Blog

They Wear Sneakers

They Wear Sneakers

I recently attended chapel at the Ranch. That's not really newsworthy. We have chapel services on all of our campuses at 4:30 p.m. every Thursday. I like to attend whenever I can, and when I do, I always leave feeling pretty grateful for where I work, the people I work with, and the children we serve. Seeing the kids and staff in chapel helps me continue to believe in the good in the world, and God's love.…

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I Love Christmas!

I Love Christmas!

I love everything about Christmas, the music, traditions, sights, sounds, and most importantly, the opportunity to share the story about the greatest gift we will ever receive; and that is the gift of God's Son, Jesus.…

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Anita Burns promoted to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Program Manager

Anita Burns promoted to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Program Manager

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch recently promoted Anita Burns to the Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) Program Manager on its Minot campus. In her new position, Burns will oversee the PRTF cottages, ensuring that all treatment plans and programming meet the specific needs of each child, and that the Ranch is a safe place for children to live, learn, and heal.…

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Lisa Cole Celebrates 45 Years at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Lisa Cole Celebrates 45 Years at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Lisa Cole, who started working at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch on November 25, 1975, is celebrating 45 years of employment. Cole joined the Ranch out of high school, working in the Minot Foundation office under the direction of Larry Knutson, President Emeritus.…

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Mack the Therapy Dog

Mack the Therapy Dog

Mack doesn’t like the Nutrition Center. He got really scared when he was there one day for lunch. Some kids were playing on the other side of the big, overhead doors that separate the Nutrition Center from the gym on campus. A ball hit the big metal door and the noise was sudden and loud. It startled Mack, just like thunder does, and now he doesn’t like going in there.…

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What Nearly Running Out of Gas Taught Me about Ranch Kids and Staff

What Nearly Running Out of Gas Taught Me about Ranch Kids and Staff

I suppose it isn't too weird that almost anything that happens in my life teaches me something about the kids and staff at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. The Ranch is a big part of my life. But almost running out of gas? Yup.…

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After the "Honeymoon"

After the "Honeymoon"

When you meet Emily today, the first things you'll notice are her wonderful smile and contagious laugh. A very different young woman than the one who walked into Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch—who at that time didn't crack a smile, speak, or look up from the ground.…

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Join Us Online on November 19th!

Join Us Online on November 19th!

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is hosting a celebration of thankfulness for all the wonderful people who support our work.…

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Join Us on November 19th For an Online Celebration of Thankfulness

Join Us on November 19th For an Online Celebration of Thankfulness

You are a huge reason we are able to continue our work, even in a pandemic. Because of your prayers and your financial support, we continue. We want to say thank you. Join us for a free online event, "A Healing Presence: an Online Celebration of Thankfulness," on November 19, 1-2 p.m. (Central Standard Time). We'll provide you with an update on the impact you are making with your support. It is a celebration of thankfulness from us to you! The very best part, I promise you, will be hearing from Ariel, a former Ranch resident.…

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Avoiding Hurt By Not Accepting Love: Aliyah's Journey to Acceptance

Avoiding Hurt By Not Accepting Love: Aliyah's Journey to Acceptance

Aliyah Beyer didn't need help. Yes, severe anxiety and depression made her life hard. So hard she couldn't get out of bed some days. But still—she could handle it on her own. She was used to taking care of things herself. And she was used to being alone, despite growing up in an adoptive family with ten children. For as long as she can remember, Aliyah has wanted nothing more than to fit in and belong.…

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Real-World Skills at Work: Preparing Young Adults for Adulthood

Real-World Skills at Work: Preparing Young Adults for Adulthood

Vocational Education began at the Minot campus many years ago with livestock, a corn crop, and honeybees. It has changed over the years to become Career and Technical Education, and now students learn and practice technicals skills like small engine repair, welding, carpentry, plumbing, facilities maintenance, and more.…

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The Ups and Downs of Recovery

The Ups and Downs of Recovery

Laura doesn't have a perfect life. She talks to her dad only occasionally and isn't allowed contact with her mother because of her drug use. But she knows she is in a better place and attributes much of her success to the Ranch. "Without the Ranch, I'd probably be in Juvie, running away, drinking, drugs. I'd have probably gotten into hard drugs and who knows where I'd be right now."…

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Elmer & Kaya Berg Foundation Awards $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Elmer & Kaya Berg Foundation Awards $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Elmer & Kaya Berg Foundation awarded $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to purchase school supplies for the residential and Day School children on the Ranch’s Fargo campus.…

