Three Red Bikes

Cherokee Creek Students and Staff Help Local Kids

Cherokee Creek Students and Staff Help Local Kids

By way of saying “Happy Holidays”, I wanted to let you know what the students at Cherokee Creek did for our community here in South Carolina. We asked them a couple of weeks ago if they would like to play Secret Santa to three middle school aged kids in Oconee County. We had gotten word that a local charity was really hurting for donations this Christmas. We suggested to the students that if we were cautious with our weekend money, we could save a bit each weekend and the school would put that toward buying presents for three needy boys. The guys stepped up to the plate admirably. Instead of seeing the latest movie releases, we went and played kickball. Instead of going to a Clemson basketball game, we went to a local high school game. Instead of getting Gatorade after a hike, we made sure we all had our water bottles. And, lo and behold, a bit of frugalness turned into three shiny red bikes underneath our Charlie Brown Christmas tree. These, along some nice new clothes picked out by the boys, were delivered in time to make it into Santa’s sleigh. Much appreciations go out to the students and the weekend staff at Cherokee Creek. Thanks for finding a way to help three families in need and teach all the rest of us a Real and True message for this season of giving! Warm Holiday Wishes and Happy New Year to our extended family! Have fun with your boys!

posted by jleslie in Bear Tracks Newsroom,Discovering What is Real and True and have Comments (6)

The Healing Power of Hugs

Beth congratulates recent graduate, Cole, on his graduation day.

Beth congratulates recent graduate, Cole, with a hug.

I always love the Family Seminars at Cherokee Creek Boys School and the sessions on Love and Healer are my favorite. Spending time with bright, caring adults who are, “paying attention to what has heart and meaning,” is uplifting. One of the many lessons we explore together is the Arms of Love: the power of acknowledgment, recognition, validation and gratitude to demonstrate genuine caring.

Living in Florida, I am not on campus often and truly miss the day to day engagement with the boys, staff and families. Hugs are a “touching” way to share my heart-felt love and appreciation…if you’ll excuse the pun!

Hugs seem to be the full manifestation of the Arms of Love. A hug acknowledges, accepts, recognizes, validates and is appreciated by giver and receiver.

I am aware that there is a hugging etiquette. Not everyone is an instant hugger. At CCBS we follow guidelines like those set forth by the Hugs for Health Foundation ( yes, there is a Hugs for Health Foundation!)

-Always respect another’s space.
-Ask permission before hugging.
-A hug is a compassionate gesture, hug accordingly.
-A hug is a gentle embrace, not the Heimlich maneuver.

There have been scientific studies measuring the benefits of hugging. Sometimes I’m surprised that science needs to validate what seems so obvious.

Hugs are a simple, one size fits all “therapy”. They are good for all ages, environmentally safe and a renewable resource. They are not bound by gender, race, color or creed. Hugs have Heart and Meaning…hugs are Real and True.

Who will you acknowledge, recognize, validate or appreciate with a hug today?

Here is a video hug for you: Free Hugs Campaign video on YouTube

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

posted by jleslie in Discovering What is Real and True and have Comments (5)