The Courage to Change

I’m a guy who likes routines; steady reliable routines.  So you may imagine that I could get overwhelmed working at

Phil Fairbrother

Phil Fairbrother

Cherokee Creek Boys School which presents changes to any given routine each minute of the day.

I only need to remind myself the same thing I would remind any of our students: that change and transition are a part of life.  As with anything else that is a part of life we have the choice to resist, which generally makes us miserable, or accept, which allows us to see the wonder of possibilities.

When a student first arrives and is exposed to this new environment, he often has a lot of resistance and struggles.  Empowering a child with the knowledge of choice is an interesting process.  It seems always to be easier to blame others for the uncomfortable situations in which we find ourselves, but there is incredible strength that comes form accepting circumstances and recognizing we have a choice in making our decisions.

Each of our students work through this process each day, and sometimes while focusing on the struggles of today, we miss the changes that are happening over time. However, I was recently reminded of how wonderful change can be.  A few of our students are getting ready to graduate and are setting up their own transition room in the bunkhouse.  Moving into the transition room means more responsibility for managing behavior with less supervision. This is exactly the environment they will find themselves in once they leave our school and rejoin their families.

The boys moving into the transition room were eager to help set up their new space.  They were focused, responsible and pleasant.  I had wonderful conversations and exchanges of ideas with these boys, and I was able to assign tasks knowing they would be done without supervision or redirection.  These boys were coming to the end of their journey with Cherokee Creek Boys School, and in looking back over their time with us, the changes were remarkable. They had truly taken the opportunity for showing leadership and responsibility.

We are now in the quarter of the Warrior when we encourage the boys to “Show Up and Choose to be Present.” Our boys in this transition room have made that choice and we are delighted to send them home as the responsible, courageous and empowered Warriors they have chosen to become.

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Making Movie Memories

One of my accomplishments at Cherokee Creek is to have avoided authorship of a blog for well over a year. And if you

Will's blogs are rare, but always have great advice!

William's blogs are rare, but always have great advice!

decide to read this modest contribution, you may end up hoping that I quickly start another streak of avoidance, procrastination and outlandish excuse-making!

Once I was backed into a corner with no apparent means of escape, my plan was to write something easy and brief. I decided to create a list of  “approved movies” for the upcoming Holiday Break!.  But I began to sense trouble when my list of recommendations quickly surpassed 50 movies. I couldn’t seem to stop myself. I feverishly began organizing my gargantuan list into subsections. I knew I was really in trouble when I began considering which were the best Samurai melodramas to include. After all, what list is complete without including “Zatoichi – The Blind Swordsman, Volume 7”? I’m not kidding, it’s great ’60s cinema from Japan with a strong message of morality and justice. Think Hopalong Cassidy in a kimono and swinging a sharp sword.

I really went overboard with sports movies. I know it’s a ‘guy’ thing, but it was no problem coming up with three dozen sports movies everyone should be able to quote around the dinner table. So I’m asking you to ‘take one for the gipper’ and consider my baker’s dozen list of off-beat and value-laden sports films. I’ve tried to stay away from the most obvious choices (“Hoosiers”, “Friday Night Lights”, “Field of Dreams”, etc.) and you might wonder at my loose definition of sports (chess and spelling are included), but I hope something on the list will spark your interest. I hope that you will watch  them with your son. And, mostly, I hope you enjoy the time together.

Okay, I’ll stop digressing and actually get to the list of my favorite PG and PG-13 ‘sports’ flicks:

St. Ralph” (2005, PG-13) A low-budget, indie gem from Canada. The story of a boy who spends most of his time confusing fantasy and reality and magically thinks that running the Boston Marathon will help his mother recover from illness. Very touching, very funny. WARNING – there’s one scene that might make you uncomfortable when the hero’s sexual fantasies get a little out of hand.

Finding Forrester” (2000, PG-13) This movie features Sean Connery, literature and basketball. And if that’s not enough, there’s a wonderful message of connection, kindness, truth and redemption. I can’t recommend this one enough.

Searching for Bobby Fisher” (1993, PG) One of my favorite films about learning to love your child and not the aspirations you have for him. It’s about chess tournaments, but it could be about any sport.

Akeelah and the Bee” (2006, PG) How do you spell HEARTFELT? If you haven’t seen this movie, watch it. It’s a great story of determination and making good choices.