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A Really Good Day

A Really Good Day

A few weeks ago, I was at my desk when I heard a familiar voice in the lobby. "Look! I'm being adopted!" As I came around the corner to confirm my suspicions, a handsome boy came running at me with arms outstretched for a hug. "Joy, did you hear? I'm being adopted!"…

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Staying Safe During the Pandemic

Staying Safe During the Pandemic

As we navigate the COVID-19 crisis, our first priority is the safety and security of the vulnerable children who come here for healing. While we know our plans will change day by day, sometimes minute by minute, we wanted to inform you of the things we are doing to keep our children, employees, shoppers, and donors safe.…

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Small Steps that Make a Big Difference

Small Steps that Make a Big Difference

Most things we learn from birth to adulthood come in small steps. When we learn to eat solid foods, we don't start with a T-bone, but mushed banana or rice cereal. When we learn to drive, it is usually around the block, not cross-country on Route 66. When we learn to read, Dick and Jane usually come before Dostoevsky.…

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Marisa Rudie promoted to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Program Manager

Marisa Rudie promoted to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Program Manager

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch recently promoted Marisa Rudie to the Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) Program Manager on its Bismarck campus. In her new position, Rudie will oversee the PRTF cottages, ensuring that all treatment plans and programming meet the specific needs of each child, and that the Ranch is a safe place for children to live, learn, and heal.…

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Kiwanis Club of Fargo Provides Funds for Technology Updates at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Kiwanis Club of Fargo Provides Funds for Technology Updates at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Kiwanis Club of Fargo granted $3,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to stabilize the IT network on the Ranch’s Fargo campus. The upgrade will support the increased load on the network created by COVID-related distance education and telehealth.…

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What's Your Story?

What's Your Story?

"Bee Kind. Everyone has a story" is our rallying cry. On Monday, October 5, every Rancher—on campus, in our thrift stores, in our school, kitchens, and hallways—staff, teacher, child, thrift store employee, and Board Member—wore a bright yellow T-shirt carrying the message. In Minot, ND, our largest campus, we kicked off a month-long focus on finding the best in others with a scavenger hunt. In our Youth Home, kids decorated their own special masks with anti-bullying messages...my personal favorite was, "Putting out someone else's candle does not make yours burn brighter." Therapy dogs wore the t-shirts, but sadly, horses were excluded—size issues. Spiritual Life groups focused on Bible verses that reinforce our value in God's eyes...then made posters of the verses to hang in their rooms. Discussions about self-esteem and respect and kindness were everywhere and will continue.…

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Capital Electric Cooperative Grants $2,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Capital Electric Cooperative Grants $2,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Capital Electric Cooperative granted $2,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch toward the completion of a remodel of Dakota Memorial School—Bismarck, the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. Specifically, funds will be used to furnish and equip two classrooms that were created to increase the programming we offer and to better serve our current students.…

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Bee Kind: Everyone has a story

Bee Kind: Everyone has a story

On October 5, World Day of Bullying Prevention, and throughout the month, Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch staff and kids are holding awareness and learning activities to help wipe out intentional, repeated, and degrading meanness. “Bullying leaves people feeling small and exposed and so lonely,” said Joy Ryan, President/CEO, Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. “I was bullied in school, and unfortunately, I am in the majority. We did a quick survey of the children in our care right now and 88 percent of them report having been bullied. Bullying doesn't build character or compassion and there is no lesson to be learned from experiencing it. Social media has added another avenue for bullying at a whole new level and made it mainstream.” The effects of bullying can be long-lasting for victims including fear and anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide.…

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Positivity in all Circumstances

Positivity in all Circumstances

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." –1 Thessalonians 5:18 A friend recently posted on Facebook, "I'm not turning my clock back an hour on November 1. I don't want 2020 to last one more hour than it has to."…

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Young Ranch Resident Desires to be Seen

Young Ranch Resident Desires to be Seen

Recently I was on our Bismarck, ND Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch campus. COVID has messed with travel over the past few months, but I am trying to "mask up" and connect with people in person. Meetings via computer, while better than nothing, simply cannot replace sitting down face-to-face — of course, at a safe social distance.…

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The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Oregon District Grants $6,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Oregon District Grants $6,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch will receive $6,500 from the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, Oregon District during the 2020-2022 biennium to support its Spiritual Life programming. Funds will be used specifically to renovate the bathrooms in the Chapel on our Minot, ND campus, which is part of an overall chapel renovation.…

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The Power of Positivity in Doing God's Work

The Power of Positivity in Doing God's Work

Deaconess Kelly Bristow is the Spiritual Life Coordinator on the Minot Campus of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. She is a woman of deep faith in Christ, unbounded love, commitment to mercy care, and she's smart.…

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