Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Days

 Summer is upon us here at Ridge Creek School.  Our location in the mountains outside of Dahlonega, GA,  means less heat, so outdoor activities are more enjoyable.  Chris Everhart, the newest member of our Counseling Department, took his group down to Lakefront for some fun activities designed to help them learn to work together as a group as well as share some good times.

First, there was canoeing.  With two boys to a canoe, they had to learn to work as a team to maneuver around the lake.                      The lake at Ridge Creek School is fed by a clear mountain stream, so it remains pretty chilly, even in summer.  Good thing no one tipped over their canoe!

Then there was fishing.  Our lake has some pretty large fish in it that like to hang out near the dock teasing our kids to try to hook them.  Uunfortunately no one caught a fish this day.

The afternoon was topped off by a cookout featuring hotdogs and hamburgers.  Spending the day outdoors can do a number on your appetite; but even with a bunch of hungry boys, we had a couple of burgers and dogs left over.                                                            All-in-all, the kids learned some valuable lessons for working as a group and had some fun at the same time!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Students Enjoy Day at Turner Field!

Five students were privleged to go to Turner Field on Father's Day to watch the Atlanta Braves take on the Texas Rangers.  This was a special day for many reasons.  After a month of going through requirements to meet the criteria of going to the game, five students were selected from the student body to attend the game.  Last week, before the game, after speaking with the Atlanta Braves organization about our school and our planned trip, the Atlanta Braves organization graciously offered us 7 free tickets to attend the game.  It was explained to everyone the intention of going to see the game was to get a chance to see MVP Josh Hamilton play for the Texas Rangers. 

Josh Hamilton could relate to our students in many ways, but most importantly in the way he overcame his life struggles, such as battling a severe drug addiction, to play the game of baseball.  According to Wikipedia on Josh Hamilton: 

Hamilton's struggles with drugs and alcohol are well documented. He finally got clean after being confronted by his grandmother, Mary Holt.[49] In May 2008 Hamilton said he has not used drugs or alcohol since October 6, 2005.[1]

When giving a brief summary of his recovery, Hamilton says simply: "It's a God thing."[18] He does not shy away from telling his story, speaking to community groups and fans at many functions. He frequently publicly tells stories of how Jesus brought him back from the brink and that faith is what keeps him going. Hamilton also wrote a biography about himself called Beyond Belief which explains how he quit drugs and alcohol and came to the Lord.[47] His wife Katie sometimes accompanies him, offering her perspective on his struggles as well.[22]

To comply with the provisions of MLB's drug policy, Hamilton provides urine samples for drug testing at least three times per week.[50] Rangers' coach Johnny Narron says of the frequent testing: "I think he looks forward to the tests. He knows he's an addict. He knows he has to be accountable. He looks at those tests as a way to reassure people around him who had faith."[47]

Hamilton approaches the plate at Rangers home games to the song "Until The Whole World Hears" by Christian group Casting Crowns.[51] In late 2008 Hamilton, among other celebrities such as Brian Welch and Greg Ellis, appeared in testimonial videos called "I Am Second", in which he shares his story of recovering from drug use with the help of his faith in Jesus Christ.[52][53]

A portion of his return to sobriety was shown on The Learning Channel's reality show "The Real Deal". “A Home Run for Trademark” aired March 31, 2007, and chronicled the renovation of Shoeless Joe Jackson's house during 2006. Richard C. Davis, the owner of Trademark Properties hired Hamilton as the construction foreman. Davis was negotiating the purchase of a minor league baseball team and entertaining the idea of giving him a chance to join the team.[54]

When the Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 of the 2010 American League Division Series, and again when they beat the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the 2010 American League Championship Series, Hamilton's teammates—mindful of his past struggles—chose to celebrate with ginger ale instead of champagne.[55].

Knowing the school's background and the type of kids we have attend our school, the Atlanta Braves organization thought it would be a great idea to pay for our tickets and seat us right behind center field so we could get a first class look at the superstar, Josh Hamilton.

The kids were great the entire game, despite the heat, and even enjoyed an after game concert by the country music group, Montgomery Gentry.  All in all it was a great day, filled with great baseball and a extended thanks to the Atlanta Braves organization.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sometimes you just have to have a little fun

Lots of work goes on here at Ridge Creek School.
The students are back from May Break and Summer School is back in session.
Despite all of the seriousness of school, therapy, groups, and such the kids still get to have some fun.
The girls have been asking for some home ec classes, so I took a morning off from counseling them to teach them how to bake cupcakes.
The icing on the cake, so to speak, was decorating them!
Yep, sometimes you just have to have a little fun!