Leaves and Hair Falling

The sunny and warm weather has held for another week as we head into the fall, but the signs are showing that winter is not far off.  The sun is setting earlier and rising later, the temperature is dropping and the dark skies are looming on the horizon. That hasn’t stopped our boys from getting out and getting active though, and it is such a pleasure to see them piling out of the house after school on their way to rugby, soccer, volleyball, rowing, karate, the weight room and many more.

The Junior Boys’ Soccer Team had a solid 3rd place finish at the ISA tournament last weekend in Vancouver and were pleased to come home with some hardware.


Also getting some hardware in the house were Adam and Kevin, one of the 4 rooms to win the coveted Timmis Trophy for cleanest room this week, well done boys!


We also marked Orange Shirt Day this week. At the Senior School, Elder Doreen Spence with the Saddle Lake Cree Nation and Songhees Elder Dr. Skip Dick spoke to students about indigenous rights and their personal experiences.

On Thursday, SMUS was once again a stop on the annual Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock bike ride. This event, raising funds and awareness around cancer research, especially for children, is an emotional visit that has been a long running tradition at our school.  Over the lunchtime break students volunteered to have their heads shaved and legs waxed as a fundraiser to support the cause. Houseparent (and former rider with the Tour de Rock) Mr. Slavin had his head shaved and Matt helped out on the other end shaving off Will’s hair.


We also celebrated Josh’s birthday with some delicious cake and a rousing (if somewhat off-key) rendition of happy birthday.

Friday afternoon saw a busy common room kitchen as a group of students prepared gnocchi with a butternut squash and walnut sauce from scratch! Xavier, looking sharp in his #1 uniform wasn’t afraid to get involved and managed to keep his tie out of the sauce!


And finally, Saturday had another full slate of activities including some farming, where we finished off the work started two weeks ago by the grade 9 boys…

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..some board games (complete with costumes purchased last night while downtown!)..


Next week is a short one with the Thanksgiving long weekend finally arriving and I’m sure every boy will enjoy a well deserved rest after a fantastic start to the 2019-2020 school year.

Here is a final shot from the Grade 11 out trip with Parsa.

island sampler



SMUS OutTrips – Getting Out There

This last week has been busy at SMUS, but not only in pursuit of academics in the classroom. In particular, our Grade 10 students ventured into the wilderness last week and traveled across our beautiful province of British Columbia to take in the great outdoors.

Each grade, from Grade 8 to Grade 11, participates in a 5-day outdoor trip — or “outtrip”— at some point during the school year. The goals of the trips include the following: Learn and develop general outdoor and camping skills, Make new friends, Visit new areas of British Columbia, Spending time outdoors in nature, Develop specific activity skills (surfing, kayaking…).

Here are some of the highlights from the Grade 10 Bolton Boys:

Leo: taking a nap on the bowsprit of his tall ship sailing boat and watching all the stars in the night sky during his night watch.

Fabian: was similarly impressed by the trip and said swimming in the ocean was by far the highlight for him, though not being woken for his final night shift was also rather enjoyable as everyone fell asleep!

Frank: found the climb to the top of the main mast exhilarating

Eric: thoroughly enjoyed rowing to one of the small islands to pick apples.

Malik: loved the third day of his rock-climbing trip as he zip-lined, free climbed and rappelled his way through caverns and along rock faces.

Pablo: also on the rock climbing trip, claims there were some near-death experiences as he contemplated the rope that held him suspended high above the ground!

Jason: was chef supreme as he partook in the Island Sampler and managed to avoid having his food and tent raided by the raccoons (a fate not spared some of his companions).

Adam: enjoyed relaxing at the Eco Village and didn’t even mind participating in the compostable out house.

Gavin: was very pleased to make some new connections with his group while surfing as he felt he was able to really get to know some of his fellow grade 10’s.


Our Grade 11 students are currently off on outtrips right now – we can’t wait to hear the tales from their adventures. For more information about the SMUS Outdoor Education program, you can check out the website at www.smusoutdoor.com.

In Bolton House, we had some other activities this week.

For Saturday Activities, Ryan ventured outside to help rid a local eco-system of the invasive species called “Broom”. It was hard work, but it makes such a difference to the community. PLUS it was a beautiful day today in Victoria.

Ryan So

Harry sharpened his culinary talents tonight by cooking a Pan Seared Tenderloin, with a side of puréed potatoes and radishes covered in mustard and mayo sauce. Unlike Mr. Danskin last week, Mr. Fryer was jealous that there were not enough plates to go around. Harry’s cooking is a hot commodity in Bolton House.

Sebastian, Gavin, and Pablo returned back from Fraser Academy in Vancouver where the the Junior Boys Soccer Team competed in the Independent Schools Association finals. They won a game against Shawnigan Lake school, which was the highlight of their tournament.

Upon their return, Pablo and Gavin lost a bet to each other and some of the girls from Timmis House promptly brought out their straightening irons to the common room. I think they liked the new style!

Sometimes it is great on a Saturday night to just laugh and hang out in the common room in an effort to pause and find balance with all of the endeavours at SMUS. After our first full month, I would say that Bolton is starting to feel like a second home for our new students.

It has been a full and rewarding September and we can’t wait to see what’s in store this Fall!

