Holiday Decor Begins

Well, even though it is not quite that time of the year, we felt some holiday spirit was needed to help provide a little boost. Although our daylight is dwindling and the weather is wet, there is nothing quite like candy cane lights, a festive tree, shiny garlands, and two giant inflatable caricatures to put smiles on faces. Students were quick to get behind an early decorating day and many who left the house before the decorating had begun, came back to a wondrous display; in one case, impromptu caroling broke out in the foyer!

Despite the weather, Dylan and Hanson have been stalwarts on their respective bicycles. Though their bike styles are quite different, a shared appreciation for cycling easily forges bonds between enthusiasts of the two wheeled steeds. The two connected for some velocipede maintenance and shared their respective tricks of the trade. Dylan felt so inspired, that he has made some inquiries with local bike shops to learn more about the business of keeping bicycles roadworthy.

The Bolton house indoor pool….table has seen a lot of action of late. An ongoing ladder style tournament began and has drawn many a shark to the common room. Players have felt out the waters over the last couple weeks and competition remains high. We will see who’s at the top of the charts by winter break! Hanson has also solidified his role as the house Mr. Fixit. After working on Dylan’s bike, he then took on the job of cue custodian, as a couple tips and a butt bumper needed a little TLC.

The Grade 11’s just competed hard in the second instalment of House Games, both on the floor hockey arena and in Minute-to-Win-It Challenges! Pictures of the event to come next week!!

Bolton Alum in the news

Diego Olivares, a Bolton boy from 2010 – 2015 was featured recently in the news in Jalisco, Mexico for his organization of a new art exhibition, “Expo first / 01. New cultural perspectives in Jalisco”. The article link is below if you want to check it out.

Diego in 2015 as Bolton Boy

https://www.informador.mx/cultura/Artistas-jovenes-desarrollan-nuevas-perspectivas-culturales-en-Jalisco-20201113-0019.html

We are so proud to see our Bolton boys out in the world where they are making a difference in so many ways.

A Week of Remembrance to Remember

This week we celebrated our first Remembrance Day ceremony apart. While it did not carry the gravitas that comes from having a thousand people in the gymnasium sharing in a moment of silence, our video ceremony did allow our community to pay homage to the many individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of goodness so many years ago. The entire video is below if you would like to watch it. Ryan C. is one of the performers in the strings piece.

This week also saw the end of term 1 sports. Volleyball had their final play day and several Bolton boys featured prominently showing off their skills. Look at the ups!

Long weekend plans were severely impacted by the new restrictions put into place on the mainland, so many boys had the opportunity to try something new and get off campus. Flying Squirrel, a local trampoline park, got things off with a bounce on Thursday…

Leo throwing it down!
Diego almost throwing it down!
But the follow through was outstanding!
Joshua asserting his dominance!
Darrell doing battle!

And a couple more shots of the boys in action… or taking a break from the action.

We also rented out the entire IMAX theater just for our students and watched a Batman movie which everyone enjoyed on Friday night. Even the big bear was staying safe with his mask on.

Saturday morning provided an awesome opportunity for Dylan and Richard to challenge themselves on a high ropes course at Wildplay in Langford. It was fun, terrifying and a great way to spend a morning! Other boys participated in a yoga class, stand up paddle boarding, a west coast hike and a trip to the arcade for some old fashioned video game fun.

And finally, here is Will showing us how a Bolton boy dresses on Mondays in his #1 dress! Very sharp!

We now enter the final four weeks of classes and Christmas is just around the corner. We are regularly reminding the boys to be safe, to wear their masks, to wash their hands and to look out for each other. We are so proud of all they have accomplished in the first two and a half months and look forward to supporting them further heading into the break.

Welcome to November!

Although the temperature is starting to drop, the sun is still shining which means there is more time for some outdoor activities!

Try Given! Kevin, Joshua and Leo show off their break away speed and flashiest tries during rugby practice. Eric may need some work on his tackling though 😉 !

All hail the champs! Lewis, Richard, Joshua, Eric, Diego and Timmis girl Alana among the winners of the Candy Cup!

Talk about your stellar student-athlete! Joshua takes a break from the volleyball court and rugby field to excel in the classroom!

This week was full of festivities to celebrate Latin America Week!

