Farewell Friends

Well, we have arrived at the last weekend of what has been a very strange year in Bolton House, at SMUS and in the world. Once more, we would like to say how immensely proud we are of every one of the boys in Bolton for their resilience, kindness and hard work. There is no doubt that we will all look back on this year with wonder that we got through it.

As this is the final weekend, there have been a lot of goodbyes with guys departing early to start their quarantine periods around the world. That means lots of early test writing like Will did for Mr. Fryer’s math class.

On the note of Mathematics, a big congratulations to Josh M for being the American Mathematics Competition 12 School Champion this year. It is no small feat to beat out the incredible level of talent that our school possesses in the realm of mathematics!

It was also the final rugby practice for the Grade 11 boys. They donned the Alumni game black jerseys for a final team run. The improvement over the last few months has been significant and we are well positioned for a strong season next year when school sports hopefully resume.

We also celebrated a final Bolton birthday for Dylan. His parents kindly provided snacks for all the students including cookies, chips and drinks; a perfect antidote to the doldrums of the last week of school assignments and tests!

Leo send us some photos from the last few weeks of school after he left – what an eye! Proof that he was deserving of the award for “Visual Artiste” at our closing dinner.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH
Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH
Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH
Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Ryan was part of the final Grade 11 and 12 Strings concert that was performed in front of the music building at lunch. The sounds were amazing, especially when they played the theme from the Queen’s Gambit!

Even the Headmaster, Mr. Turner, was present to honour long serving teacher Ms. Williams who is retiring at the end of this year. What a cool way to finish the year.

Some of Ryan’s groupies were there to cheer him on!

From all of us in Bolton House: Have a safe and fun summer wherever your destination may be and THNAK YOU for an amazing year!

This will be our last post until September. To all the parents, guardians and friends, thank you for your trust in us and for all of your support this year, we couldn’t do it without you.

The Beginning of the End

With the end of the year approaching, we are just beginning the first of the closing activities and ceremonies, which will take place over the next two weeks.

House Parents were so busy getting everything organized that we even had to ask Alana and Adam (Timmis/Bolton future head of houses) to step in and cover the duty office!! They also won the boarding award “Most Likely to Return as a House Parent”, so it was fitting that we asked them to cover the office (just for 10 minutes) 🙂

One morning, a few Bolton/Timmis students came together to start their day right! That is, with pancakes and berries!

This week, we also had the opportunity to connect with the Original Bolton Boys (who are all living in the Grade 12 house this year). Here they all are after receiving their ceremonial tankard after a quick speech and witty words from Mr. Daum! It was an awesome evening to re-connect with those Bolton Boys who are graduating !

Internally, we also had awards for our Grade 11 house this year that were voted on by the boys living here in Bolton.

First up, was The Cameron Award for Brotherhood. This award is named for Rob and Eva Cameron who, through their welcoming, familiar approach, brought boys from all five grades together under one roof when Bolton House first formed. It is granted to the boy who is most instrumental in uniting the diverse members of the house.

Adam, our future Head of House, was granted this award this year.

Second, was The Robert Common Award for Honour. This award is named for Robert Common, who personally modeled the behaviour that he expected of others and upheld the highest standards for Bolton House. It is granted to the boy who has similarly upheld high standards for himself and others.

Jonathan, our future Head Prefect, was the recipient of this award.

Finally, there was The Shergold Award for Strength. This award is named for Stephanie, Chuck, and Wendy Shergold, who endured great difficulty and tragedy but carried on in support of Bolton House, thinking consistently about others before themselves. It is granted to the boy who has shown strength of character in the face of adversity.

This year, Frank was the award winner.

See the gallery below for pictures and videos of the short ceremony!

This weekend also marked the start of the move-out process which meant bringing up all the bins from storage. Check out the sweet teamwork in the suitcase/bin assembly line!

We also had the ability to sit together as a building for a delicious, semi-formal event – one of the first of the year!! It was so wonderful to gather with everyone in the Sun Centre.

We also gave out some fun awards, including “the cleanest (and dirtiest) room” awards. Check out all the photos and videos of the action below.

Hip Hip Hooray! Our final housegames are underway! Stations of archery, GaGa ball, egg toss and and a few obstacle courses made for a great afternoon competing with our house.


Celebrating the Big and the Small

As Monday was a day off for the Victoria Day long weekend, a hearty crew set off to help Farmer Jim before he left for Fairy Creek to protest the logging of the old growth forest, what a guy!

