2015 CBC In Montana

Friday, May 15, 2015

Burnt Marshmallow

Day 6: Today is the last day we are helping at De La Salle Blackfeet school. Although I do miss home and many people there, I am sad that we are leaving. It really does seem like yesterday that I was getting ready to leave at 4 in the morning to go to the airport. On the first day, we were strangers to the kids and we were all given quirky nicknames, mine being burnt marshmallow. We all went from that, to now we actually feel like we know the kids personally and I know that we all care for them greatly. Last night we came up to the school for a chili cook-off and bingo night. Some of my 5th grade kids came over to my table and we talked about school and I asked about their summer. It really was a great experience talking to the kids about other stuff than school and seeing who they are as a person. Before this trip i was 85% sure that I wanted to become a teacher. but after this trip and this amazing experience I know 100% that I want to become a teacher.
-Will A.

Chilli Cook Off

Day 5: Today was the third day with the students, and everything is running smoothly. The kids that had been trying to push us away were opening up and welcoming us back. In the beginning of each morning the students shook all of our hands, and on the first school day it was a dread for them. Now, it seems as though they love seeing us in the morning and happily accept us into their school day. I can’t speak for the other Immersion students, but this has to be one of the best experiences that CBC has to offer. Even in the after school activities like the Chili contest, the students loved seeing us being a part of their school. From teaching students multiplying fractions, to hiking some of the most beautiful mountains I’ve ever seen, I am sad to have to leave in a few days.
-Tom M.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Another Student Perspective

Day 4:  Today was the second day of the school with the students.  The second day ran a lot more smoothly than the day before because the kids were now used to us being in class and the teachers figured out ways to utilize us as immersion students.  Throughout this whole process it has been great getting to know the kids and the teachers at De La Salle Blackfeet.  They are all really good people at heart and it has been great working with them.  After school, the whole group went back to Glacier National Park.  The views at Glacier are really one of a kind.  When we were driving in we were able to spot a live moose staying behind the trees with its calf.  It was really cool to be able to go to Glacier a couple of times and be able to hike and drink in all the scenery around you.  
-Mason M.

A Student Perspective

Day 3:  Today was the first day we were with the students.  We divided up into four groups for tutoring, 3 with 8th grade, 2 with 6th grade, 2 with 5th grade, and 3 with 4th grade.  With our firsthand experience with the children we started to really understand their plight.  It was really great and rewarding helping the kids with their work.  Through all of the barriers in their life, they are really trying their best to fight through it, and that is really inspiring.  The least we can all do is help them succeed.  After school, we had a guest speaker, Marty Martain.  He gave us a brief history of Native Americans in Montana, and showed us a lot of Native American regalia.  It was really interesting to hear about the the Native American history, and see all of the interesting artifacts.  All in all, it was a very enlightening day that we all thoroughly enjoyed.
-Tony V.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Better Late Than Never

So it has been a while since we made a post and part of that is because we want to get the kids to write a few articles for the blog. Their perspective is going to very different from mine. Well I could not wait anymore.

Day 1: of our time here in Browning was spent cleaning up for the founders day celebration later this week. Part of our task was cleaning the gym, which will host an art show Friday and Saturday. The boys did a great job and tackled the tasks with enthusiasm. After we got the gym in tip top shape, they worked on some PE and art projects and then we got our first big exploration of Big Sky country. We went to the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park and walked the Grinnell Lake Trail. This 6.5 mile hike took us along the shores of both Josephine and Swiftcurrent lakes and into the heart of Glacier National Park. Our wildlife sitings were a bit meager, but that is not all bad. There are certain animals that are best seen from a distance or a vehicle. We did see plenty of evidence that they were around. We wrapped up the day with a Pasta dinner with our hosts from De La Salle Blackfeet School.

Day 2: was our first real day working the the students. The CBC boys have been separated into groups by grade level and have been hard at work tutoring Math, helping on Reading assignments or listening to students talk about their work on the Lewis and Clark Expedition (two not so popular guys with the Blackfeet). The immersion students talked about the struggles and challenges they faced through the day and blew off steam in the afternoon by taking a swim in the Two Medicine River. EVERY boy made it across and enjoyed a 50 degree afternoon in Glacier chilled water. The evening was spent with Marty Martain our speaker who talked about the history of the Blackfeet Tribe and Reservation life. Even though this was my fourth go around the stories never cease to amaze. It is a great lesson about the multiple angles to a story. Only in recent years have we considered the plight of the Native Americans. The point that the Battle of Little Big Horn as it is called now was originally name for Custer. The Native American Angle was not one that we considered. I think the boys got a good lesson in perspective and how the history books are not all black and white. 

Hopefully we can get a student written post here soon enough. While you wait for the next article you can enjoy pictures taken by Mr. Gerdes and myself.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Delays Delays

Well the start of the trip has gotten off to a rocky start. Our original flight was delayed causing us to miss our connecting flight so we were bumped till Sunday morning and into two separate groups no less. This is a headache but no reason to lose sleep (unless you were on the 5:50am flight). Just another challenge. As we descend into Denver we will be seeing May snow an unexpected surprise and hopefully not any big deal.

The boys and families have been great and appear ready to go. We will see the second group in Denver for a while and then we take different flights to great Falls. Our orientation to the bunkhouse and to the mission will be short and there will be no time to relax leading into our Monday morning session. Unfortunate we missed Mass with the community in Browning, MT.  

Now we wait in Denver luggage to load. Hopefully we will arrive at the Bunkhouse around 7:00 pm.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Countdown

I have been writing for this blog for the last 3+ years and I find it a great way to record my thoughts and experiences on the trip. It is also a great resource for the boys and families. I have done many things for CBC over the years and this is one of the most rewarding. In years past the boys who have gone can't wait to go back, but unfortunately many have yet to pull the trigger.

This year we have a great group of 10 students going and we met this past Thursday with their parents. We had a special guest in Brother Paul Ackerman who visited and shared some wisdom with the families. The meeting was one of the best we have had in doing the immersion trip. Why was it so good? Well the main reason was 100% attendance. In the past either a boy or a parent had to miss.

In a few short weeks well depart on our journey to Big Sky country once again and I can tell you that it never gets old.