Save Money This Holiday Season!

David LePere

David LePere

How many times have you heard this recently:

Save money this holiday season!

Really, it is possible. Let’s push the pause button on the rush of the season for a few minutes and think about what kind of toys our kids would do well to have.

As we prepare for the holidays and gift-giving for our children, our current culture would have us believe that more is better or that electronics lead to happiness. But I recently read an article that reminds me that it isn’t always glitz and glamor and bells and whistles that capture the attention of our children.  Imagination and interaction are the most fun part of toys.  And that what brings happiness is the thoughtfulness of the gift, not the price tag.

I was struck by the simplicity of the wisdom in this article from “WIRED” magazine about the top 5 toys of all time. When you read the article, I hope you smile as you remember all of the fun you’ve had playing with these toys yourself!

So, what are the top 5 toys of all time?? My children are 10, 7 and 5 years old and If I were to get all 5 of these toys for each my sons, I could probably spend less than 10 dollars on my entire Christmas and create hours of family fun! I’ll give you a hint…much of it can be found in your backyard or in the garage.

Enjoy the article, it’s great fun! What would you add to the list that would help us “discover what is real and true?”

The 5 Best Toys of All Time

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posted by Shaler Black Cooper in Discovering What is Real and True and have Comments (3)

Who Am I?

Devon lights the fire from the East at a recent graduation. The East is the position of Insight - how appropriate!

Devon lights the fire from the East at a recent graduation. The East is the position of Insight - how appropriate!

Six months ago, a fourteen year old boy’s life was changed. He was part of a wilderness expedition in the Blue Ridge Mountains that lasted 6 weeks!  He has given me a journal entry of his from the expedition to help make a point about how important it was for him to have space and time to discover what is real and true…It is printed below:

WHO AM I?

 I love like a rose, without any thorns
I am strong like a bull, without any horns
I fight like a soldier, without a gun
I am not the moon, nor the sun
I am both of these, mixed into one
I am yin and yang
Brother and sister
Misses and mister
I am not the question, nor the answer
I am not the song, nor the dancer
I am not the tree, nor the plant
I am not the can, or the can’t
Who am I?
A soul from heaven
I am God’s child
My name is Devon

WOW! What deep insight from this young man! When I asked Devon if I could share his poem in this blog, I also asked him what he had done to arrive at this point of clarity. His answer, “Well, I was in the wilderness for a long time, and I didn’t have any video games, and the trip leaders gave me time to write about what I was learning.”

 Devon’s formula: Time plus Natural Environment minus Distractions plus Reflection equals Insight!

Right on Devon! What is Real and True is available for all of us to discover.

In what ways are you able to reflect on your life lessons and gain some insight? What can you do to find your time and space and write about what you are learning?

Seek and ye shall find!

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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River Lessons (Part 6)

We continue the River Lessons, a series of blog posts from our students’ perspectives.Students recently reflected on their Treks experiences through writing and made connections to the Lessons of the Medicine Wheel and the 4 aspects of self they learn to explore while enrolled at Cherokee Creek: the Warrior, Visionary, Healer and Teacher.

Note: A “duck” or “duckie” is an inflatable kayak. They are frequently used with beginner and novice paddlers to experience whitewater rivers. They are by no means “baby boats” and require effort and skill to move and keep on course.

Student: Dominic
Aspect: Teacher
Statement: I am Flexible

“For me I was flexible because I haven’t duckied before much less been by myself in and on the river. I was originally going to go in a double duckie with Zack but we all did singles so I had to learn and make all the decisions.”

Dominic demonstrates the Wisdom of Flexibility and the capacity to address a challenge alone.

When have you unexpectedly found yourself alone in your own boat and faced with new challenges? What have been your greatest accomplishments of flexibility?

Lessons of the Medicine Wheel

Cherokee Creek Boys School is a therapeutic boarding school for middle-school boys, ages 11-15, located in Westminster, SC.

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Pontoon Classroom

Seine Findings

The boys check their haul in the seine net

Lab Work

Selecting samples for further examination

Last week’s great academic adventure – Pontoon Classroom! Teachers Butch Clay, Nick Linscott and James Holcomb took 25 students and examined the watershed health and quality of Lake Keowee. They collected insects and invertebrates and returned to their make-shift lab at High Falls County Park to make identifications and draw conclusions. Our current students were able to compare their findings to those of their predecessors – other CCBS students and alumni from the past two years of Pontoon Classroom participation.

Creek Collection

Collecting critters in Fall Creek

Other scientific experiences included collecteing fish samples with a seine net as well as their fishing poles. Water clarity was determined by direct observation – swimming! All of the boats were captained by local community members  who volunteer their pontoon boats and time to ferry students of this Clemson University Extension program.

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posted by Shaler Black Cooper in Bear Tracks Newsroom and have No Comments