving lunch together. Yum!

Luke and his family pause from filling their bellies to smile for the camera! We are so thankful to have families visiting Cherokee Creek Boys School on Thankgiving day.

posted by Judy Leslie in Families,Students and have Comments (4)

Digging into Thanksgiving!

At Midnight last night the boys awoke to build a fire for our traditional pre-Thanksgiving turkey pit. This fire kept them warm until the early hours of the morning. They then made a pit out of the coals of the fire with Operations Director Phil Fairbrother where they stuffed the turkeys underground. This has been a yearly tradition for CCBS the night before Thanksgiving.

Watching the turkeys cook late into the night...

These are the students who braved the late night to cook our tasty turkey’s: (from left to right) Michael, Barron, Jimmy, Cole, Sam, and Dain.

Teacher Nick Linscott, together with the boys who stayed up all night, pulled out the turkeys the next morning after our traditional late night cookout. They then wheelbarrowed their way up to the kitchen where several students whipped on the aprons and started prepping the turkeys.


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