The Final Week

As we head into the last few days of school, there is a lot to be thankful for – we have had an exciting year so far and it has been truly wonderful getting to know the new boys from around the World, and welcoming them to SMUS and our Bolton Family. With the enthusiasm of the returning Bolton students, we have really accomplished a lot this year!

However, there are still a few days left of school that include: chapter tests, Christmas hampers, the Shergold Pancake Breakfast, as well as the All-School Christmas Assembly.

Here are some shots from some of the different Christmas celebrations around Bolton and Timmis in the last week. Our students organized a Secret Santa event in our brand new Student Commons Area, and it was such a success – and the baking was also very tasty!

In the midst of all the Christmas Action, a few of our boys (and Timmis Houseparent and coach Mr. Robinson) led the U18 rugby team to a Provincial Victory on Saturday Afternoon. Toby even scored a very important try to contribute to the winning result. Although Jack and Garrett were injured, they helped the team get to the final. Well done boys!

Thanks to all Bolton Boys and Houseparents for a wonderful 2018! We hope everyone has a chance over the Winter Break to spend some quality time with their friends and family, and we look forward to welcoming them all back in 2019!

From all of us here in Bolton, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

Christmas Fever Begins

By Mr. Shaw

The stress levels have dropped in the house since the release of report cards and the guys are anticipating the Christmas break.

The senior boys volleyball team returned from Provincials with an 11th place finish overall. Joel said the trip was a lot of fun. It was the first time the boys have made it to the Provincial Tournament and we were very excited to be there.

Interview with Neme

Mr. Shaw – How is your year so far?

Neme – Good! Everything is going really well for me.

Mr. Shaw – How do you like living in Bolton House

Neme – I love the atmosphere. It is very comfortable here. Mostly because of the great Houseparents.

Mr. Shaw – What has been the highlight of the year so far?

Neme – My grades because I have been studying more. I also scored three goals in soccer this year.

Mr. Shaw – What do you enjoy the most about living in Victoria

Neme – Probably the food. The Keg is my favourite restaurant.

Mr. Shaw – Are you excited for the Holiday?

Neme – Yes, I am! I’m going to Mexico and to Whistler

Mr. Shaw – What are your goals for the New Year

Neme – Get accepted to University first. I would also like to start working for my dad.

Mr. Shaw – What will your focus be in University

Neme – Engineering if my grades are good enough

Mr. Shaw – Why are you interested in engineering?

Neme – I like it. I’m not sure what I want to do yet, but I would like to own my own business.

Mr. Shaw – If you could meet a celebrity who would it be?

Neme – Bill Gates because he is rich and a smart business man. I would like him to give me some business tips.

Interview with Jesus

Mr. Shaw – What do you like most about living in Bolton House

Jesus – The people! The atmosphere is really good.

Mr. Shaw – How was your first term overall?

Jesus – It was really good. My highlight was making several really good saves during the soccer season.

Mr. Shaw – What do you enjoy most about living in Victoria?

Jesus – It is very clean and there is no pollution here.

Mr. Shaw – Are you excited for the break?

Jesus – I’m going back to Mexico to spend time with my friends and family.

Mr. Shaw – What is your favourite class this year?

Jesus – Math because that was my best grade.

Mr. Shaw – What are your goals for the new year?

Jesus – Improve my grades

Mr. Shaw – If you could be one type of food what would it be and why?

Jesus – Pizza because the box is square, the pizza is round, and the slices are triangles.

Last night, was the annual Christmas Gala and the boys looked fantastic in their formal wear! Mr. Fryer commented that all of the boys looked SO GOOD. It was a fun night of food, friends, fun, dancing and Santa. We don’t think any Bolton Boys will be on his naughty list this year.




Bolton Creates Community

This week marks the end of the first (and longest) term of the school year. As Term 1 draws to a close, students are recovering from University applications, important tests, and provincial athletic championships.

Bolton House was also in charge of the latest community dinner, and decided upon the theme of “Comfort” to celebrate the community we live in and de-stress from a long term. Some of our Bolton boys led meditation for the entire boarding population and even prepared a menu at our fantastic new dining hall (it was very tasty)! Here are some photos from the dinner:

We also competed hard in House Games and are currently in second place behind Barnacle House – but we are very close and the year is still young!

And we also celebrated Patt’s birthday this weekend! Here are some pictures from his celebration:

Even with all of the time spent on academics, some of our students even had time to volunteer at Farmer Jim’s, helping him prepare his gardens with much needed soil. It is encouraged that all of our Bolton boys take part in service initiatives throughout the year. Here are some pictures from the work they did:

This week, we have many activities including our SMUS Christmas Gala, hosted by the Parent’s Auxiliary at the Crystal Gardens in downtown Victoria. Families are welcome to attend this formal event, which will see our boarding students and day families come together for a wonderful buffet dinner, auction, and dance. We are very much looking forward to seeing our Bolton Boys in their very best suits! We’ll share some pictures from the event next week.

