May Moments

Every came back onto the SMUS campus feeling relaxed after the May Long Weekend. With AP Exams done, our Grade 12’s are now more focused on Graduation on their futures, which are both right around the corner.

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Sports are wrapping up, and we had some good action on the rugby field. Here is a photo of Diego with Mr. Danskin.

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Unfortunately, sometimes sports come with injuries. Grade 12 student Laurent was playing rugby last week, when he was tackled and landed poorly on the ground. He dislocated his hip and had to go to the hospital. However, he was in good spirits – especially when he got his pizza!

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Tomorrow evening, we will host the SMOscars event at our school, which is our end of the year Boarding Celebration that follows our Final House Games. Bolton House is currently in the lead in front of Harvey and Barnacle and they will be fighting hard tomorrow to “keep the cup”. Hopefully we can raise the trophy high once again at the SMOscars tomorrow night. Here are some pics from the set-up of the event that took place this morning. Lots of Bolton Boys volunteered to help out!

Also today, I (Mr. Fryer) organized an activity for outdoor volleyball on the SMUS field because the weather has been so nice recently. However, it started pouring rain! That didn’t stop us though, and we went out onto the SMUS field anyways. It was so much fun. Here are some pictures (notice some boys in their swim trunks!):

Since it is nearing the end of the year, our school has also been busy with Leadership Elections for our Grade 11 Students. Jack from our house was successful as a School Prefect for next year, and Logan was voted in as the Bolton Head of House. Here are a few photos from speeches made (including Logan’s first Head of House speech):

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I thought it would be a perfect time to sit down with our outgoing Head of House, Antonio for an interview. Here it is – I hope you enjoy!

Mr. Fryer: Hi Antonio, thank you so much for agreeing to sit down with me this afternoon. You have had quite a successful year as Head of House in Bolton. Can you tell me about one of your favourite moments?

Antonio: One of my favourite moments in Bolton House was the Penguin Swim. In Grade 8, I didn’t really like it too much as I thought it was quite strange and different from what we would do for a tradition in China – why would someone want to jump into cold water?? This was my first impression of the swim, and I remember in Grade 8 only dipping my toe, while everyone else was swimming. But then, gradually, after getting to know the Bolton brothers better and blending into the community, I now see it as more of a challenge and experience than something that would make me sick. So, every year, I got a bit more committed to this activity and tradition, moving from dipping my toes, to going to my knees, and then full-out swimming this year in Grade 12. I even tried to stay as long as possible in the water. I heard from other Bolton boys that this was also a favourite moment of them, so this is definitely a highlight for me. It is really neat that I am now the person encouraging those Grade 8’s to take a chance and do more than dip their toes in the water.

Mr. Fryer: Wow! Thanks for that response Antonio – it is a very Canadian thing to do, to swim in the ocean! I love how your story is quite symbolic as well, about taking risks and supporting each other in Bolton House. Very cool. You have exactly one month left of school, Antonio. How are you feeling as the end of the school year approaches?

Antonio: It feels very different. My first formal graduation is around the corner, and I am going to University. I have heard about the freedom ahead, and the choices I need to make, including the discipline I want to study. I am excited for this, but it is also quite nerve-wracking. It is hard to leave the friends I have here at SMUS and try to make new ones in a new place and new community. Of course, I want to remain connected with the Bolton Boys after graduation. I think we have such a strong community that we will stay in touch.

Mr. Fryer: Yes, after 5 years it must be crazy to have graduation in only a few more weeks. Where are you planning on going to school?

Antonio: I am going to UBC for their Business and Computer Science combined major. I actually had quite a hard time selecting from all of the undergraduate options around North America. I am looking forward to the cross-discipline approach of my program. To be honest, this is what I have been working on in Bolton House and here at SMUS – bringing together different perspectives and experiences to reach common goals. I look forward to learning about these two different domains at university and apply different thinking techniques to solve problems in the Real World.