A salsa lesson in the quad!
What party is complete without a pinata! Richard goes for the final strike!

When the clouds come in, the boys will be ready with board games galore!

Hanson and Cyrus are all smiles in a tight battle of Backgammon!

Spooky Scary Halloween!

The end of October means the beginning of a new “mester”, lots of colourful leaves on the ground, school photos, and of course, Halloween!

The week leading up to Halloween Saturday was a busy one, with Jonathan, Joshua, Ryan C and Eric X getting us in a starry mood with a fancy rendition of “City of Stars” at Boarder’s Chapel. Who knew that these boys were so musically talented!

Midway through the week, the boys donned their best #1 uniforms and got their hair ready for Photo Day. Robert, Jason, Joshua, Eric X, Ryan C, Leo and Frank took some time to show off their regulation grey socks…

LeRoy decided to step things up a notch and stepped in front of the green screen to dazzle us with his impeccable style. Good thing that the school photo doesn’t go as far down as the shoes though!

On Thursday night, our superhero nurses from the Health Centre came around the boarding house to administer flu shots. There were definitely a few of us who were a bit worried about the needles, but we all stuck together and we managed to vaccinate ourselves just fine 🙂

And then… the first Full-Moon-Halloween-Saturday in 76 years came around.

Things started off pretty normal during the early afternoon, with Darrell, Richard, Ryan C, Eric X, Joshua and Timmis girls Emma and Jenny heading down to Farmer Jim’s farm to move some horse manure and enjoy some delicious apple treats. Everyone worked extremely hard and got some much-needed exercise!

The Sun went down, however, and evening time rolled around. The big full moon brought with it a whole bunch of zombies, dinosaurs and more during our very successful (and spooky!) trick-or-treating session in the Bolton and Timmis hallways.

Eric L became zombie-fied for the night..!
Hot costume item of the Halloween season – masks.
Sam from Timmis didn’t so much “hand out” candy, as much as “throw” candy.
One of the stops in Timmis House!
Eric L the zombie is coming to get you…
Too late – you’re toast!
One of the stops in Bolton House.
Scary masks all around..!

And if the costumes and haunted houses weren’t spooky enough, we had quite possibly the flukiest pool shot of the century happen on this night too!

We now shift gears to November and the fall season. There are lots of new sports being offered and lots of new courses, which will be sure to keep all of our Bolton boys busy and entertained! Until next time, stay positive out there 🙂

Term Two Off to a Great Start!!

We have officially begun our second term of classes and the boys deserve a huge amount of credit for helping to keep the school safe and operational. They have adjusted remarkably well to the new expectations and are still finding a way to have fun.

Things kicked off (literally) last Sunday with our first official round of Bolton Housegames. With the need to stay in cohorts, things look a bit different this year as we are only allowed to play inter-house games. So, to keep things exciting, 3 teams were drafted by the houseparents made up of 9 players each. These 3 teams will compete in all future Housegames and points will be accumulated with a new Bolton Trophy presented to the winners in June. Uniforms (team headbands) were selected after some Bolton trivia questions were answered by each team…

And here they are:

The Fried Shawskies (Mr. Fryer and Mr. Shaw) Team Blue

The Disco Bells (Mr. Danskin and Mr. Bell) Team White

The United KimDaums (Mr. Kim and Mr. Daum) (Team Hodgepodge)

Photo coming next housegames, sorry! But here is Hanson in action as the team photographer!

The first round of housegames included full field soccer and a campus scavenger hunt. The action was fierce and exciting with some beautiful goals, talented footwork and exciting saves. There was also some teamwork, some impressive dance moves and some unique photos!

When all was said and done, the Disco Bells emerged as the early leaders with 26 points, followed closely by the United KimDaums with 21 points. The ball did not bounce their way, but the Fried Shawskies were still able to gather a respectable 13 points. There is much action yet to be played so these early standings mean little. Check back after the next long weekend for the newest results!

The rest of the week was spent in preparation for the end of term exams and projects, but the boys still found some time to look good on their way to dinner!