Bend it Like Beckham” (PG-13) The dance scene at the wedding party is worth the rental. The story of an Indian girl in the UK finding the balance between a traditional family and a non-traditional love of football.

Believe In Me” ( 2006, PG) Another great girls basketball film, this one set in Oklahoma. Lots of sports films take more than a little liberty with the truth. This one, by all accounts, is solidly based in fact. And more inspirational for it!

The Black Stallion” (1979, G) I’m somewhat of an expert on equestrian cinema, due entirely to my daughter’s love of horses and riding. And I can safely say this is one of the best of that genre. Made by Coppola between the first two installments of “The Godfather”, the first half is a beautiful dreamlike sequence about the connection between animals and children. Mickey Rooney helps make the second half equally moving.

Forever Strong” (2008, PG-13) Bad choices lead a talented rugby player into serious trouble. But with some value-laden help, redemption is possible. Your son will probably relate to the clear demarcation between the good guys and the bad ones.

The Winning Season” (2010, PG-13) It never hurts for a great high school basketball movie to be set in Indiana. This one pairs a looser of a dad with a struggling girls team. Together they restore faith and values to one another in equal measure. A very sweet film.

Eight Men Out” (PG) John Sayles is one of my favorite directors and his retelling of the Black Sox scandal is both accurate and moving.

Sixty Six” (2010, PG-13) This one stretches the sports theme a bit, but it’s worth considering if you can find it. It’s the actual story of the film director’s bar mitzvah, which happened to coincide with England’s last , and totally unexpected, world cup championship. Funny and poignant.

The Perfect Game” (2010, PG) The true story of a Mexican team that unexpectedly made it to the Little League World Series in the late ’50s.

Galipolli” (1981, PG) My list wouldn’t be complete without an entry from down under. This is the story of two young, aspiring track stars (an early role for Mel Gibson) in Australia who run off to World War I. It’s the story of friendship and the tragedy of the ill conceived Dardanelles campaign where so many ANZ soldiers perished.

Here’s hoping you find some time during holiday visits and vacations to enjoy one or more of my favorites! There’s nothing that encourages “real and true” discussion than a good flick and a big bowl of popcorn.

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Lessons From Mayberry

The election is over. (Heavy sigh of breath exhaled.) But this isn’t a blog about politics or details of who got my vote.

Stickers are great fun!

Sticker stacking is for children and fun, not relationships.

It’s a story about meeting two candidates for Sheriff in Oconee County and relationships.

About March of last year, they were holding Mayberry Days in Westminster, South Carolina. Mayberry Days are an opportunity for local businesses and residents to come out and celebrate the joys of living in rural America. There are doubles of the characters from the Andy Griffith Show hired to walk the streets and say, “Well goooooollllllly” really loud. This year I had the job of working at a booth right next to one of the candidates for Sheriff, Mike. The race for sheriff was rather contentious this year with allegations of scandal, corrupt financing, and even a kidnapping attempt. Needless to say, small town politics this year were more World Wrestling Federation than Andy Griffith. That day was the first opportunity I had to meet not only Mike, but a couple of his competitors in the hotly contested race.

Mike took the time to talk with me, explain some of the bizarre backstory of the Sheriff’s department, and really make a connection. He seemed honest, he had wonderful family and genuine friends there to give him support, and I enjoyed getting to know him.

On a break from my duties at the booth, I took my five-year-old walking among the other attractions. She was excited to be wearing an “I Like Mike” sticker because when you’re five —  no matter what they are about — stickers are just fun! Nearing the end of the thoroughfare, we met “Donnie,” another candidate for Sheriff. He grabbed my hand to shake it, asked for my vote, and promptly stuck his sticker right over top of Mike’s on my daughter’s blouse. He then moved on to the person behind me. Did he really think that a sticker over another candidate’s could replace relationship and a real connection?

Guess who got my vote come November.

As I voted this month, I formed an analogy between stickers and relationships. Why are there folks in this world who think they can just replace a significant event or person with the “sticker-on-top” mentality? Why do we avoid the work of building relationships or of healing broken or difficult relationships and just look for the easy way out? Have we really become so oriented to sound bites, instant answers and “disposableness” that we think it can apply to people and relationships as well? What does that say about our superficiality if we refuse to go deep to make real connections or make necessary reparations when the going gets rough?

