Innovations At The Girls School


All students at the Girls School at Maple Lake completed an Innovations project this past summer. Each girl was able to choose a topic that they had interest in and then researched that topic in depth.

Horse2.JPGAt the end of the summer, aHorse2.JPGHorse2.JPGll of the girls presented their findings to the school. Each Horse2.JPGpresentation lasted at least ten minutes and several lasted longer.

Each girl did a great job in communicating what they had learned during the summer. Several subjects were covered during the student presentations.


cake+.JPGThese subjects included: Espionage, Vet Science, Egyptology, Music Therapy, Snakes, Types of Riding Styles on Horses, Becoming A Doctor, Decorating Cakes, History of Soccer, and many other topics.


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Students could use a variety of delivery methods. This picture is a story board that a student created. Many students used a power point or prezi but other students had creative ways that they shared their topic with the school.

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 One student had a box, and on each side of the box were several facts about snakes.


Other students used You Tube Videos to help them illustrate their presentation.IMG_2821.JPG










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Overall, the quality of the presentations were very high and well done. The teachers and Ed. Director were very proud of the girls and the efforts that they gave in presenting these projects.

One Brave Fish!

One Brave Fish!

I really enjoyed visiting with all of the parents over the past two weeks at Parent’s Weekend. In most cases, their student was doing very well and growing academically. In a few cases, the student was struggling and not succeeding at our school. Regardless of student standings, I felt that we were able to solve problems and set new goals for the future. Why do students fail in school? I spent 30 years in the public school system. The majority of that time was spent working with students who were not successful in the school setting.

girl2jpgMany of them struggled with Asperger’s, Autism, NLD,  ADD, ADHD, and many other types of disabilities both physical and mental. The school system is not equipped to properly help these students. Places like Maple Lake are safe havens for students with these types of issues. As an educational staff at Maple Lake, we are constantly training on the issues surrounding these disabilities and how to address them in the classroom.

antibullyjpgI have often expressed my feelings about these students and their parents. One thing that strikes me deeply is the courage that both the students and their parents have. Many or most of these students have failed in school over the years; been bullied by their peers; misunderstood by their teachers and school counselors and administration; and in general left behind by the system. Their parents often stand by with a feeling of helplessness wondering what they can do to save their child. It takes great courage for students and parents to keep trying and staying in the fight by either making the public system work for them or by finding private schools such as Maple Lake that specialize in helping these students.

If they find the right private school, it means that the child will have to stay away from home for long periods of time so they can attend school and receive treatment. For the parents, it means watching your child live away from home for months at a time. During that time, your heart is always aching for their well-being and success. For parents, it also means juggling finances in a drastic way and finding the means to pay for their child’s school and treatment. All of these things take perseverance and a great deal of courage.


Above, is a Japanese proverb that translated into English says ” fall down seven times and stand up eight.” Rising up one more time than you fall is a great secrete to success.

cat-fish-funny-animal-humor-jpgI have attached a video of a very brave fish. I think that this fish teaches us all great lessons in living with adversity and making the most of what you have. I have a fish tank that I enjoy as a small hobby at my house. A while back, I bought  several fish and brought them home.

bigeyesfishjpgThe next day I discovered this fish swimming sideways and upside down and acting like he was on his last leg.a fish is acting in this manner it will die very soon. I watched this fish day after day fully expecting it to die the next day. It continued to live for several months. After a couple of months, I was so impressed that I took a short video of the fish. That fish lived several months after I took the video. Like I said, I took the video about two months into the fish being in my tank. So this fish lived at least four or five months. When he died, who is to say what he died from. He could have died from old age for all we know. What I do know is that he never gave up and fought to the last wiggle of his little fin.

I share this with you hoping that it will inspire you and give you a feeling of respect for effort in the faced of all odds. I will also be showing it to the students at some point and discussing with them many of the principles that I have discussed here. After watching that fish it is hard for me to feel sorry for myself at anytime. Again, I am grateful for the students and parents of Maple Lake who are teaching me lessons or resilience and courage everyday.

Girls Campout At Bryce Canyon National Park

Girls Campout At Bryce Canyon National Park

On September 10-12 the girl’s school traveled to Bryce Canyon on a camping trip. Bryce Canyon is located in southern Utah and is a major destination for travelers worldwide.

We left Maple Lake at around 9 a.m. on September 10 and traveled several hours. We stopped at “The Big Rock Candy Mountain” just south of Richfield, Utah for lunch.


Indeed, the area surrounding this resort looks like candy that you could go eat. Lots of minerals and colors. It is a very unique place.


During the campout, the girls packed their own lunch each day. Lunch consisted of sandwiches, chips, fruit snacks, Gatorade, and other trail mix type snacks.


Finally, we arrived at our destination and set up camp.

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It was interesting for me to camp with both the girl’s school and with the boy’s school. It is always fun to see how differently the two groups interact and approach simple things like eating and dressing. The girls group was divided into tent groups and each tent group had a different color of tee-shirt. The girls got their shirts early in the camp and decorated them. Of course the colors were bright neon type of colors. But were ever we went, I could tell where our girls were. All I had to do was look for the bright neon colors!

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We had a great dinner that night which consisted of hot barbecue chicken sandwiches, fresh water melon, and other side dishes. For desert, the girls cooked s’mores (marshmallows, gram crackers, and chocolate) over the camp fire.


After dinner, we had a very special campfire program. Karie had requested that the parents of each girl send them a story about an ancestor who was a pioneer in their family. It was powerful to learn about so many great people, and the sacrifices they made to come to the United States and also the sacrifices that they made for their families. The girls were all touched by the stories about their ancestors and the staff was touched also.


We spent the next day exploring Bryce Canyon.


We went on a hike to the bottom of the canyon and then back up to the top. Going down was easy, but coming back up was very difficult.

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After spending the day in the park, we returned to camp and had walking taco’s for dinner. This consisted of fried hamburger with taco seasoning scooped into Fritos corn chips bags. Condiments included hot sauce, guacamole, onions, and other stuff that you might put on a taco. We also had watermelon and cantaloupe.

Karie, the Recreational Therapist, had organized a special program with a native american theme. The purpose of this program, was for each of us to examine and know who we truly are and go forward with strength. Her and several staff members dressed up as native americans to perform this ceremony. Each girl received great strength from this activity.


After this activity, we finished the night by having a special Dutch Oven cobbler. We  were able to have a chocolate and blueberry cobbler, or a white cake and cherry cobbler.

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The next morning we packed up camp and returned to Maple Lake. This campout will standout as one of our greatest memories of the many things we learn and do at Maple Lake Academy.

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