We also had an opportunity to welcome back a former Bolton Head of House, Timmy Qi, who now attends Cornell and is in his final year of Architecture school. At the start of this school year he delivered a brand new vacuum to Bolton that he purchased with his internship money from the summer. This fulfilled a promise he made 5 years ago when he was elected as Head of House. It was wonderful to hear how much his time at SMUS and in Bolton House impacted his path in a positive way and he shared his love for the house with the current boys. Here is is presenting us with the vacuum in September…

… and here is the result of the new vacuum being put to good use in this week’s room cleans which saw some guest judges from Timmis House come to inspect the boys’ rooms! Needless to say room cleans were particularly good this week!

And just because the classes were transitioning into a new term, doesn’t mean anything else had to change. Here are the brave souls taking on the wet and very cold weather to hone their rugby skills…


… while LeRoy put his inner quarterback skills to the test on a lovely evening.

Next weekend is Halloween and I’m sure it will be an exciting week for everyone. We got an early start on it this weekend by decorating the foyer and carving pumpkins. Roberto made his first one ever!

The boys are doing a great job on all fronts and we are very proud of all of their efforts during the first term. We expect nothing but more of the same in the second!

Happily Falling into Fall

This has been a physically very active week for the Bolton Boys with a myriad of sporting events taking place. There have been boys in the squash courts, on the water rowing and inaugurating the volleyball season with the first “play day” with the new Covid restrictions in place. (Mr. Bell was perhaps not as focused as he should have been as the umpire taking the pictures!)

Soccer practice under Mr. Fryer was also very exciting…

Rock, Paper, Scissors Soccer Style!
Louis “The Wall”!
Go SIMON Go!
Just a little bit high!

…and as always, the Bolton turnout for rugby was strong. We even managed to get an old Bolton Boy, Hemmesh to join us!

Of course, not every moment can be spent playing sports! We need to eat lots of snacks…

…stop to play with the campus dogs…

… eat some more food…

… play some less organized sports…

Junya and Cyrus battling it out!

…Maybe eat again….

… Oh and do a bit of school work in our down time!

The term 1 courses will end this Thursday and by all accounts it has been a very successful first term for all the Bolton boys. Congratulations on a great start!

Thankful for the Long Weekend!

Despite the low boarder numbers in the house, our pack of eleven intrepid longweekenders were busy engaging in all sorts of activities that have been planned from Friday – Monday. Five Bolton brothers, Roberto, Darrell, Jonathan, Richard, and Kevin, plus one Timmis sister, Jenny, ventured a little ways up the Saanich Peninsula to Farmer Jim’s Organic Homestead. Farmer Jim prides himself of soil fertility and our small team of farmhands helped him towards this goal. Before getting down to work, they hand fed sheep, watched the pigs being fed, and learned that much of the feed is actually expired bread and dairy products that would be pitched in the garbage if not collected and used by Farmer Jim. After the feeding frenzy, it was time to don some gloves and get ankle deep in fresh horse manure! Most of the crew was required to shovel manure into wheelbarrows then redistribute it around the farm. Another job was picking up windfall apples that would be fed as treats to the livestock and some would be pressed for juice. Everyone worked hard and despite some drizzle, fun was had by all. And, a trip to Farmer Jim’s Organic Homestead wouldn’t be complete without sampling some fresh pressed apple juice – delicious!

The Friday night activity was a trip to the Silver City Theatres to watch Batman Begins on IMAX. By all accounts it was a great trip and a movie that can be enjoyed multiple times, as many had seen it when it was first released.

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On Saturday, Richard, Diego, Darrell, Frank, Eric and Mr. Danskin donned their chef outfits (mostly in the form of masks) and headed to the London Chef to cook up lunch. What was on the menu you ask? Some delicious pasta and chicken salad! The overall reviews of the food were extremely positive, and everyone seemed to come back from this trip happier, fuller and (slightly) heavier 🙂

Sunday brought along a whole host of exciting adventures, starting with a very wet but very west-coast-experience whale watching trip with Phong, Cyrus and Mr. Kim! Under the tutelage of our fantastic guide Mr. Tommy, we headed out into the Georgia Strait and started looking out for wildlife. Although the waters were a bit choppy due to the strong winds, everyone toughed it out and in the end, we came across some seals, cormorants, bald eagles, and our big highlight, massive 2000-pound sea lions! We were not fortunate enough to run across any whales today, but we still had a great time and learned a lot about our local marine life 🙂