I’ve been guilty of being a sticker stacker rather than a relational builder in the past, but my experiences, my church, and my time at Cherokee Creek Boys School have changed me forever. Being a part of middle school boys forming and building relationships with their families has inspired me to do the same hard work in my own life too.

Real and True Sheriff Andy Griffith practiced relationship building and was always willing to work through the problems – just look at the patience he had with his own deputy! The challenge for all of us is not to return to Mayberry, but to replace sticker stacking where it exists in our lives with the harder and meaningful deepening of our relationships.

Westminster’s Mayberry Days won’t roll around for another few months, but I’ll be back. There is something comforting in reminiscing about a simple t.v. show reflecting simple lives and real relationships. Our new sheriff may not be Andy Griffith, but he’s no Barney either. And our boys at Cherokee Creek are discovering every day what is real and true about themselves and the world around them. May they – as relationship builders – leave the stickers to children, and have more Mayberry days than not.

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How Our Wounds Help Others

Group Horse Therapy lends many opportunities for passing lessons learned to a friend.

Group Horse Therapy lends many opportunities for passing lessons learned to a friend.

“Wounding and healing are not opposites. They’re part of the same thing. It is our wounds that enable us to be compassionate with the wounds of others. It is our limitations that make us kind to the limitations of other people. It is our loneliness that helps us to find other people or to even know they’re alone with an illness. I think I have served people perfectly with parts of myself I used to be ashamed of. ” Rachel Naomi Remen

I asked my boss to forward this quote to me after she read it aloud at a recent meeting. WOW! If I didn’t believe in this idea wholeheartedly (as the poster child of incredibly wild mistakes) I would likely be in someone’s closet by now curled up in the fetal position. Not a day goes by when I don’t pull out a perfect example of “Don’t do what I did, kids, it was REALLY stupid!” Sharing an experience then shaking our heads when they do it their way anyway is what we get to do as wise grown-ups. But there are the occasional days when the boys listen to my experiences and sidestep trouble, which makes the wound of having made it in the first place worthwhile.

Realizing that something we’ve overcome provides us a unique ability to help others is indeed part of our own healing process. Our gaffes are what make us human and sharing them with others helps increase the survivability and recoverability of each one.  If you can’t eventually laugh about the lesson you learned, perhaps you just need to repeat the story one more time. Trust me, they get funnier as time passes.

Using one’s past to rise above a situation repeats itself throughout history. Some notable examples include Moses, who was accused of murdering a man before leading his people out of Egypt. Bill Wilson, a noted alcoholic in the early 1900s, went on to found Alcoholics Anonymous. And we’re all familiar with Alexander Fleming’s big scientific oops that became penicillin. There’s an example of healing in its most literal form. To say these three men made a significant contribution to others despite mistakes in their past is a drastic understatement.

It’s easy, as adults, to think of someone who makes the same mistakes over and over and – like a train wreck – there’s little you can do to stop them. So at CCBS, we begin to teach the boys to reflect on their past behavior and learn something from it. Then as their time with us increases, they can take their lessons and pass them along to those not so far along the PATH. They become empathetic to the limitations of others and those moments we observe among the boys are priceless and dear.

The lessons of the Medicine Wheel are evident when we share our life lessons with others. We show not only, “I am wise,” but also, “I am resilient,” and sometimes, “I am forgiven.” But most importantly, when we admit our mistakes and make it part of our healing process, we show “I am authentic.”

What part of your past can be used to show someone your authenticity? How can a wound in your life become a healing story for you and those around you?

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A Fond Farewell to a Long-time Employee

David LePere and Clarence Robinson

David LePere and Clarence Robinson

At Cherokee Creek, our mentors come in all sizes, shapes, ages and genders! We recently said farewell to one of our senior mentors, Clarence Robinson, who dedicated 8 years to our boys as a night shift counselor at Cherokee Creek Boys School. Last week we held a retirement party for him and it was a grand event! Our students made a bright yellow 16 foot long poster. The kitchen served up a fancy lunch and added desert, which is rare on our “limited sugar” campus.

