Skip to content

Shaking Things Up

By Clare Ogle, an MHS houseparent

My husband is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, but he can be a total snob when it comes to milkshakes. He’s highly critical when he orders a shake somewhere because he loves a good, thick, real milkshake.

So when we got placed at student home Ridgeview, one thing was certain: we were going to shake things up.

I’m a bargain hunter by nature, so I scoured the web until I found an inexpensive, restaurant-grade milkshake maker. Thus began our Sunday tradition of milkshakes.

Our Sunday evenings are very special. We collect all electronics around 5 p.m. and sit down for dinner. We then do a deep clean of the entire house. We often play fun music over the intercom system, including Michael Jackson, and the guys can be found singing, dancing, playing with our sons, and cleaning. Once they’re finished cleaning, they can sign up for their milkshake.

MR. Clare Ogle Near Machine

There are dozens of options for shakes, including the standby flavors like chocolate, strawberry, and Oreo. Of course, there are outrageous options like pumpkin pie Oreo, Take Five, and cookie butter. The guys each get to choose up to 4 flavors to mix together, and they definitely come up with some crazy concoctions – caramel, strawberry, and mint anyone?

Watching the milkshakes being made is quite the show. A few guys help out, and when we have guests over, we sometimes have two milkshake makers running. Each machine has three metal prongs on it – key elements to making a good milkshake – so it can get noisy.

But this is the sound of our Sunday nights. It’s the sound of humming and machines, laughter, and bonding.

After everyone has enjoyed their milkshake, we either watch a movie or play a game. The guys know that all homework needs to be finished before dinner even starts. This routine allows us to end the weekend together, hanging out, and bonding as a student home. It’s one of our favorite parts of the week. Shaking things up has really paid off, and my husband always gets a shake that meets his standards.

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.