The View From the Top
By Clare Ogle, an MHS Houseparent
At the beginning of the school year, we decided to take our student home on a hike. We wanted to do something outside that would get them away from their electronics and out in nature, so we could bond as a student home.
We drove for over an hour to the site we had picked out. As our students and our oldest son James hiked up the mountain, they talked to each other, they laughed together, and they made jokes. We climbed and climbed for over an hour. We went up narrow parts of the path where we had to walk single file and other spots where it was more open. When we finally got to the top, the view was great! You could see far and it was a beautiful day.
A few weeks later, I asked one of our juniors about the hike and he said he didn’t really enjoy it. But then he added that the view was pretty cool.
Isn’t there some sort of lesson hidden in there?
We all want the view, the apex, and the mountaintop experience, but you can’t just show up on top of the mountain. You have to climb. You have to work. You have to put forth effort to get there. It also helps to have some friends along the way to make the journey more fun.
Helping our students push past the not-so-fun parts of life, and the moments when they would rather sit at home and play video games, is a big part of why we do what we do. We want to tangibly show our students how to navigate life—because it isn’t always easy. Sometimes the path is muddy, steep, and not very fun, but the view makes it all worth it.