Manure, manure everywhere! (and check out the bee hives being installed in the background)
Darrell collecting caterpillars to feed the chickens
2 new lambs were very nervous, but very cute!
Darrell vs Ruby in the early rounds of the wheelbarrow competition!
Dylan vs Kevin in qualifying rounds…
The grand final! Ryan vs Dylan vs Darrell!! An epic match!
The 3 little pigs! (Destined to become the 3 very large pigs at over 400lbs each by December!)
Some well-deserved apple juice after a hard afternoon of work.

This week we also said our formal goodbye to longtime houseparent Mr. Shaw who has just welcomed his beautiful daughter into the world and is stepping back from his role in Bolton to focus on his family. We wish him well and thank him for his many contributions to our community. We also welcomed Mr. Stewart to the house, as he will be joining us for the final couple weeks and full time starting in September. Welcome!

Goodbye Mr. Shaw, Hello Mr. Stewart (They are not just different height twins!)

Cohort A had their out trips this Thursday-Saturday with guys hiking, paddle boarding, rock climbing, and sea kayaking. Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for the boys, there were no phones on their trips so we only have this one pre-trip photo, but they sure look excited!

And apparently someone smuggled a phone in on the rock climbing trip so here are some awesome shots of Louis conquering “The Wall of Doom”! and the view from the top.

The Senior School hosted a Covid-limited Keep the Beat on Friday at lunch. While no Bolton boys performed, they did enjoy the sunshine and celebrated the talent on display including dance, singing and music.

The boys also had some time to relax as Will, Frank and Darrell duked it out on the Nintendo while Richard cheered them on. Frank is the new champion!

Two weeks to go of classes with some of our boys beginning to leave next week. We wish all the boys the heartiest of congratulations on making it through such a difficult year with such aplomb!

May the Long Weekend Be With You!

🔆🔆🔆 Sun sun sun! Fun fun fun! 🔆🔆🔆

All of the boys and houseparents in Bolton House welcomed the May long weekend with open arms, as the sun was out and the activities were plenty! Many of the boys had just wrapped up their AP exams and leadership elections, so it was safe to say that everyone needed a bit of a well-deserved break.

Before the weekend fun was had, the Bolton team dressed up in their finest professional dress for the yearly house photo. If you look closely, you will be able to spot some guest appearances from: the Bolton Penguin, Mr. Danskin’s lovely dog Chips, both of the Daum boys Eliot and James, and Mr. Daum’s better half, Mrs. Amanda Daum!

When the weekend finally arrived, a whole host of exciting activities came with it. Ms. Cordy, our boarding coordinator, worked tirelessly to offer a wide selection of events ranging from mini golf and paintball to a photo shoot by a professional photographer! Here are some action shots from the excursions.

Dylan and Frank, along with Jenny from Timmis and a large group of Grade 12s, headed across town to Blenkinsop Golf Course for 18 holes of mini golf action.

Eric X, Jason and Richard teamed up with several other boarders to conquer the high ropes courses at Wildplay! Courage was tested, but everyone helped each other out and enjoyed a beautiful day up in the trees.

Joshua M and Ryan C, along with a day student friend, channelled their inner Queen’s Gambit and squared off in a chess match in the quad.

As you can see below, the views from our boarding house have been absolutely stellar lately! If you look closely, you might be able to find the hammock that a few students have set up in between some soccer posts. In times like these, it is important to use your creativity when looking for potential hangout spots!

On Saturday evening, Ryan C, LeRoy, Jason, Subaig and Richard strapped up their cleats and headed out to the soccer field for a hotly-contested penalty shootout. The videos show a few more misses than goals, but off-camera, the boys were definitely hitting their targets!

Getting a head start on the end of year cleaning! The Big Clean had the boys doing their best Marie Kondo impression

To celebrate the end of the long weekend, the boarding community broke bread and had a bbq in the sun!

En Garde! Who will be the last to stay on the crate!

Sliding into the long weekend! Jason, Diego, Ryan and Richard had some fun in the sun on the slip and slide!

Keeping Fit and Having Fun

The SMUS Headmaster, Mr. Turner, took a small crew of Bolton and Timmis students fishing last Sunday morning. The sea was calm, the weather held and a fish and some crab even agreed to join our hearty crew on board! It was a unique opportunity for Kevin and Joshua who were thrilled to spend some quality time with Mr. Turner and experience our beautiful ocean up close.

Kevin with his catch!
Here crabbies, crabbies, crabbies!
Dinner for the whole house!!

