Fun @ MUN

Several Grade 11 boys were involved in this weekend’s Model United Nations (MUN) session on campus.

Model UN is a popular activity for those interested in learning more about how the UN operates. Hundreds of thousands of students worldwide take part every year at all educational levels. Many of today’s leaders in law, government, business and the arts – including at the UN itself – participated in Model UN as students. 

The United Nations MUN Programme aims to build and maintain strong links between the UN and MUN participants across the globe. It does that through guides and workshops, which teach students how to make their simulations more accurate; by visiting Model UN conferences and sharing firsthand knowledge of what the actual UN is like; and through encouraging Model UN clubs to take real action to support UN values and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

In particular, some of the discussions at this weekend’s event surrounded globalization and internationalization, mostly through the lens of various transnational organizations, all represented by SMUS students.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Ryan, and ask him a few questions about his experience at MUN.

Ryan after his weekend organizing the SMUS Model UN.

Mr. Fryer: Hi Ryan, thanks for chatting with me and congrats on, what sounds like, a successful conference this weekend! Can you tell me a little bit about your role this weekend?

Ryan: Yes, thanks for having me here. The conference itself was comprised of three committees: Dylan (from Bolton) – was the Director for the World Health Organization (WHO), Fa – was the Director of the UN Human Rights Council, and I ran the Ad Hoc Committee as a Director. That role was a little bit different and including things like arranging conference materials, conference background guides ahead of time, as well as directing the flow of debate. The conference this weekend surrounded a fake scenario surrounding a horrific bombing at JFK airport. My role as director was to lead many delegates, representing the United States, to help resolve this issue.

Some of the delegates sing the United States National Anthem

Mr. Fryer: Wow! That sounds like a lot of work went into this. Have you been preparing for awhile?

Ryan: Two other SMUS students approached me at the start of January, and recommended to me that I apply as director for the conference as I have done MUN prior to this one. Ever since January, I have been working with my team to write two very lengthy documents: the committee introduction (which was 14 pages), and the General Briefing paper which was a document given to delegates the day of the conference which laid out everybody’s roles. The night before the event, I even chatted with SMUS Grad and Bolton Brother Logan who stepped in last-minute giving me pointers until 4 am!!

Mr. Fryer: Wow! Great to hear about the Bolton support! Congrats on your role, Ryan. That sounds like quite the experience. Is this your first time in a leadership role at MUN like this?

Roberto, Kevin, and Ryan working in their Ad Hoc Committee Roles

Ryan: Definitely first time in this role. I’ve been a delegate in other conferences like the Vancouver MUN but this is the first time in a director role, yes. I felt very lucky to be in this role at the first-ever SMUS hosted MUN.

Mr. Fryer: That’s right! This is the first time SMUS has hosting a Model UN. How was that experience?

Ryan: I’d say it completely exceeded my expectations. My biggest concern was that there was some inexperience with MUN (including me in a director role), but everybody played a part and did a fantastic job, including some of the Grade 8’s from SMUS.

Mr. Fryer: Wow, that’s great to hear! Can I ask, what was the most challenging moment was this weekend?

Ryan: The most challenging was laying out the world of MUN to all of the delegates – there was a lot of complexity including formal language to be used. Also, it took a lot of time and effort to comprehend what was happening around me during the weekend – it was challenging but it was also so much fun!

Mr. Fryer: There must have been such rich discussion all weekend. So, did the Model situation at JFK airport get resolved by all the committees in the end?

Ryan: In the end they did. Some committees closed borders, and all flights were grounded, and the CIA delegation worked hard to conclude the problem using intelligence in the air force. Throughout the whole thing, I think people spent a lot of money, so that is an important consideration – the economics of it all!

Bolton/Timmis delegates taking a break

Mr. Fryer: Yes, very complex. Any other thoughts? What was your biggest take away?

Ryan: Definitely that, to whoever is reading the blog, that politics is is all around us. MUN sparked a passion in me that I didn’t know was there. I have become more attentive and active in the political community. Whoever is reading this, give MUN a shot! I also want to give a shout-out to all the other Bolton boys who played a part this weekend: Dylan, Kevin, Junya, Eric X., Josh, Louis, Kevin, Richard and Roberto! It was almost 1/3 of the house involved and took a team.

Mr. Fryer: Congrats to all of you and enjoy the well-deserved rest!

Onwards to Term 5!

Lunar New Year Brings a Snow Day!

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.

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!!

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.


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.

Hello from Mr. Danskin, Ms. Hanna, and Chips!

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!

Musical & The Running Man

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!

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A New Decade Begins

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!

Remembering, Celebrating, Competing, Bowling, & Gardening

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:

Remembrance Day: ‘Today We Remember Them All’

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!

IMG_8896 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!IMG_0197

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:

Bowling was a big hit this weekend for Saturday Activity goers. Many Boltons boys worked the lanes and although there were no turkeys, several strikes were reported!

Ryan was working hard in the gardens again and officially has the greenest thumb of whole the house!



All Good Friends Now!

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.

Thanksgiving dinner

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.

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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.

ryan singing

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.