We came across a massive bulk carrier called the “Sage Danube”, which apparently sails under the flag of Liberia! Upon some further research, we found out that it was on its way back from conducting business in Vancouver.
Our extremely heavy sea lion friends 🙂
You can see the friendly one saying “hi” about 30 seconds in!
We think we might have caught them at nap time…
The majestic bald eagle!
Yes, seals and sea lions ARE in fact different creatures! The seals you see here are much smaller and much more active.
Martin, a Grade 12 student, managing to enter the deep sleep phase on a moving, rocking boat… Impressive!
Out for a ride with the boys.
We looked a bit like NASA astronauts boarding a spaceship here!

While some of the boys were on the water, a few of the other Bolton brothers, Richard, Diego, Darrell, Eric, and Frank, all took to the rope course and the zip-lines hight in the sky! Although it was a little wet, the boys had a fantastic time, practicing their superhero poses! Perhaps they learned some from the IMAX showing of Batman Begins on Friday night?!

And finally, at the end of the weekend, we all sat down for Thanksgiving Dinner together. As Bolton House Parents, we are so thankful for our vibrant community, and especially the Grade 11’s students who contribute to a wonderful house atmosphere. It has been an action-packed month, and this weekend has given everyone a chance to pause, and get ready for a full end to Term 1.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

“Clean Up, It’s Time to Clean Up”

Living in boarding provides all kinds of independence and responsibility, some of which is exciting and welcomed, while others, not so much. Keeping a clean and tidy room is perhaps one of those not so welcomed responsibilities. So in Bolton we have developed a few tricks to help incentivize the experience and there is nothing like a little friendly competition to mobilized a crew of cleaners! The Bolton boys have their rooms checked once a week by houseparents, but now and again we like to mix it up, and this week was one of those special weeks. Our sister house is Timmis and two Timmis girls were selected for each room clean night to do the inspecting. It is always staggering to see the improved level of cleanliness that occurs when the the Timmis girls do the inspections! In order to increase the engagement, there is an award given to the cleanest room and the winning room receives a “Timmis Trophy” to be taped to their door for all to see. On Wednesday, Timmis roommates, Emma and Ashley, set a standard for inspections that won’t be soon forgotten and a big congratulations went to Eric and Josh for a job well done. Incidentally, not just a spotless toilet and dust free crannies were needed for a win, but the sultry tones of a saxophone helped seal the deal!

It was a busy week around the school with the annual Clubs and Councils Day. Several options were available this year and the boys were able to learn about different options or recruit for their own. Hanson and Jonathan did a great job promoting their respective clubs and there was plenty of keen interest for each.

We also had our annual visit from the Cops For Cancer cyclists. It was a little more subdued this year due to COVID protocols, but the ever important money and awareness was generated.

September Sunshine

As we near the end of our first month on the SMUS campus, we have been treated to some delightful early fall sunshine. The boys have been very active outside and as one of the rugby coaches, I was ecstatic to see over half the house out at rugby training on Friday and Saturday. It was especially exciting to see so many new faces to both SMUS and the sport of rugby. Well done boys!

This has been a busy week with lots of academic work getting done as we are now half way through our first term of classes. We have been pleased with the focus and effort of the Bolton boys thus far and are keen to support them in their academic studies.

But of course, all work and no fun makes for a boring time in boarding so everyone is making sure to stay engaged and connected.

Here are some more photos of the Terry Fox Run that Bolton completed last weekend. They raised over $300 in donations by running laps of the school driveway. Every lap was a dollar earned with many guys going much further than the required 7 laps (5km). The Bolton spirit of philanthropy and hard work continues to be strong with this current group of boys.

On Sunday, a group of intrepid students set out to visit Farmer Jim, a local farmer and former teacher with whom we have a long standing relationship. In exchange for many hands making his work light, they were rewarded with the most delicious apple juice in the world, some sore muscles and sense of accomplishment as they hauled over 100 wheelbarrows of wood chips and manure!

A special shout out to Diego who performed the song “Vienna” by Billy Joel during the senior student chapel this week. What a guy!!

October is just around the corner and we are settling in nicely to the rhythm and routines of the school. We feel very fortunate to have such a diverse and wonderful group of young men to work with. Check back next Sunday for more highlights.