We gathered all our students and staff and Clarence’s wife to host an Honorable Closure ceremony for Clarence. This event honors community members for their contributions, the relationships they built over time, the stories that were shared, the knowledge that was created, the healing that has taken place and the work that was accomplished. It is a time for everyone to say goodbye and for the honoree to leave with dignity, respect, a sense of their own value, and their value to the community.

Everyone was invited to share a favorite memory and wish Clarence well in his retirement. And, Clarence told a few stories about his times here. The most famous story…now a legendary part of our school history…was about the time he walked around the corner of a bunkhouse in the middle of the night and came to nose-to-nose with a black bear! The bear scrambled up the hillside, leaving claw marks as evidence. We’re not sure who was more alarmed, the bear or Clarence…although he claims to have lost a few years of growth! While we never saw the bear again, Clarence proved his dedication to our school by coming back to work the next night.

Clarence also gave the boys some advice. In a straight-shooting grandfatherly way he gave us a few “real and true” nuggets of gold…

“When I was a kid, any black kids were thought of as bad kids. What I have learned is that we are all the same, it doesn’t matter if you are white, black or purple.” Clarence grew up in rural South Carolina in the 50’s.

“You will always have a boss, someone who tells you what to do. Learn to respect the authority that your bosses have.”…he playfully winked at his wife on this one…

“Your parents love you. I hear you sometimes moan and complain that they won’t let you do this activity or buy you these shoes, or whatever. But I’ve got to tell you, your parents love you. In fact, they tell you ‘NO’ because they love you. They want you to learn to work for your things and be responsible for yourself.”…couldn’t have said it better myself!

Congratulations Clarence! Thank you from all the members of the Cherokee Creek community. Your hard work and wisdom have helped many students to “…discover what is real and true about themselves and the world around them.”

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Lessons for Living

“The key to living a truly satisfying life is nurturing your relationships…” I was startled by the tagline of the article in

Jake borrows Denise's jacket for a goofy pic. Just another good relationship at CCBS.

Jake borrows Denise's jacket for a goofy pic. Just another good relationship at CCBS.

October’s issue of Psychology Today. There was the R word again, RELATIONSHIPS, front and center, demanding my attention with a “How are yours going these days?” insinuation. And the teacher in me has to give an honest C+. I’m struggling. Or maybe closer to the truth: I’m juggling, and a few balls are getting dropped, especially in the relationships department

I’ve got a lot on my plate right now – Academic Dean, teacher, Soccer mom, choir member, Clemson University doctoral student, chef, maid, laundress, taxi, and tutor. Oh, and single motherhood, which is a full time job in itself. At our August Family Seminar, we were asked to introduce ourselves and reveal our secret superpower wish.  I rather flippantly answered, “Are you kidding? I’m a single mother. I HAVE all the superpowers I need.” You may notice there are a lot of jobs I have, but no mention of relationships in here. In other words, a lot of “whats” but not a lot of “whos.”

To make things worse, we create a life of busy and then throw in an unspoken infallibility factor upon ourselves. The “if you’re going to do it all, you better do it well without complaint” self-challenge. That’s a perfect setup for failure, shame, and doubt when something doesn’t go right. Keeping busy prevents us from reflecting upon how well we’re doing in the really important thing in life: Relationships. That’s a strange little paradigm, isn’t it? We stay occupied pretending to be too busy for platonic and romantic relationships that we might fail at, but become so busy we end up chastising ourselves for not doing a good job at things that may not be that important in the first place.

Here at school, we focus on teaching the boys that relationship is first and foremost, yet I’m not fully modeling the behavior. I may be driving my son to soccer, but I could do better just engaging him in discussion on the way to the game. I am singing on the Worship Team, but when we’re just talking and not practicing harmonies, my thoughts stray to what I have to do next. I’ve got the schedule down pat, but I’m not allowing my guard down to show vulnerability in the moment.

Vulnerability is a key concept in relationships. It popped up in an amazing TED talk last night in my college class. The segment featured Brene’ Brown, who is a research professor at the University of Houston and has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. She seeks to answer the question, “how do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness?” I know I have to give myself permission to be less busy and more vulnerable to engage in relationships that have – as we say at CCBS – heart  and meaning. And to accept no shame if I do it imperfectly.  The discovery of what is “real and true about ourselves and the world around us” means to render ourselves vulnerable and fully embrace the ride!

