Holiday Videos

Holiday Web Greetings (click here)

Dear friends and families… The spirits are bright at CCBS as we approach the holiday break and the boys return home for family festivities. The team and I want to wish you all the very best of the holiday season and blessings for the new year! Please enjoy our “home made” holiday video… With love and joy! Also please be sure to view and “like” our new video that was recorded during our last family seminar. We have some movie stars in the making! We hope you enjoy it as much as we have and share it with others in your life who may need to hear a message of hope.

CCBS: The Small School with the Big Heart

All my best to you and your kin, David

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Living in Gratitude

Dear Friends and Family,

The year is quickly drawing to a close and I’d like to take a moment to extend my greatest blessings to everyone and share a quote from Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life by Angeles Arrien.

Thanksgiving is a time to harvest, appreciate, and celebrate those things that have come to fruition in our lives during the year, in both external and internal ways. Perhaps a valued relationship has deepened. We may have seen a project through from the idea to reality, become confident in a new skill, or noticed that we have integrated an important experience that has made us wiser. As we answer the question “What are you thankful for today?” it is important to appreciate the work we have done to bring us to this point in our journey. This is the time to celebrate our sustained intention and efforts, for they have borne fruit.

As my mentor and teacher, I have learned many important lessons from Angeles. Reflecting on her blessing, I know that I have continued to grow in many ways during this year. One of my greatest rewards is hosting the Women’s Retreat twice a year and sharing heart-felt stories with CCBS mothers. We inspire and support each other and this is wonderful. We witness each other grow in courage, love, truth and wisdom in very real ways. I can see that my journey with my son has borne fruit that I could never have imagined so many years ago when we were in the throes of struggle.

As Angeles reminds us, “it is important to appreciate the work we have done to bring us to this point in our journey. The journey to Cherokee Creek has been a challenging one for most. I want to thank you for having the courage to bring your son to Cherokee Creek and being a partner in the process of healing. I am so blessed to meet and befriend so many of you. Happy Thanksgiving and may we all celebrate those things that have come to fruition this year!

With gratitude,

Beth

Beth Black, Founder of Cherokee Creek Boys School

Beth Black, Founder of Cherokee Creek Boys School

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Blessings and Brotherhood

The Brotherhood known as the Gold Team Crusaders

The Brotherhood known as the Gold Team Crusaders

Service is a  “real and true”  lesson taught at Cherokee Creek. We feel that  contributing time, gifts and talents to our community is a foundation of good citizenship. Giving builds an “other orientation” which may be unfamiliar to middle-school boys. We create activities on campus and in our local community that give students a chance to see themselves as builders, contributors and helpers in the world. Learning to give back and to help others builds character, strengthens developing social skills and builds a sense of pride. One of the great joys of giving is when someone thanks you for your efforts and you can see how you have touched others. We are pleased to share a letter that the boys received from Master Chief Jeff P. Johnson, United States Navy. We are very proud!

A scan of the letter with the seal

A scan of the letter with the seal

 

Cherokee Creek Boys School is a therapeutic Boarding School for middle-school boys, ages 11-15, located in Upstate South Carolina.

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Practicing Joy, Peace & Inspiration

David LePere

David LePere

Thanksgiving can be a year-round holiday!

The food is great, for sure, but there is a more compelling reason for the sprit of Thanksgiving to be celebrated all year!

I started my weekly all-school meeting with the middle schoolers of Cherokee Creek Boys School with a statement I hoped would get everyone thinking. “Thanksgiving can make you happy for a whole year.” Some of the students reacted at first with a “huh?”, but once I connected a few dots, everyone was on board.

“Do any of you know someone with a big challenge in their life … something that you think is sad, scary, overwhelming or defeating, but, in-spite of it all, they just have the best attitude about it?” I asked. Lots of hands went up, and one boy shared that he had a cousin who was paralyzed, and had a better attitude than everyone around her. We all probably know someone who has challenges we can hardly imagine, but through it all is fun to be around, and really enjoys life.

What do they have that is so powerful, that even in the face of true difficulty they can smile and laugh and enjoy? It is the attitude of  “Thanksgiving!”

Being grateful for what we have instead of resentful about what we don’t is one of the biggest choices we have. And that choice is in front of us all the time, continually presenting itself.

