Archive for the 'Lessons' Category

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

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 Judy Leslie in Activities,Gardening,Lessons,Nature,Students and have Comments Off on Sowing Seeds of Success

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 Judy Leslie in Academics,Activities,Lessons,Students and have Comments Off on Et tu, Brute?

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 Judy Leslie in Lessons,Nature,Students and have Comments Off on Momma Bird

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