It was a sight to behold for sure, as 270 students all clad in white t-shirts with “TEAM HARVEY” proudly displayed on the back, started the four-mile round trip up to Monadnock’s summit. While not everyone eventually made it to the top, the person honored for the day, Elliot Harvey was greeted loudly by the cheering section from the students of The Winchendon School as he joined them at the top. Knowing Mr. Harvey has been on the toughest climb of his life, beating cancer, alumni, past faculty, and friends of the School all joined us for the day. Alumni who weren’t able to make it sent their good wishes for a successful climb, and Mr. Harvey took his customary school photo at the top of Monadnock.
Allegra Leavenworth ’12 debuted the song she wrote for her dad, Adventure King to begin the morning.
Original composition by Allegra Leavenworth.
And while we tell our students, it’s the journey, not the destination, this year it was incredibly wonderful to reach the summit and cheer on Mr. Harvey as he finished his climb for the day.
Speaking about the experience, Dylan F. ’22 came into the day as no stranger to Mount Monadnock after having climbed it at least ten times (it helps that he’s from New Hampshire), but he knew right away this trek would be different.
“Mr. Harvey is always so energetic and happy, He doesn’t even need to be here and he is – always cheering us on and always bringing positive energy to our (baseball) games.” Dylan was able to take that Harvey magic and pass along some of it himself by motivating new students as they traversed the mountain.
The reward at the top wasn’t just the view – but it was hearing everyone cheer on Mr. Harvey as he reached the summit (the above video captures this well). The day gave students opportunities to cement bonds with friends, and make new connections, as Dylan did with members of the hockey and basketball teams.
Summer C. ’23 had Mr. Harvey as her advisor, and this year he’s currently her Pre-Calculus Honors teacher. While it’s her third year at the Winch, it was only her second time climbing Monadnock (the School did not climb last year due to Covid protocols). As with Dylan, Sumer felt it was her role to help students on their first hike up Monadnock because she had made the climb before.
“Mr. Harvey,” Summer says, “is a big cheerleader with lots of energy, even as he’s going through chemo.”
Summer, we agree, he is a big cheerleader but this cheer is for him – thank you, Mr. Harvey!
Why do we climb Mount Monadnock? This post from 2018 gives a nice explanation.