Invest 20 very worthwhile minutes to enjoy Brene’ Brown’s TED talk “The Power of Vulnerability” at this website address:

http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html

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All I Really Need to Know About Life, I Learned from Middle School Boys

Learning all I need to know about life with the boys on the CCBS front porch chairs...

Learning all I need to know about life with the boys on the CCBS front porch chairs...

(with a nod to Robert Fulghum, who learned about life through Kindergarteners)

Most of what I really need

To know about how to live

And what to do and how to be

I learned from my middle school boys.

Wisdom was not at the top

Of my doctorate pursuit mountain,

But deep in the red dirt of a therapeutic boys school known as Cherokee Creek.

These are the things I learned:

Share with others, but some things can be just yours.

Play fair. Play often. Be playful.

Don’t hit, kick, punch, throw things, or yell.

Put things away if you want them to be there tomorrow.

Clean up your own mess.

Anything found abandoned is considered fair game – It’s called a “G-Score.”

Say you’re sorry when you’ve finished processing an argument. Don’t say it until you are ready , or it’s not authentic.

Wash your hands, a lot. Especially important after seeing their science fair pitri dish results.

Flush. Twice if necessary. There will be a boy cleaning your restroom.

Cookies, milk, and the occasional gourmet cupcake can make anybody’s day.

Live in balance – pursue Personal Enrichment, Academics, Therapy, and Healthy endeavors.

Learn some and think some

And play and work every day some. Make it outdoors whenever possible.

Forget naps – you might miss something good. You can sleep when you’re dead.

When you go out in the world, keep an eye on whoever’s in your group. They like to hide around corners just to see if you’re paying attention.

Hug them a lot.

Be aware of their individual boy-ness, build a strong relationship in which you show you care about them, and remember, no matter how big or hairy they are, they are still BOYS.

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Reflections on Mentoring

At August Family Seminar, Beth Venable mentors parents on how to develop a village of support before their students return home.

At August Family Seminar, Beth Venable mentors parents on how to develop a village of support before their sons return home.

As I prepare to leave CCBS and take the next step on my career path, I find myself reflecting on all I have learned here and the power of mentors throughout my life.

Mentors are people who help reveal “what is real and true about you and the world around you” by role modeling, teaching, and, as Dan Rather once said are people who” believe in you, who tug and push and lead you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called “Truth.'”

Dr. Beger, my high school mentor & teacher, taught me that I had a power and purpose that was innately mine. She taught me how to access my courage, even when it was buried near my toes. Jane Condon, my high school’s principal, showed me that leadership can be a class act, that teams of people are happiest when they know why you have picked them. Shelby Hicks, my first boss, taught me about service and gave my my first lessons in business as she taught me to keep the books in a pencil ledger, the same way her father had before her. John Degan, a college professor who became a dear friend, taught me that no man need be an island, that exceptional performance is a rare treasure and that I could work my fanny off and still get a “C.” Ellen Richard, who hired me fresh out of college at the Roundabout Theatre, taught me that all the Southern charm I can muster will have little result if I don’t do my job well. She also taught me, rather painfully, that everyone is replaceable. Suzanne Youngerman, the Program Director at Young Audiences at the time, taught me what program development is and how to do it well. The “Duenas” (my mother’s close girlfriends) taught me how to return to my authentic self, when I had all but lost any thread of her. Jack Wise, with whom I once sunk a boat, taught me about accepting “what is” and moving ahead whether you like it or not. Beth Black, who founded Cherokee Creek Boys School, taught me the value of orienting your business, first and foremost, by its mission and values and about what it really means to put form after function.

Though none of these folks are my immediate family, their impact on my life has been profound. These are some of the greatest mentors I have intersected in my life. Beginning at the age of 13 and continuing on to today, they have presented themselves as catalysts for change throughout the years.

Some of them were great inspirations, others have made me wince with the raw reality of “real life.” All of them were invaluable and changed my life for the better. I would not trade any of these relationships for a life of ease and riches. I believe the most interesting tapestries are the ones with an abundance of colors, a rainbow of stories and even a few knots.

We all need mentors who help us uncover our authentic self and move toward discovering and living out our purpose. I want to express to all parents that your sons have wonderful mentors at CCBS. They will be blessed by their experience here and remember their favorite staff with affection…as will I. Thank you to everyone who has touched my life while at Cherokee Creek…you have added a stitch to the tapestry of my life.

