Family Day long weekend has arrived and although COVID-19 is still preventing us from connecting in person, we have plenty of other things to celebrate!
Lunar New Year is front of mind right now. Students gathered in the foyer to put up decorations and share in the festivities. A special meal was also prepared at the dining hall, complete with hóngbāo – the lucky red envelopes from Chinese culture associated with this time of year; for us, the cash that is usually inside was replaced by chocolate coins and candy!
There was a Chocolate Goodies Making activity to help kick off the long weekend and a few of our boys took up the opportunity to craft some homemade treats.
A giant colouring poster turned out to be a great way for people to connect in the foyer. Some serious “between the lines” skills were demonstrated and a new poster will be needed in short order!
As the snow began its first dusting, the rugby crew was willing to brave the elements to continue honing their skills. “I can’t feel my hands,” was a common call from the field and there’s nothing like a fitness blast on a cold day to really liven the senses!
The snow really came down Friday night and Saturday morning. Although some people hoped it had fallen mid week, there was no lack of enthusiasm to have a play day on the field. From snowmen to snow jumps, and snow football to snowball fights, there was plenty of fun by all who participated. A few students also offered their services to shovel the sidewalks and walkways around the neighborhood.
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!!
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.
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 🙂
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.
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 theCops For Cancer cyclists. It was a little more subdued this year due to COVID protocols, but the ever important money and awareness was generated.
We are excited to be starting our sixth year working in the Bolton/Timmis building. This is Mr. Danskin’s eighth year in boarding and Ms. Hanna’s seventh. We feel very fortunate to be part of such an amazing community and are looking forward to the year ahead. Although things will look a little different, ‘with change comes opportunity’ and supporting our students through these challenging times is an exciting prospect.
Ms. Hanna currently teaches in the Victoria School District as a learning support teacher. Mr. Danskin teaches Humanities and PE at the SMUS Middle School and coaches a variety of sports at the Middle School as well as helps out with rugby at the Senior School. Our dog Chips is also excited to be a fixture on the front steps during our duty shifts, and when not on duty he keeps himself busy chasing flies and digging holes in our backyard.
In our spare time we love outdoor adventures and cooking delicious meals. We are excited to share our experiences and passions with the boarding community and look forward to another great year!
This year’s musical is Newsies and they are a week away from performance nights. Xavier and Ryan are in the show this year and Mr. Butterfield promises it will be a grand experience for all those in attendance.
Flavius is Bolton’s resident runner and recently tapped into Nike’s newest shoe technology with their highly sought after Vaporfly. Below, he and Mr. Danskin show off their flare for fluorescent! Today Flavius put his Vaporflys to go use and ran 24 kilometers along Victoria’s coastline to finish downtown where he treated himself to a pizza lunch! What a day!
It is great to have the house filled up again after what sounded like a lovely break for the boys. Many amazing trips were taken and Malik even managed to fly around the world!
Today saw the fourth annual Bolton House Penguin Swim. The event is a spin off of the well known Polar Bear Swim that is considered to be a way to cleanse the body at the start of a new year. Bolton adopted the “Penguin” Swim as a wonderful way for the Bolton Brothers to bond after the break, and with this year’s theme of brotherhood, the event is a great fit. Today’s event saw six intrepid brothers: Ryan S., Alex, MudMee, Xavier, Matt, and Toby, able to outlast all others. We also saw for the first time, every single guy get in the water, even if it was just a dip of the feet. As per tradition, there was hot chocolate and timbits waiting to help warm everyone up post swim. Well done boys!
As is also tradition, there was pizza in the common room as a little penguin swim celebration. Fabi was particularly excited about the post Penguin Swim pizza party!
So excited in fact, that Fabi and Flavius treated us to a little concert.
There was a thrilling new addition to the common room this weekend. After a broken net kept the ping pong table off the pool table for a while, it was time to bring it back. To the joy of many of the guys, it is now fully up and running.
Bolton welcomed a new brother to the fold this week. Hugo joined our crew and is rooming with Minh. Hugo is from Hong Kong and his kind gentle demeanor is already fitting in well.
Malik worked his magic to create a DNA structure out of candy. It was the tastiest DNA strand he has every eaten.
There is a lot of great energy in the house right now and with snow in the forecast there is also some excited anticipation. Stay tuned!
Last week our school community gathered for two poignant services to mark Remembrance Day and to honour those who fought for our country and have served in the military. For details of the service and full video please follow the link below:
Over the long weekend, Garret and Ryan competed in the Vancouver Island regional power-lifting competition. Both did extremely well and qualified for the provincial championships in the new year. Perhaps diet had something to do with it because they were also seen as the poster boys for the Sun Centre Digital Menu!
The grade 9 crew took a break from prep this week and put their baking skills to the test. They cooked up a batch of delicious cookies and by all accounts they were a hit!
There was a big crew who went out on the town for an exciting Cantonese dinner. They said it was the perfect way to cap off the week!
The Senior Boys Soccer Team, coached by Bolton’s Evan Fryer, is off to the provincial championship tournament this week. If you would like to follow their progress, please use the link below:
The entire building went out for dinner downtown this week as the Sun Centre was hosting a “Founders Dinner” for board members, donors, and scholarship winners. It was a fabulous opportunity for Bolton boys and Timmis girls to mix and mingle and fun was had by all.
A couple of the big boys, Toby and Matt, determined if their rugby skills were transferable to Line Dancing during this week’s North American Culture theme on campus. Turns out Matt’s prairie upbringing was all he needed to throw down some impressive moves! As head of the Intercultural Council, Justin also got in on the action during the N. American Week chapel presentation.
Harry Huang started a charity “restaurant” and served up an amazing dinner for the Bolton HPs of Beef tenderloin, sauteed mushrooms, peas and carrots, and potato puree. It was divine!
During last weekend’s house games, Alex was a hero for Bolton house when he nailed a drop kick from half court to earn extra points for the house. Impressive stuff in front of the entire boarding community!
The Bolton Boys then went on to play very well in their soccer games and are only 9 points back of first place after the first round.
The team involved with the scavenger hunt was caught on camera trying to get everyone in the air at the same time. Success!
Neekan also tried to win us first chance at dinner with this rousing rendition of a werewolf!
After house games we found Ryan practicing for the school musical with Mr. Butterfield and we are pleased to say that he has been given a role along with Xavier.
The Rugby World Cup is in full flight and this weekend is the semifinals between England & New Zealand and Wales & South Africa. A contest was organized where students had to pick the winner, runner-up, and score for next weekend’s final, The closest to the actual result wins a vintage Rugby Canada fleece circa 2002 from Mr. Danskin’s playing days. There were many disappointed contestants when, at the time of writing, England had recently toppled the giant that is the New Zealand All Blacks, who many had favoured as winners.
Cookie baking for a local shelter was on the agenda for one of the Saturday activities, as was farming out at Farmer Jim’s where we were rewarded with some fresh pressed apple juice! There was some entertaining dialogue from the farming:
Tony: Excuse me sir your chicken escaped.
Farmer Jim: Well, can you catch him for me?
Tony: Uummmm I don’t know. (makes an attempt and fails) Ken you do it!
Ken stealthy moves into position and calmly snatches the bird.
Ken was then known as the “Chi-Ken Whisperer”.
There were also lots of routine moments at the school with classroom activities and hanging out in the common room. Here is Toby working on a presentation for Day of the Dead in his Spanish class and Ryan with his French teacher in the language lab. Fabian was hard at work on a puzzle and Ryan and Jason played some scintillating pool games.
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!