Mr. Fryer: Exciting! It is so good to hear that you will be close to SMUS as well – you will only be a ferry ride away so you will have to come and visit! As you know, Logan in Grade 11 has just been voted in as Head of House for Bolton for the 2019-2020 school year. Do you have any advice for him based on your experience in this role?

Antonio: I think Logan is very ambitious and already a distinct leader in the house. I think it is just trying not to take on too much and put too much pressure on himself. Sharing responsibilities will be important. It is okay to make mistakes and you should feel okay to ask others for help. If you feel down about anything, or any decisions, there is the support of house parents and all of the other Grade 12 students to support you. I believe Logan is really capable and will have a great year with the boys.

Mr. Fryer: Good advice Antonio. I know you still have a few more weeks as current Head of House, but is there anything else you want to reflect on before you leave?

Antonio: I think Bolton House is one of the best houses in boarding because we have a very embracing community. Everyone knows each other, not on the surface, but deeply. We celebrate every birthday, and it is easy to lead and to serve in this community. People have great respect for each other. I hope in the next month that I can spend lots of time with the Bolton boys and have a great goodbye.

Mr. Fryer: You have done a wonderful job this year, Antonio. In particular, the way you interact with the individual boys in the house is admirable. You should be very proud and we will definitely miss you next year!

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Feels Like Summer!

We are coming to the tail end of an amazing May heat wave and the temps have been in the low twenties with no rain for a couple weeks. But rain is on the horizon, so everyone has been working hard to get their vitamin D while they can! Below are a few of the Saturday activities that were on offer this weekend.

Several students went to Westhills Stadium to take in the Women’s World Sevens Rugby Tournament. We saw ten games and were fortunate enough to see Canada play twice. They played amazingly well and beat Brazil and Ireland to eventually finish second in their pool. Many of the SMUS Girls Rugby Team were in attendance and some played in a representative midday match-up against Rugby Canada youth players.

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Some other students participated in a neighborhood clean up and strolled around picking up garbage within the residential blocks surrounding the school.

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Another crew of students went to Thetis Lake for a hike through the woods. The wild flowers are coming out and it was a beautiful day for a trek.

One of the last events of the day was a cheesy bread fest. Laurent, Antonio, and I have been talking about making a Hy’s Steakhouse Cheesy Bread clone for a couple months now and it finally fell into place. After careful ingredient selection, we put our taste buds to the test and were quite pleased the the results. Our bread was very close to the irresistible quality at Hy’s Steakhouse and after making enough to feed a small army, we shared our wares with the house and the rest of boarding.

Alumni Weekend & More

With the longer, brighter, and warmer days, comes reason for celebration. Every year in May, we welcome back Alumni to SMUS. This weekend was no exception and proved to be an amazing day full of great conversations and stories from the past.

In Bolton House each year, we host Alumni from as far back as the 1960’s. Here are a few pics from the celebration.

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Next year, we would love to have you and your families join us if you are in town!

Other than the Bolton Reunion, there were many other events at the school, including Alumni rugby, basketball and soccer games. Some of our boys took part in these sports while some chose to volunteer with other aspects of the day including parking attendants. Here are some snaps of the Bolton Guys in Action:

Our Grade 12 students also participated in a special Alumni Chapel, where they received their Grad Bears. Alumnus, House Parent and Mathematics Teacher, Mathew Geddes ’93, gave a speech recalling his time at the school. Here are some pictures from the annual Grad Bear toss:

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At the Senior School, students were busy studying hard for their AP Exams which are the next two weeks before the May Long Weekend Break.

Last Monday Evening, the school head a Physics Fair where Harry, Alan, Said, Justin, and Dat presented their amazing projects!

In the same evening, there was also a Recitation Finals event where two of our Bolton Boys were represented (Will and Alan).

There was also a debate at lunch with Head of School, Mr. Mark Turner, hosted by the Adventures in Public Discourse Club.

Debate with Mr. Turner

Outside the studying time, you could find various boys playing Spikeball to de-stress and get in some good physical activity. It is quite the game! Check out the action below if you have never heard of it before:

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Ryan, one of our Grade 10 boys celebrated his birthday in style with the whole Bolton House singing him happy birthday!