Last Sunday night was also a very important night as many of our boys were giving speeches to their respective boarding houses to become Head of House for next year. In Barnacle, Ryan C. and Eric X. went head to head, Harvey had an impressive ticket to chose from with Roberto, Richard, Diego and Kevin putting themselves out there. And of course, Bolton also had a great crew to choose from with Adam L, Leo, Subaig and Louis putting their names forward. The speeches were heartfelt and emotional, and left no doubt that we will have a strong group of leaders next year.

It was also a lovely opportunity to have all of our old Bolton Grade 12’s back with us for a short while and a chance to meet a couple of our new Bolton boys who will be joining us next year. Here is the full crew:


The rest of the week was spent in academic classes, in various sporting activities and getting fit and having fun!

Roberto “Abs of Steel” O.
Jonathan “Superman” N.
Diego “No, Jonathan, I am Superman” D.
LeRyan getting ready for basketball season with some power lifting!
A private screening of Dirty Dancing had everyone singing and dancing!
An epic game of Mahjong
A classic game of field volleyball in the beautiful sun.. nice set Ryan!
Ready for the links…
Subaig and Chris get creative with a hybrid volleyball/rugby game of their own invention.

We finished our Sunday night off with a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday for Sahan and some delicious taquitos to keep the boys happy.

Happy Birthday Sahan (I think our singing is getting better!

We enter a short week this week with Cohort B on out trips, the long weekend looming, and a final week of school sports to close out our third term athletics. The boys are in good spirits and we continue to be very proud of them for their resilience, hard work and positivity.

Final Term Begins

This week, Term 6 began at the SMUS Senior School, marking six weeks until the end of the school year!

To start the week, we had many of the Grade 11 students here in Bolton run for the position of Head Prefect, with some outstanding speeches. Jonathan received the honour of being chosen to represent the school, voted into the position by the whole school! Congratulations to Jonathan and everyone else who ran!

For an interview with Jonathan and Devon, check out the school website at the link below:

Before school, the rowing team hits the gym/water and after school, many other intramurals take place. However, SMUS is also committed to embedding physical activity into the school day. Here are some shots from a PE class this week!

Barnacle House hosted their leadership retreat this week, where they came together as the 2021-2022 Grade 12 leaders to think about their vision for the future.

Also, as always, many good conversations happen around the dinner table!

This week marked Wellness week, where students engaged in various activities around campus. There were homeroom discussions, seminars about mental health and the wonderful supports there are for every student and staff, and there was even a plant sale at the end of the week!

There was also an opportunity to write mother’s day cards, which some Bolton boys took part in.

During some evenings this week, the campus was very quiet as the students are in their rooms studying for their end of term projects, and AP Exams. There is still another week left of AP Exams at SMUS, and so I am sure there will be a collective sigh of relief (and a few pats on the back) once the exam session is over!

Allyship Week

This week we celebrated Allyship Week with a series of events organized by 3 former Timmis and Bolton students , Abieyuwa, Carmen and Efosa. All three were awarded their Boarding Colours for their dedicated service to our community and served as excellent role models for our current Grade 11’s looking ahead to their leadership roles next year.

The week was filled with activities around how to be a good ally and to bring an awareness about how we as a community can better support all students.

Some of the Bolton boys sharing their thoughts on what it means to be a good ally.
Will joins in
Some of the art work on display.
Senior School Director, Mr. Anderson adds his thoughts too.

This weekend also marks the final weekend in term 5 meaning that most students will officially be finished half of their course by this Thursday! There was a general sense of happiness and perhaps a bit of giddiness as those courses have final exams this coming week. Everyone was able to take some time to relax on Friday night with the movie Grease in full swing in the common room, card game sin the foyer and chats in the office.

Hanson, Joshua and Eric play cards.
Chris hanging out in the office

Mr. Daum’s Spanish classes were also wrapping up their work for the term and hosted a market in the quad where they were able to put their language skills to test.

The weather has been fantastic as we head into the weekend that should have been Alumni Weekend. While there were no bouncy castles or rugby games, the boys were still able to enjoy a lovely day on the field.

Adam L. working on his kicking with young Elliot
Louis picking the corner!!
Simon, trying to get his revenge! Oh so close!
Save of the day!!

One of the Grade 10 Entrepreneurship classes put on a musical concert in support of Syrian and Palestinian refugee families to get their Covid vaccines.

Enjoying the tunes and the sun!


Some evening colouring to help with relaxation

Grade 12 and former Bolton student, Efosa, receives his boarding pin at Sunday’s allyship chapel session for his work in co-establishing Allyship Week and antiracism seminars.

