Archive for the 'Students' Category

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)

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

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?

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 Judy Leslie in Activities,Nature,Students and have Comments Off on Having a Field Day on Field Day

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

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 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