Wishing everybody the best as we move into December!

Odds & Sods

Mike Walsh, a former SMUS rugby coach, used to split players into teams at the start of practice by saying, “blues vs odds and sods”. It was never an honour to be on the odds & sods team because it meant you forgot your practice jersey! As a blog title, it refers to the series of random events contained in this post.

In the spirit of remembering people who have graced our school, during the school’s annual Remembrance Day assembly, we honored those who served Canada by fighting and giving their lives in various wars. As part of the assembly, the name of each school alumnus and staff member who lost their life in WWI or WWII is read out, the senior school orchestra plays, the senior school drama troupe performs, and the middle school choir students sing. It is a somber occasion full of emotion and reflective thought, and considered to be one of the most impactful assemblies of the year.

Remembrance Day is also a stat holiday in BC and marks a four-day long weekend for the school. We all part ways after the assembly and many students head home or are placed in homestays throughout the community, while others flew down to Disneyland for what is now a bit of a standard trip.

Each week there is one chapel service and one assembly, and this week showed a host of Bolton Boys taking the mic in various form and highlights.

Saturday activities were also on the docket again this weekend. I was up at UVic doing a spin class with some students, including fellow Bolton boy, Finn. We happened to walk by the squash courts at just the right time to see Stanley win his squash game!

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There were several other activities including helping out at a local community kitchen, bowling, an Imax movie, and nacho making!

After each long weekend or major holiday, there is a Sunday of boarding house games, community dinner, and a chapel service. This weekend’s house games are a combination of basketball, handball, and minute-to-win-it games. The basketball crew hit the school courts to get a little practice in prior to tomorrow’s games. 

Tomorrow’s community dinner is hosted by Bolton! The boys have identified that this time of year can be particularly stressful knowing that report cards will be coming out soon. As such, the planning committee (below), headed up by Mr. Fryer, have opted for a relaxation type theme where students can wear whatever they find cozy to dinner.

Tomorrow is a huge day! Stay tuned for some exciting photos and thrilling results!

Halloween & More!

There has been a flurry of activity on Campus this week. Halloween celebrations were in full swing at the school, including an amazing fireworks show on Wednesday night that lasted 15 minutes.fireworks.jpg

That same evening the Art’s Council also hosted the 20th annual Howlapalooza show in the school’s chapel, which featured student performances of music, drama, and even MAGIC. Joel, who is Head of the Art’s Council organized the event and brought the day and boarding student communities together. Laurent also performed an amazing magic trick at the end of the show and used our new Head of School, Mark Turner, as the audience volunteer. Check out some videos from the event below!



And here are some of the Bolton Boys (and house parents) in their costumes that they wore to school.

Our Bolton boys also competed well in their athletics commitments. The Cross Country squad, racing in a highly competitive Island meet at Beaver Lake, turned in some excellent performances. On the boys’ side, Jack ran outstandingly well, coming in 27th overall in an elite field to capture one of the at-large berths to the provincial meet. He competed today and came 112th in the Province, running 6.2km in 24 minutes. That’s Fast!

The Senior boys squad, on the heels of a disappointing 4-1 loss to Claremont, then bounced back with its best all-round performance of the term, traveling to Royal Bay and securing a vital 1-0 victory. With this crucial win, SMUS finishes fourth in local league play. The team will enter the Island AA tournament in Campbell River on November 7-8 as the South No. 1 seed. Turay and Jom competed on the right wing during the team’s latest win against Stelly’s in the Colonist Cup Quarter-Final. Here are some videos below:

Frank also won a gold medal at the Rowing Regatta today! Go Frank!

As the Term 1 draws to a close, the boys are working hard at staying on top of their academics. Here is Patt doing an experiment in Mr. Shaw’s Marine Science class.


However, there is always time for fun too. Here is a group shot of the Bolton Boys that attended the 6th Annual Canadian Winter Activity. They competed hard during the street hockey event and enjoyed classic Tim Horton’s hot chocolate and donuts.

Bolton Boys Hockey.jpeg

Before we break next weekend for the long weekend, we will pause to remember those who fought for our freedom during the SMUS Remembrance Day ceremony. The service will be streamed live on the SMUS website for those that are interested. We will also reflect on our own school’s military past which used to be a large component and very apparent ethos of our school.

We hope everyone enjoys the next week of school and takes time over the Long Weekend to recharge in anticipation of the last push until the Winter Break!

A little bit of everything

The blog this week has a little bit of everything with a few events being missed because of the long weekend. We also have some of the classics like Saturday activities that always have the boys participating in a ton of fun events.