Spring is in the air and we have photos to share!

SMUS Gambit! Ryan and the Chess Club decided to capitalize on the beautiful weather and moved their games outside!

No better way to enjoy the sun with a little live music!

Richard and Junya decided to set up an acrobatic photo shoot for themselves on the field. I believe the COVID-19 experts call this “vertical social distancing”.

Adam L, Louis, Subaig, Richard, Robbie, Eric X and Joshua M were all involved in midweek rugby practice. Looking sharp team!

Eric X, Frank, Phong, Darrell and Richard took advantage of the great weather and set up shop outside. Looks like they are working hard!

Mrs. Jones took the Grade 11s through a variety of leadership activities in preparation for next year. How many of the Bolton guys can you spot?

Junya, Richard and Robbie, along with a few Timmis girls, reigned in the weekend by flexing their culinary muscles and cooking up some delicious, homemade fried chicken! As you can see in the video, the chefs involved agreed to divulge their cooking secrets in the exclusive interviews.

While the students may be dreaming of an end in school year in sight, this time of year affords the opportunity for our Grade 11 students in boarding to think forward to their Grade 12 year, where their leadership skills will be called upon as the senior-ist of senior students.

At the Senior School during the day, Mrs. Jones and Mr. Driscoll have worked on a wonderful plan to expose our Grade 11 students to different leadership ideas and activities. The following is an excerpt from Mrs. Raechel Jones’ recent article posted to the SMUSpaper:

Throughout their Grade 11 year, students work through a series of leadership modules to gain a better understanding of themselves. The program was inspired by the work of Kouzes and Posner’s The Leadership Challenge and their Five Practices of Leadership which include ‘Model the Way’ and ‘Enable Others to Act.’ During leadership sessions throughout the year, the Grade 11s have completed activities to test their leadership skills: they have worked cooperatively to decide which items would be key to survival on a deserted island to ‘Inspire a Shared Vision’ and have written notes to a friend “just to say hello” and to ‘Encourage the Heart.’

Students who may not have considered themselves leaders have become aware of when they do take initiative, whether it be captaining a school sports team, or completing group projects in academic courses. Each year, I appreciate the wide range of responses from the students as they interpret what leadership means to them.

Below are a few of the responses from this year’s Grade 11 students reflecting on the values that inspire them on a daily basis to be better leaders:

“Empathy has allowed me to look from other people’s perspectives and to relate to them, create friendships, have meaningful conversations and be kind.”

“Discipline means taking the hard road to what’s right for others and yourself. … Discipline will put you on your path towards a high quality of life.”

Check out this article from Mrs. Jones for the full story.

In boarding, we continue this leadership development from a house-specific perspective. This Sunday was the chance for the future Grade 12’s of Bolton House to get together, reflect on their leadership abilities, and imagine a house full of Grades 9-12 next year including many new students.

Here are some pictures from the first event: The Spider’s Web! (Each student had to go through a unique hole in the web without touching the lines, but they figured out soon that they definitely needed teamwork and communication!

We then continued in Brown Hall with some other leadership exercises and discussion, followed by a tasty pizza and chicken dinner!

It was also a busy day with house games earlier in the day: Cardio Pictionary was a pretty good time! Here are some videos of the action!

Also, to end the blog today – here is a video of Will’s first race on the water in his quad with Diego and two other Senior School students! Impressively, this was only his second time on the water!

Sun, Sun, Sun!!! Fun, Fun, Fun!!!

The sun and heat have arrived in spectacular fashion this April and the contrast to just a few weeks ago is incredible. This Friday we had the third warmest April 16th on record since 1899! As a result, the fields were busy, ice cream was a must and spirits were extremely high! Below are a series of pictures and videos from the week: soccer, frisbee, volleyball, ice cream, and yes, even a bit of school work!

Happy Friday – Thanks Mr. Anderson for the ice cream treats!
We are looking forward to ultimate housegames!!
Simon, Frank, Jonathan and Adam enjoying some sunny volleyball on the hill.
A little tic-tac-toe….no goal! Look at all those Bolton Boys playing in the sun!
The boys have never been happier!
Not actually sure what is going on here, but it looks like fun in the sun!
A little innovation…
Proof that learning is still happening despite the weather. LeRoy and Darrell plugging away.
And Junya got his official license in the mail, congratulations!
A gluten for punishment, Diego used his one day off of rowing to go for a run!!
Team Grade 11 taking on the Grade 10’s in volleyball
Sun’s out guns out!!