BoYS to men
If nature is therapeutic and hard work transformative, then Our House is the ideal place for young men in Brookeville, Maryland who want to transform their lives. The residential facility boasts rolling hills, a pond, swamp, and a host of wildlife—including a beehive and volunteer beekeeper. The residents, who come from social service agencies and correctional facilities, seek to redefine themselves and gain the skills necessary for life-long success.
Over the course of their stay at Our House (which ranges from a few months to a couple of years), the young men receive job training, professional counseling, life skills workshops and GED preparation. But they don’t just receive; they give back. All residents volunteer in their local community to deepen their sense of responsibility and connection to it.
In alignment with Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, OH seeks to “begin with the end in mind.” Residents maintain a strict schedule to develop discipline, a solid work ethic, and can experience the fruit (literal and figurative) that comes from working consistently and diligently over time. The Farm at Our House, a separate entity, offers residents the opportunity to learn how to plant and harvest fruits and vegetables.
“It was real rough going at first,” explained Ed Gould, the long time OH volunteer who started the farm. “They were not too enthusiastic—you don’t get a return for several months—but eventually there was enough land tilled and ability to grow things that the guys made a few hundred dollars.”
Gould argues that the farm and the house provide space for transformation to take place. “When some guys are there because they assaulted someone and are there to deal with their anger, they are going to do that. That they are willing to reveal that to me—that admission is the first step toward their own healing.” (Next)