Youth at the Boys Ranch work and play hard throughout the summer. With 500 acres of land and many livestock to care for, youth play an important role in caring for their home.
Several mornings each week, youth are separated into work crews to complete jobs around the Ranch. Pat Close, Ranch manager, prepares of list of tasks and works with Nicole Ehler, director of program services, and homeparents to assign duties. Chores include taking care of yard work, making facility repairs, clearing brush, mending fences and feeding, grooming and cleaning animals and their pens.
“This is their facility so they help out with all the daily maintenance at the Ranch,” Ehler said. “We couldn’t do what we do without their involvement. They make the Ranch better for themselves and for everyone around them.”
During afternoons, youth take part in group sessions, community service and classes. Organizations served through community service include Friends for Life, Salvation Army and Meals on Wheels. On Thursday afternoons, youth choose a talent to explore through horseback riding, fishing, 4H crafts and photography, music, mechanics, cooking and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Youth also enjoy special activities with their peers and staff on Mondays and during Friday Fun Days. Activities have included a scavenger hunt, lake day, water day, staff versus student games, and “Crazy Game” day. Youth also went to the Perot Museum, Six Flags, Urban Air Trampoline Park and Hawaiian Falls. Youth enjoyed their first Flotilla competition where each home unit built a flotation device to ride across Slator Pond. The competition was a team-building activity that was a hit with the youth.
“We’re here to build community and have fun. I want everyone to get closer, create new memories and walk away having grown as a person,” Ehler said.
To view our photo gallery of the summer at the Boys Ranch, click here.
*A special thanks to Nicole Ehler for her photo contributions for this blog and photo gallery.