Lots has been written about the power of gratitude and a having a positive attitude to elevate your spirits, heal and bring positive change into your life. Norman Vincent Peale wrote, “The Power of Positive Thinking”, MJ Ryan wrote “Random Acts of Kindness” and “The Attitude of Gratitude”. Dr. Martin Seligman, Director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center, is the founder of Positive Psychology, a field of study that  has been able to empirically demonstrate that such things as positive emotions and  strengths-based character make it possible to be happier, to feel more satisfied, to be more engaged with life, find more meaning, have higher hopes, and probably even laugh and smile more, regardless of one’s circumstances.  Hooray for that!

Those of you who have been on a Family Trek know that at Cherokee Creek we ask the boys to reflect on three questions,   “What brought you Joy?  What brought you peace? What inspired you?” Our mentor, Angeles Arrien, calls these “tracking tools,” a way to touch in daily with the joy and beauty of the day and what we have to be grateful for. These are the lessons of gratitude that can be seen in every position on the Medicine Wheel… the Warrior who chooses to stand and be present in life… and the Visionary who speaks the truth without blame and judgement…and the Healer who does what has heart and meaning...and the Teacher who is open to outcome and therefore able to be grateful to whatever is in front of him/her.

My challenge to you is to begin spending time practicing your “attitude of gratitude” and respond to our three tracking questions. You will need just a few minutes. Take those few minutes and think about what brought joy, peace and inspiration to you. Do it once a day, or even more if you dare. I believe that the spirit of Thanksgiving will be present with you throughout the day!

An excerpt of Dr.  Martin Seligman’s recent presentation on the state of positive psychology can be viewed below (approx. 20 minutes).

Cherokee Creek Boys School is a therapeutic boarding school for middle-school boys, ages 11-15, located in upstate South Carolina. Visit www.cherokeecreek.net for more information.

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It’s Never Too Late

Shaler Black Cooper, our Fire Keepers Circle Coordinator, proves it's never too late to say, "Thank you."

Shaler Black Cooper, our Fire Keepers Circle Coordinator, proves it's never too late to say, "Thank you."

It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much impact my time with Sally had on my life.

In 1996 I was a high school freshman who had just left the comfort of an 8th grade class of 28 and entered into the massive hallways of the public high school where I was one of close to 1,000 other freshman. And if that change wasn’t enough – my family was in crisis. My brother had just left for a therapeutic boarding school in Idaho and we were trying to establish our new “norm” with a missing family piece.

That’s where Sally comes into the picture. Sally was a delightful, kind and gentle counselor. My parents strongly encouraged (aka made me) meet with her on a regular basis during my freshman and sophomore years of high school. I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about going to see a counselor. This painfully shy girl thought it was easier to fly under the radar, as I had been doing for so many years, than it would be to talk to a stranger about my feelings. But nope! The family needed a tune up, both as a family unit as well as each individual member, and that’s what we got!

Sally listened, talked and coached me through my anger, guilt, sadness, confusion, tears, triumphs, joys and successes.

Fast forward to August of 2010; during the August Cherokee Creek Family Seminar I helped to facilitate a “Siblings of Cherokee Creek Students” group discussion. During this discussion, many parents and siblings asked what was most helpful for me during the time my brother was away at school. Time after time I thought of sitting in Sally’s office in one of the white wicker chairs. This was a time of enlightening “ah-ha moments” and of blossoming self-confidence. I remember being allowed to be angry and cry and not feel like those emotions would place any blame or judgment on another family member. It was my safe place where I could say anything.

I had no idea if she would even remember me after 15 years, but I decided it was time to look her up, thank her and tell her about the positive impact she had om my life. So that’s exactly what I did. And she definitely remembered me. Afterwards, I received a lovely message from Sally thanking me for reaching out to her…and that it was a gift to hear that our time together had changed mt life.

I was grateful to find her and I learned it is never too late to say, “Thank you. You made a difference.” As Thanksgiving approaches, it is a wonderful time to refelct on the gratitude we feel for the many people who have touched our life.

Who has made a difference in your life? Have you told them? Are you living in a way that will make a difference to someone else?

 

Cherokee Creek Boys School is a therapeutic boarding school for middle-school boys, ages 11-15, in Upstate South Carolina.

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