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.

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

Welcome to Bolton House, from Mr.Butterfield

Hi All,

I am excited to meet and get to know the new Bolton brothers, and of course I am keen to hear how the summer was for the returning BBs!

I lead the choral program at smus, and have done since 2009. I also help with preparing the musical production (“Newsies” this year, and I am the Musical Director), sponsor the Piano Club, the Flying Club, and am a keen ping pong player.

I was a classical singer for a long time, and found my way to conducting and teaching as a natural progression from that. I spent the summer outdoors, one way or another, and chopped enough wood for the next 2 winters.

I can be found in the Choir Room during the school day, and also during most lunch times. Please come to visit any time, and you are always welcome to practice singing, piano, and most other activities, in the Choir Room.



Welcome to the Bolton House from Mr. Bell

E52BD048-F823-46E5-8483-D923D817BF80.JPGHi everyone! My name is Mr. Bell and I am very excited to be joining the Bolton House after three years of House Parenting in Harvey House!

I was born and raised in Victoria and grew up just minutes from the St. Michaels campus. I work as a teacher in the Victoria School District and have coached basketball and volleyball at the SMUS for the past six years. I also love to play lacrosse and explore the island in my spare time! I am looking forward to an exciting and successful year in Bolton House!


Welcome to the Bolton House from the Daum Family


We are the Daum family and live on the first floor of Bolton House. I (Clayton) am the Senior House Parent and work with the senior assistant house parent Evan Fryer to run the house, and attend to the day to day needs of the boys.  I have been a member of Bolton House for 9 years, and Amanda, my wife, has worked as a Junior Houseparent in Timmis and Symons House previously.

I have taught in the Modern Languages department at St. Michaels University School for 9 years as a Spanish teacher, and have branched out into the Social Studies in the last couple of years, teaching Social Studies 10.  During my time here I have coached the Senior, Junior and Grade 9 Boys Rugby teams and would encourage all the Bolton boys to get onto a team right away as it is the best way to connect and get involved.  Amanda is also a teacher at a local public school, and was responsible for organizing and running House Olympics and Saturday Activities for the boarding community at SMUS for several years so has lots of experience dealing with teenage boys.

Our eldest son, Elliot Daum, turned 6 this past summer and loves living in the house with all the “big boys”! He also loves having the best front yard in the world to play on every day! He is joined by his little brother James who will turn 4 in November and is anything but shy. We feel very fortunate to have our sons grow up with your sons in such a supportive and caring community where they are able to interact with young men from so many different cultures and traditions.  The new Bolton boys will certainly get to know Elliot and James well as they tumble loudly down the hallway on their way to play on the field.

Our emphasis this year is on “brotherhood” and what it means to be a Bolton Brother. We look forward to watching these young men bond and form lifelong friendships as they face challenges, push themselves and try new things together.

We look forward to catching up with all of our returning boys, and to helping all of the new guys feel comfortable in their transition into Bolton and SMUS.  I am confident that this will be another great year in boarding! Go Bo!

Clayton Daum

‘Brotherhood, Honour, Strength’

Happy Summer and Goodbye

It is with heavy hearts, but also great excitement that we say goodbye to the grads of 2019. They have made us laugh and made us cry, but have always been Bolton Boys. We wish them all the best as they set out to their respective Universities and look forward to hearing from them and all of their adventures in the coming years. Bolton’s doors will always be open.  Congratulations and good luck boys, make us proud and keep the honour of Bolton strong.

Grad Group 2019

For those of you coming back in September we eagerly await your return and look forward to another great year. Safe travels and enjoy a well deserved summer break.

The Final Countdown

We are almost there! In fact, two of the Bolton Boys have already departed for Summer Break – we wish Adam L. and Javier safe travels home!

Exams are just around the corner for our Grade 11 and 12 students, so they have been busy preparing for those with tutoring sessions, extended prep times, and meetings with teachers.

Our Grade 9 students have also been busy working on their Applied Design Skills & Technology projects, and our Grade 10 students have been working in Cohort groups around campus and around British Columbia.

School Grounds

You can see above, Garret working hard to sell Coffee on campus. Not only did the sell the coffee, but that actually roasted the coffee themselves, right from scratch! A pretty impressive skill to have.

Sewing 1

Here, Kevin is working on his sewing and clothing design skills for his pursuit trip. I talked to the Expedition Leader, and apparently Kevin is very, very skilled!

There was also some time committed to playing spikeball, which has been mentioned before as the new cool game to play on campus here at SMUS. Here are a few more pics of some Bolton Boys in action:

Since the end of the year is near, we have lots of different closing ceremonies at the school.

First up was the Boarding Closing Chapel. This was the last time we would get together as a group. Joel from our house even performed, “Just the Way you Are” by Billy Joel. Here it is:

After that, we had the Grade 9-11 Closing Ceremonies. The year closed out with some celebrations of various achievements including math and science awards, recognition in Athletics, as well as the Major Awards. Of course, no gathering is complete without some music. This was the first public performance of the SMUS R&B Band at assembly. Pretty cool!

R&B Band

Then, we gathered as Bolton House as a group and celebrated the year, like only High School boys do – with Pizza and Chicken. It was a great evening and there were speeches for every Graduating Boy as well as speeches for all of those not returning next year to Bolton. There were tears and laughs and it was a really beautiful evening. Here are some shots from the speeches:

A few of the boys were recognized for the three Bolton Awards as well.

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.

Antonio, our 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.

Tung 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, Garry was the award winner.

Here is a picture of all three award winners with Mr. Daum.

Bolton Awards 2

With only one week to go until Graduation, this is quite an emotional time for Grade 12’s. They are currently distracted with exams, but soon, this will shift to celebration. Celebration of some amazing years at SMUS. Celebration of some great contributions to the Boarding Community. And celebration of a significant contribution to Bolton House. They will definitely be missed.