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As the boys head indoors each night to prep for those exams and Experiential opportunities, they are reminded to find balance and carve out time for relaxation and physical activity. At our weekly house meetings, we talk about this quite a bit and love hearing from the Bolton boys about how they stay balanced.

Thanks for reading this week’s blog post – we hope you come back to read more in the next few weeks!

April Showers

Neme, Jom and Turay took third place in the tennis ISA tournament. Neme was a little disappointed because the strings on two of his racquets broke but he is confident that they will win the provincials.

Evening Yoga Wellness

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Josh and Jack hit the catwalk at “A Wearable Art Show by 3d Applied Design”

Saturday activities this week included sushi making, spin class, flying squirrel trampoline park, a trip to Our Place with cookies, and a beach cleanup.

The boys were out on the field today supporting the girl’s soccer teams for the ISA tournament. The Jr girls placed 2nd and the Sr girls placed 3rd.

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A recent article on the Spring Break trip to Tanzania was just released and features Toby and Joel (link below)

Spring Break Service Trip 2019: Tanzania

Bolton Chapel is this week and the boys have been working hard to create an exciting program. Antonio and Logan will be delivering heartfelt speeches and there are several guys involved in musical performances. Stay tuned for photos.

A Healthy Week and Grade 11 Leadership

It seem shard to believe that we have only been back from Spring Break for two weeks, as the school and boarding community have been going flat out with academics, extra curricular and boarding events.

Last weekend was a very important one for the Grade 11 Bolton Boys as they participated in the annual Leadership retreat at beautiful French Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island.  The weather was far from ideal with wet wintry squalls coming in off the ocean, but the boys showed great resilience braving the elements, and were able to do some very important team building, leadership training and planning for next year. They even had to solve a series of challenges to rescue Boris, the house mascot, who had been kidnapped!  We are very excited to work with this group next year as they take over from our current Grade 12’s.

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One unexpected event was the race for the ocean with the inflatable raft.  The boys were required to inflate it, but not actually use it, but somehow this piece of information was missed.  All of a sudden Justin came sprinting down followed by a barefoot Jack who was determined to hit the waves! Needless to say no one went into the water except Jesus at the start to rescue our bucket.

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Here is Alan taking advantage of the newly renovated Brown Hall with his Art class.  The new space has yet to formally be designated for any specific purpose, but makes a pretty nice art room!

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This week was Health and Wellness Week at the Senior School with a variety of events taking place including some yoga in the quad which Stanley and Joel took advantage of to de-stress. Stanley also introduced the guest speaker, former Olympian Jason Dorland, at the all school assembly and spoke very well.

Athletic teams were also busy with Tennis, Track, Rugby, Sailing, Rowing, Badminton and more all involved in games and trainings.  Here is a great shot of Toby during the Junior Rugby game against Brentwood.

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Saturday had the usual gamut of activities to keep guys engaged and busy.  Golf and some boardgames complimented some service activities. Eric, Garret and Frank baked some bread in a bag (literally made in a bag and then baked) while Dat helped make some soup and chili.  All of the food was then given to a local women’s shelter…

… while Pine enjoyed a cultural dining experience with some friends…

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… and Harry and Josh created an impressive meal.

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We also got some great shots from the Service trip to Costa Rica that several of the Bolton Boys were on.  Jerry says the highlight was “living in a place where you have no technology because you really get to learn to make connections.” Laurent thought “it was great because I was able to see how the community valued their culture so much and didn’t let the outside world influence their traditions.  Also, how important it was to spread their message about the environment. It was also lots of fun!”  Vincent appreciated “the delicious food and the beauty of the location, the entire experience was amazing.” Garry really enjoyed the opportunity to explore a new culture while spending quality time with his friends in a challenging and unique adventure.

This next week is a short one as we head off for the Easter long weekend, so check back on the 27th for another post as we prepare for the Bolton House Chapel.