Just another week of running, rugby, farming and some political debate…

The week began with the annual Terry Fox Run on Sunday. This event is a nation-wide run that raises money and awareness for cancer research and has been held annually for over 30 years. The run in Victoria is held along the beautiful and scenic Beach Drive and the weather cooperated this year with cool temperatures, but no rain. The boys walked, jogged and ran, with Flavius finishing the 5K run so quickly that he had to ask the police motorcycle leading the race to move out of the way! We also had some boys volunteering to keep the runners safe.

Thursday was an important day as the Politics Club, led by Head of House Logan, hosted an all candidates forum in preparation for the upcoming federal election.  Candidates from the Liberal, Green and New Democratic Parties attended and shared their views and ideas on topics ranging from climate change to post secondary education. It was well attended, and very well mediated by Logan.


Speaking of Heads of House, there is an excellent article written by Bolton Houseparent Mr. Slavin featuring Logan.  Here is the link to the article: https://news.smus.ca/2019/09/13/building-a-student-community-in-boarding/


Thursday was also a very exciting day for the Grade 9 rugby team as they played their first game of the season.  Benny, Jason and MudMee all featured prominently in the game with thundering runs, crushing tackles and excellent attitudes. The team went 1-1 with a big win over Brentwood and close loss to Shawnigan.  Here are the Bolton boys post game, the smiles say it all!


There were also lots of moments of individual creativity like Harry cooking up some superb steak sandwiches in the common room kitchen (Mr. Danskin was obviously a big fan!)…

…and some moments of relaxation and fun.


Finally, Saturday morning found the grade 9 boys heading out into nature to do some service work helping a local farmer with some of his heavy lifting.  Xavier jumped in to join as well and enjoyed the fresh apple juice and picking apples and tomatoes fresh from the vine. Nokia and Sebastian had a chance to help with the beehive and learned lots about these amazing little creatures. This was by far the hardest working group to have attended the farm and the before and after photo will give you an idea of how much was done in a short period time.  Well done boys!


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The Grade 10 out trips were a huge success by all accounts. Each boy had their own highlight, but the overall report was that every trip was fabulous and fun, and that the guys feel connected to their groups in a way that they had not expected. Pictures to come in next week’s blog post.

The grade 11’s are off on Wednesday for their own adventures so check back next week for some more highlights.

The first full week

The first week flew by and the boys in the house have started settling into their own routines at the school. The annual Club and Council Fair was held on Friday at lunch where everyone was given the opportunity to sign up for things that interested them. There is always something there for everyone and we are confident that the boys will be very involved in school life this year. We are excited to witness all their accomplishments. There was also a volunteer fair on campus this past Wednesday which offered up even more opportunities for the boys to get involved.

This year’s international trips include a boy’s rugby trip to Argentina, a girl’s rugby trip to Australia, and service trips to Mexico and Nepal. There is also a Model UN trip to Thailand and Cambodia. Stay tuned for more information if you are interested in sending your kid on an exciting trip.

University visits have begun and the University of San Diego was presenting this past Friday.

The Sr boy’s soccer team had an impressive win over Collingwood this week. Alex had a strong presence on the field and Efosa was able to sneak a goal past the keeper. The team is looking very strong and we are looking forward to the rest of the season.

Saturday activities this week included a trip to Fisherman’s Wharf for a tour and some fresh seafood, a beach cleanup at the Gorge Waterway, a trip downtown to the arcade, a trip to the world-famous Butchart Gardens and “do it yourself” nachos.

Sunday marked the first House Games competition of the year and already the other houses are scheming to take the House Cup from Bolton. We have such a strong house this year that I would say it will be next to impossible for them to win.

Strong Start

What a wonderful way to kick off the boarding season! The grade 12s were on hand to welcome our new Bolton Brothers, and they did so with energy and enthusiasm. There is nothing like feeling as though you have an instant family to help ease any first day jitters.

New students all had a chance to get settled into their rooms before engaging in a variety of name games and fun activities. We had a large group graduate last year, so with many new faces, it was great to create opportunities for everyone to connect.

Wednesday brought our annual house soccer game. First ball was determined by a thrilling arm wrestle between returning Grade 9’s, Nokia and Sebastian.


Mr. Fryer, one of the school’s soccer coaches, was pleased with the talent the boys showed! There were plenty of laughs as well and the camaraderie demonstrated was promising towards a positive year.

Friday was our downtown scavenger hunt. It gives returning students and chance to show new students the bus system and give them a little tour around town.

There will be plenty more adventures to come and all signs point to a wonderful year ahead in Bolton House!

Welcome to Bolton from Mr. Fryer!

Happy New School Year!

My name is Evan Fryer and I live on the third floor of Bolton House as the Senior Assistant House Parent. This is my 8th year involved in the Boarding Program at SMUS, and my second year with the Bolton boys. I am very excited about contributing to the culture of this fantastic house!

I also teach in the Mathematics Department at the Senior School and coach the Sr. Boys Soccer Team (this year we will have a few Bolton boys on the team). Outside of SMUS, I referee professional soccer games and love to travel. I also like to ski, and look forward to organizing the fourth annual Boarding Ski Trip to Whistler in February.

I can’t wait for another exciting year with the Bolton boys!

Mr. Fryer