Thursday, June 26, 2008

You Want Pictures?

Well we got 'em!!!

These Weeks Go By So Fast!

GLENIS REDMOND made a Bridges appearance this summer, teaching the students how to express themselves on paper through their poetry. Glenis is a nationally renowned performance poet who is a Bridges favorite, appreciated by not only the students, but by the teachers, counselors, Mrs. Swartz, and visitors to the program. Having her for the two days she visited was definitely a high for the summer.

The Poetry that was written by the students during Glenis' visit was performed and each student was given the opportunity to share his/her work of art. The Bridges students are, to say the least, VERY TALENTED!!!

Wednesday, the students went on their weekly fieldtrips. The Kappas and Lambdas had their college visits while the Mus toured St. Francis Hospital.

The two older classes went to Spartanburg Methodist and USC Upstate yesterday and, once again, had their clipboards and "College Scorecards" ready to rate the schools to suit their likings. The day comprised of a tour of USC Upstate, lunch at Upstate, tour of Spartanburg Methodist, ice cream at Dairy Queen--yep we spoil 'em--and dinner at Furman. Another long day with great rewards.

While the Kappas and Lambdas were touring colleges, the Mus were touring St Francis. Their day consisted of St. Francis employees speaking about the different aspects of a hospital system. Lunch was at 33 Liberty, which is highly recommended. After lunch the Mus returned to St. Francis for a tour and more speakers. The St. Francis staff gave excellent presentations, which were greatly appreciated.

Friday the students will be going home for the weekend and returning on Sunday for the annual Cultural Dinner. The dinner is designed so that the students are able to taste a little of each other's culture and learn about the dishes in doing so.

Time goes by so fast at Bridges, it's always amazing how quickly the weeks go by. You know what they say, "time goes by faster when you are having fun!"

Monday, June 23, 2008

What a Weekend!!!


Well! Saturday was the start of a GREAT weekend. The Lambdas and Kappas had their first community service projects of the summer. Some students stayed on campus for a scavenger hunt with a group of kids from the local YouthBASE program, which is a 501©3 nonprofit organization in Greenville, SC, with the mission of increasing support for children at-risk for or experiencing behavioral difficulty through after-school and summer programming. Others had a "bakin' good time" making cookies for the Furman staff involved with Bridges. A group of students went off campus to the North Greenville Food Crisis Ministries, where they helped remodel and were greatly appreciated. Another group went to A Child's Haven where they did yard work, spreading mulch.

The Mus had their own Saturday of fun, working on team-building and leadership skills. You've probably guessed already if you are a frequent Bridges Blogger--ROPES! Every year the new students go through the Ropes Course, where they overcome fears and work together in doing so. It was an awesome experience that can only be seen to get the "real feel."

After all three classes had their fair share of Ropes and services, everyone headed downtown where they had a picnic in the park. Later, counselors, Mus, Lambdas, Kappas, and Mrs. Swartz headed across the street to the FYI center (Furman YMCA Interactive) to dance, sing, play Guitar Hero and listen to a Christian rock band. After ROCKING OUT, Bridges headed over to the Warehouse Theater for a private show.

A long day no doubt, but no complaints.



Pretty much explains itself, huh? Sunday, was the pool party at the President's House. Everyone enjoyed the day.

What an AMAZING weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

College Visits and a Scavenger Hunt

Yesterday the students had a day away from the classes to focus on the other aspects that the program offers. Everyone boarded the buses at the Chapel and went their separate ways.

The Mus began their day downtown, where they visited the Upcountry History Museum and Mr. Grills, Bridges art teacher, gave a WONDERFUL presentation on the history of Greenville. Next, the Mus went to the Greenville County Museum of Art. After that they headed out to Bob Jones University Museum and Gallery. With all the touring and artwork, everyone worked up a huge appetite, so everyone took a break to have lunch at Bertolo's (amazing pizza). After lunch the Mus had a scavenger hunt--Mice on Main--which used team work and problem solving skills to win the prize. After the scavenger hunt, the Mus went down to the Greenville Drive Stadium where they toured inside and out, went down into the dugout, and saw the Green Monster. A long day, no doubt.

On the other hand...

The Kappas and Lambdas went on their first college visits. First, they headed to Winthrop University. With their College Profile Worksheet in hand, they rated the college to fit their likings. After lunch on campus in the Thompson Cafeteria, the Kappas and Lambdas boarded the bus to go to Lander University to tour the campus and evaluate the college. With a good day of touring in, the Kappas and Lambdas headed back to campus.

Log in next Thursday for more updates on fieldtrips...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bridges Begins with a Bang

Well, what's better than spending your summer working and watching television? BRIDGES!

On Saturday the 14th, Furman was swarming with the new and returning Bridges to a Brighter Future members. At 8:00, our first arrivals, the Kappas and Lambdas, began checking-in and unloading the necessities for their four-week experience. Food, clothes, drinks, steroes, more food, and more clothes; the returning campers made sure they forgot nothing at home this summer.

Everyone was so excited about being with their Bridges family for another summer of FUN! After the Kappas and Lambdas dumped everything in their rooms, they loaded on the bus and headed off for Lutherock.

Next, the "check-in staff" awaited the arrival of the new members--the Mus. With a whole new wave of enthusiasm, everyone was shown up to their rooms and found out who they would be rooming with. The Mus boosted the energy level another notch and kept up with the excitement of the older members.

Although the new and returning students were seperated, both had somewhat similar days. Icebreakers and team-building workshops helped bring the classes together.

Looks like the prediction was right--this is going to be a GREAT summer!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bridges '08 "Under Construction"

Well after months of anticipation, it is down to the final week before the start of Bridges to a Brighter Future 2008. Mrs. Swartz's office is crowded with the new and old materials for the start of the program. The teachers and counselors are preparing for their summer "adventure." And training has begun.

The counselor's began their training Monday at Pinnacle Falls. Once there, they hiked 7 miles to get to their campground, where they collected water and purified it, cooked their meal, and set up their tents. Not to mention all the Off! that was used to keep the bugs--well--OFF!

On Tuesday, the counselors repeated much of the same process for breakfast (minus the hike). Another 7 miles were conquered, but this time by canoe. Wow! what a workout.

So, with all of this activity, you could say that this is most likely (definitely) going to be an amazing summer. We can't wait for the Kappas, Lambdas, and Mus to arrive Saturday. Last one to check in is a rotten egg! :)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Bridges High School Graduates Achieving Great Things!

In addition to have 100% of the 2007 Bridges graduates going to college this fall, we also have several who have achieved some pretty incredible accomplishments!

Erik Smith, a graduate of Berea High School, was just recognized by Greenville County Schools (see press release) for twelve years of PERFECT ATTENDANCE! Erik is graduating in the top five of his class at Berea High School and will be attending Clemson University in the fall. Erik is a wonderful person and was an awesome Bridges student. We could always count on him to be a phenomenal leader and role model in the program. Erik attended Boys State his Junior year and was a committed member of the Berea High AFJROTC. He took numerous AP classes and was a member of the National Honors Society. Perfect attendance! Way to go Erik!

Hilary Rampey is graduating from Woodmont High School with an International Baccalaureate Diploma on June 5th as VALEDICTORIAN! Obviously, Hilary has had a stellar academic career at Woodmont. She was heavily involved with Marching Band, Symphonic Band, and Chorus. She was president of the Beta Club and National Honor Society as well as a Girls State nominee. Hilary is going to be a student at Furman University this fall and we are very excited to see what her college achievements are going to be!