Mont Harmon Works on Programs for Students to Learn About the Challenges of Life

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Carbon School District Press Release

The student government at Mont Harmon Middle School has been sponsoring a variety of assemblies about building character this year, almost at the rate of one a month.

In January, the presenter was John Bytheway, who provided a program that was meant to support students to help them find their way along the trail of life.

He began with a story describing a hike and a camping trip that he took with his Boy Scout Troop in the Wasatch Mountains. The trip began with people being late to leave for the mountains and things such as fishing poles left behind. When they finally arrived, the troop put their backpacks on and began to walk. The first thing they encountered was a sign that said “Lake Blanche, 5 Miles.”

“That didn’t seem very far to us,” he said. However, after passing over a bridge, the trail went up the side of a mountain.

“Suddenly, as we started climbing that, all the laughing and joking ended,” he stated. “No one wanted to be the first to say ‘Hey this is hard, so let’s take a rest.’ Finally, after some time, one kid sat on a rock and he said ‘I can’t go any farther.”

He was so sick the scout leader decided to take him back down the mountain and take him home. The scouts, however, continued on.

Bytheway said that the rest of the way to Lake Blanche was like climbing miles of stairs with backpacks on. He said they stopped and considered going back down, but they would climb a hundred stairs and then stop. They kept thinking the lake must just be beyond the next hill, but time and time again they were disappointed. Because of the late start, they soon lost daylight and they got their flashlights out. Suddenly, they were upon the lake.

They took off their backpacks and began to unload them. They had been told to pack light. However, the first thing they saw come out of a pack that one of the scouts who had complained the most and had been one of the ones that needed the most rest was packing three cans of stew.

“The first thing is that the trail was steep, and the steeper it was, the harder it was to make it,” he pointed out. “The fact is that you can’t change the trail of life, but you can make things easier if you make good decisions on what is in your backpack.”

His backpacking story done, he spent the rest of the presentation talking about judging people unfairly and that respect is more important than popularity. He said that that being important is nice (but it is more important to be nice). He explained that giving is better than getting (based on a story of him donating a kidney to his brother and the rewards he has reaped for that) and that people sometimes use their smart phones to do dumb things.

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