Blog

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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Finally Family: One Young Man's Journey to Find Love and Acceptance

Finally Family: One Young Man's Journey to Find Love and Acceptance

Mannie was just an infant when his parents dropped him off at a family friend's and didn't come back. Mannie, now age 16 and wise beyond his years, says matter-of-factly, "They weren't ready, or didn't have the proper parenting to take care of me." No anger. No resentment. Just calm acceptance of his reality. But it hasn't always been that way.…

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It All Started with "Yo."

It All Started with "Yo."

I love the Ranch kids. Really. Sometimes they are hard to like, because they've learned lots of ways to keep people at arm's length, most of which are pretty effective. But, when we love them through it, they find their best selves on the other side!…

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Going Home Sober

Going Home Sober

This morning I sat in a Core Team meeting for a boy in our care. Core Team meetings are where we bring together the child and everyone involved in the child's care to discuss how well they are making progress against their goals. The child has a full voice in talking about the goals of treatment, what is working, what isn't helping, whey they want to improve on next, and the challenges they are facing. Around the table, sit people from his or her cottage treatment team, occupational therapy, mental health therapy, psychiatry, nursing, spiritual life, and social work.…

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The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Montana District Grants $2,100 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Montana District Grants $2,100 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch will receive $2,100 from the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, Montana District during the 2020-2022 biennium to underwrite the costs of updating the salad bar on our Bismarck Campus. Funds received will be used as part of an overall transformation of the Nutrition Center on our Bismarck campus. The purchased equipment will allow us to offer additional healthy items during meals.…

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Diane Larson, Ron Greenmyer, and Tim Mihalick Appointed to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Boards of Directors

Diane Larson, Ron Greenmyer, and Tim Mihalick Appointed to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Boards of Directors

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch welcomed Diane Larson, Ron Greenmyer, and Tim Mihalick to its Board of Directors.…

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What is Your Favorite Chilli?

What is Your Favorite Chilli?

Most Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch employees here during a "regular" workday, eat lunch on campus. Our food service staff members are pretty amazing regardless of which campus you are on, and the food is quite good. Considering the volume they make and that they make it appeal to kids and adults, I am impressed on a daily basis.…

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The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Wyoming District Grants $3,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Wyoming District Grants $3,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch will receive $3,000 from the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, Wyoming District during the 2020-2022 biennium to support its Spiritual Life programming. Funds will be used specifically to purchase new chapel furnishing on our Bismarck campus.…

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Ranch Kids Head Back to School

Ranch Kids Head Back to School

I was recently reading through the Spring 2019 issue of Ranch Voice (click here to read more), and was reminded why we, and our kids, love our educators! As you read these snippets, you'll realize why our educators are so special.…

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Keeping Our Kids Safe

Keeping Our Kids Safe

When the first child at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch tested positive for COVID-19, I felt like a tractor ran over me. We had already experienced staff who had tested positive and had quarantined away from work. That was worrisome, they are such good people. Thankfully they have all returned healthy and virus-free But, a child? The kids come here to be safe, and I "let" this child get sick.…

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The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Iowa East District Grants $7,036 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Iowa East District Grants $7,036 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch will receive $7,036 from the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, Iowa East District during the 2020-2022 biennium. Funds will be used to underwrite the cost of purchasing steam tables for the nutrition center on our Minot, ND campus.…

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Creating Space for Learning

Creating Space for Learning

School is so much more than a place to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic. In school, children learn how to work in teams, how to build relationships with their peers and adults, and how to manage their emotions and feelings when in a bustling and energy-filled environment. If kids in treatment can learn to operate within those environments, rather than isolated from them, they have a better chance of success when they leave treatment. School gives them a place to practice the new skills they are learning in a "normal" environment.…

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Why is Everyone Smiling and Happy?

Why is Everyone Smiling and Happy?

So much in life is about familiarity and context, isn't it? When we grow up around music, we expect music to be part of our lives. When we grow up around books, we think learning and curiosity are the norm. When we grow up with pets, we feel comfort and respect for animal "friends." You get the idea.…

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Watch Out for Exploding Watermelons!

Watch Out for Exploding Watermelons!

I am constantly reminded of the many types of expertise held by the people working with the children who come to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. Because the children have a multitude of experiences and traumas, we must use a multitude of approaches to help them identify their own challenges and develop ways to cope with them. The door to understanding is opened in many different ways — sometimes in school, sometimes in nursing services, in therapy, with the horses, in Spiritual Life.…

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The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Oklahoma District Grants $5,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Oklahoma District Grants $5,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch will receive $5,000 from the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, Oklahoma 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 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League South Dakota District Grants $3,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League South Dakota District Grants $3,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch received $3,000 from the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, South Dakota District to support its Spiritual Life programming. Funds will be used specifically to purchase audio equipment for the Chapel on our Minot, ND campus, which is part of an overall chapel renovation.…

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Horses and Kids

Horses and Kids

Occupational Therapy (OT) is one of the really important elements of treatment for children who are trauma survivors. At Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, our OTs and COTAs (certified occupational therapy assistants) teach children how to understand and manage their sensory input to help them control emotions and reactions. Our OTs provide our kids with many tools — breathing techniques, light panels, therapeutic swings, handheld manipulatives, and even real, live horses!…

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Keeping Ranch Kids Busy During a Pandemic

Keeping Ranch Kids Busy During a Pandemic

Life has been different for the precious boys and girls at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch this summer. Fortunately, the quality of care and the amount of attention they receive hasn't changed. I asked our amazing Wellness Coordinators how they are keeping the kids engaged physically and mentally this summer—despite the challenges created by COVID-19.…

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