We start with the Cops for Cancer visit that raised an impressive amount of money to support Camp Good Times – a summer camp for children suffering from cancer. Will was one of the MC’s and a few of the boys “bravely” risked the hair on their legs for the good cause.


The Grade 10 Experiential Program also kicked off with the first day of expeditions happening on campus and around town. For a complete list of expeditions, lots of photos and some great student-written write-ups about the amazing opportunities being offered, you can check out this link: (Note that the blog is just being populated so not all expeditions are updated yet). Here is Garret busy learning how to roast coffee as part of the “School Grounds” cohort while Damon has some fun with the “Student Athlete Experience”. All of our grade 10 boys were involved and every piece of feedback has been very positive.  The next expedition day is November 21st.


This week was similarly busy with all of the grade 9 students participating in their first LINK Leader activity,  pumpkin carving.  It was a great mix of our newest students and our veteran grade 12’s. There were some very creative designs and everyone enjoyed an early taste of Halloween, including houseparent Mr. Shaw!

The Intercultural Council hosted Latin American week which culminated in a “Feria” (fair) at lunch complete with food, music and a piñata.

Thursday night was an important one for the school community as we celebrated our Founder’s Day Dinner.  This is a big event hosted in the Sun Center where we recognize and pay tribute to our founding members including W.W. Bolton, our house namesake. For more information about Reverend Bolton check out this short video:


Because the Sun Center was used to host our distinguished guests, we were required to have dinner out on the town and decided that Romeo’s Pizza was the right place for a bunch of hungry boys.  We were not wrong. Many, many pizzas later, we had full bellies and were also full of good cheer having spent the evening together. Toby, Jack and Logan had particularly full bellies!



And of course, the Saturday Activities did not disappoint.  We had pumpkin carving, a Horror Escape Room, card making, some farming and a bit of service work serving hot chocolate to local people in need.

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Finally, just for fun, a shot of Jerry, Vincent and Dat – the dream duty team!

Check back next week for more fun photos and exciting updates.

Cleaning Machines!

Bolton has adopted a new system for room clean inspections. Traditionally, it has always been the houseparent on duty who has pestered the boys to clean their rooms on each respective day. This method has led to varying levels of buy-in from the boys, and not always the cleanest of rooms. We’ve also tried consequences and rewards, but neither positive nor negative reinforcement seems to do the trick. The various strategies implemented over the years have only had temporary success, and sadly, we haven’t found a permanent solution to ensure the perfect room clean.

Enter new Bolton houseparent acquisition, Evan Fryer. Being the ideas man that he is, Mr. Fryer came up with an interesting new approach. Our sister house, Timmis, has been awarding “Silver Dustpans” to the cleanest rooms each week, a strategy that has worked for them. Mr. Fryer suggested that the Timmis “Silver Dustpan” award winners get an additional reward of inspecting the boys rooms and selecting a “Timmis Trophy” award winner among the rooms for that particular day. Genius. The boys have bought in.

We have now had two rotations of Timmis Trophy room inspections and the progressions from week one to week two have been exciting to see. And the improvements haven’t just been in the overall cleanliness. The boys have tried some novel approaches to enticing a vote from their Timmis sisters. The first week saw some air fresheners being implemented to good effect, while week two raised things to the next level: soft welcoming music, various snacks, and other mood setting techniques.

Despite losing to Iker and Adam for the Timmis Trophy on Tuesday, one of the big innovators was Will Barry. I got a chance to ask Will about his thoughts around our new inspection system:

What do you think of the new room inspection system?

It is a fun and clever way to motivate people to clean rooms. Obviously, an important reason to clean our rooms regularly is so they don’t get disgusting. So if we are preparing for life after boarding, students are learning how to maintain a clean room, promote wellness through organization, and to respect our personal space. The new system builds on what is established by creating a new motivator: people are coming over and we are “hosting”! So this new system certainly encourages that other aspect of why we need to clean our rooms.

What strategies have you used to get the vote from the Timmis inspectors?

I have always had a clean room, so I decided to work on ambiance and hospitality. I hung a welcome sign, played some nice music, offered brownies and juice, and even had the fireplace channel going on my computer.

Any tips for the Timmis girls if the Bolton boys get a chance to do some inspections?

In the end, all the shallow, bribery based strategies didn’t help me win. I think a truly organized room is what is needed to get the win. If someone really takes the time to clean and organize all areas of their room, that will be what shines through. Oh, and also remember to flush your toilet.

As per usual, Saturday activities were in full effect. Trips to the pool, Halloween shopping, a virtual reality arcade, community leaf raking, Japanese cultural experience, and a hike were all enjoyed by many of the Bolton Boys.