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Choosing Good Technology

Tommy, Gerhardt, Michael and Perry start a game of Heroclix

Tommy, Gerhardt, Michael and Perry start a game of Heroclix

Here in the woods of Westminster, SC, sits our little therapeutic boys’ school campus. The driveway is dirt and rock. The buildings are made of logs and mortar.  Three streams converge at the southern side and the trees are too thick to number. It’s peaceful and serene … we like to think its soil is healing … but it is rarely quiet. That’s because at any given free time, there are rousing games of Capture the Flag, Knock Out, pickup basketball, Yu-Gi-Oh, Heroclix, or Sorry going on. There is frequently piano music or guitar strumming. Sometimes, someone is singing out loud. And there is conversation – always conversation.

What’s missing here at CCBS is noise from the various media. The television rarely gets turned on, there are few computers, and cell phones don’t work unless the clouds part magically and the wind blows right. Our boys are learning healthy new skills for working with people through their teenage years, and our staff is stable and strong.

So in response to the Newsweek article of July 15th, “Tweets, Texts, Email, Posts … Is the Onslaught Making Us Crazy?” we have to chime in our collective response: “We don’t know We are – dare we say it? – not the least bit crazy.” High tech just isn’t our thing, and therefore we’d be pretty poor test subjects.

This isn’t to say our phones don’t ring – they do, all day long. It’s not to say we don’t have piles of emails awaiting us at the end of the day. The pace is just slower – thanks to satellite-only internet capabilities – yet the work gets done. It gives us more time to reflect before replying to the pile, which is sometimes a good thing.

It was our founders’ belief that school moves just a bit too quickly for some middle school boys to handle. So at CCBS, we make good choices in technology usage and focus on relationship-building. Recent studies cited in the Newsweek article [and discussed in the “Powering Down” blog on the CCBS website] are pointing to a relationship between our connectivity and depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, attention-deficit disorders, and outright psychosis. The new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders due out next year will include Internet Addiction Disorder in its appendix, tagging it for “further study.” Already, China, Taiwan and Korea accept the diagnosis and are treating it as a national health crisis, according to the article. Says MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle, “Technology can make us forget important things we know about life.”

We like to think the important things in life are building relationships with peers, communicating with parents and friends, and paying attention to what has heart and meaning.

Technology evolution has been a wonderful thing to watch occur in my lifetime. And it makes me proud to be the age where I can refer to a “broken record” and get the blank stares in return. Having these kinds of conversations is both satisfying and educational – because they usually occur out on the front porch, playing or watching a board game with the boys.

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Earthlore Lessons

Mark Warren determines appropriate bark for making cordage.

Mark Warren determines appropriate bark for making cordage.

Recently, I observed the intense curiosity and active engagement of the boys as they listened to a story about the Cherokee Indians. It was presented by Mark Warren, naturalist, composer, writer and Director of Medicine Bow, A Primitive School of Earthlore in the North Georgia Mountains. Warren showed the boys their unique relationship with nature through the Earthlore (stories from nature) he had accumulated by the Native Americans. After engaging the boys in a discussion of Earthlore and nature, the boys went outdoors to experience hands- on activities that connected them to the spirit of Cherokee Indians who lived and walked the soil where the Cherokee Creek campus now sits. Mark then helped the boys experience nature as a source of food, medicine, craft materials, fire, tools, weaponry, play and shelter. Learning through the patient methods of the American Indians, the boys had an incredible opportunity for academic as well as spiritual growth. They encountered their masculine spirit through the rituals of an Indian Warrior. These rituals included learning how to hand drill a fire from wood, stalk without being seen, and make cordage (rope) from tree bark. For me, the day was a “real and true” demonstration of the living and practical messages of the medicine wheel –the warrior, visionary, healer and teacher. He showed us how our Cherokee ancestors lived in harmony with nature. But the day went beyond Warren’s lessons of Earthlore. It was a poignant demonstration of the power of mentoring. He shared not only skills and knowledge but also the important message for all males, “I am wise, strong, loved, and a man.Jane Barker, LISW, is the Clinical Services Manager at Cherokee Creek Boys School, located in the upstate of South Carolina.

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