psychiatric residential treatment

"When I Grow Up, I Want to Be Just Like You!"

"When I Grow Up, I Want to Be Just Like You!"

I received a very sad letter in the mail today. It was from Maxine Beckwith, a Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Board Member. Maxine is the last remaining Board Member who had joined the board prior to the introduction of term limits. As such, she has been on the board for nearly 40 years. And she has made every moment count. Her letter says she is choosing to retire from the board at the end of this operational year.…

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Something We Can All Agree On?

Something We Can All Agree On?

I was working on a blog post that was truly in sync with all the unsettledness in the world. It seems important to talk about the pandemic and the death of George Floyd and racial injustice and political derision and how the Ranch views and deals with all these "things." I wrote a couple drafts, and then sent it to several people — from different political leanings, races, educational levels, and life experiences — to ask them for their thoughts and input. I don't usually do that, but the message is so important and I wanted to make sure I stated things well.…

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Your Story Is Important

Your Story Is Important

A big part of my job is thanking some amazing people who care deeply for the precious kids we serve at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. When I call or visit to thank them for their prayers and/or financial support, I have the incredible honor of hearing their stories and learning why they support the Ranch.…

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Our Four-Legged Staff Know a Little About Unconditional Love

Our Four-Legged Staff Know a Little About Unconditional Love

At the Ranch, the four-legged staff that work with our children know a little about unconditional love. The horses like Odin and Lena and Starbucks listen to the children's pains and fears and hurts. They gently walk with them. They carry them and their troubles without complaint. The therapy dogs like Bailey and Mack nuzzle and snuggle and love being petted. And they listen too.…

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Do You Believe in God's Elves?

Do You Believe in God's Elves?

What is your position on God's elves? Before we get too deep into that, I want to be forthright about two of my beliefs. I am a big believer in science, and believe that science is one of God's gifts to humanity. I also believe in miracles.…

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Kitchen Staff Present Silver Spatula Award to Young Man at the Ranch

Kitchen Staff Present Silver Spatula Award to Young Man at the Ranch

The culture at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is based in caring, purpose, and learning. Lately, I have been asking folks to share stories of the greatest example of caring they have witnessed in their time at the Ranch.…

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Now Is the Time to Accept our Imperfections

Now Is the Time to Accept our Imperfections

At the Ranch, we work to help each child see they are perfectly themselves. That the best self they can be is exactly who they are meant to be. Not like someone else. Through treatment and programming and individualized schooling, they learn to be their own strongest advocates. They learn to be in their own skin.…

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A Child's Expression of Empathy Through Art

A Child's Expression of Empathy Through Art

Empathy, "the ability to understand and share the feelings of another," is hard. It is truly difficult to stand in another person's shoes and see life from their perspective. We all spend most of our time seeing the world from our own vantage point. It is even harder for Ranch kids.…

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Congratulations to Our Ranch Graduates!

Congratulations to Our Ranch Graduates!

One year ago, six amazing young people graduated from Dakota Memorial School. These young people received their diplomas amidst pomp and circumstance, with lots of family and friends surrounding them.…

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A Child's Incredible Act of Caring

A Child's Incredible Act of Caring

I work with really great people here at the Ranch. Frankly, this is not a place you come to work if you are, at your core, a jerk. The people who commit to being Ranchers are truly interested in leaving the world a better place. They come together to help heal children who, through no fault of their own, have had to learn to navigate a world that has not shown itself to be on their side. These remarkable Ranchers use the best scientific medical and therapeutic practice, educational practice, faith in God, and good old fashioned kindness to make a difference.…

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Tolley Couple Opened Their Hearts and Home to Ten Challenging Boys

Tolley Couple Opened Their Hearts and Home to Ten Challenging Boys

Louis C. Butt, and his wife, Ida Mae, are legends in Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch history. They farmed and ranched outside of Tolley, ND, and were one of the first couples to open their home to the boys who needed a place to lay their head. Their home became the first physical location of Dakota Boys Ranch when the family donated their farm and ranch.…

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Love Languages Open the Door to Healing

Love Languages Open the Door to Healing

We understand our world and each other in so many ways. At Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, that means finding the set of constructs that resonate for each particular child. Each of these precious children is unique, with their own experiences, traumas, and defense mechanisms. In short, they are like all the rest of us as far as how we take in information. There is no "one size fits all" way to communicate.…

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Connecting With Others

Connecting With Others

CONNECTING WITH OTHERS is today's #MentalHealthMonth tool. Sometimes it can be hard to know how to make connections with others. But it's the connections we make with other people that help enrich our lives and get us through tough times. #Tools2Thrive…

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Detoxing Your Life

Detoxing Your Life

DETOXING YOUR LIFE is today's #MentalHealthMonth tool. Certain people and situations in life can trigger us to feel badly about ourselves or engage in unhealthy and destructive behaviors. By identifying the toxic influences in our lives and taking steps to create boundaries, we can improve our mental and physical health. #Tools2Thrive…

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Supporting Others

Supporting Others

SUPPORTING OTHERS is today's #MentalHealthMonth tool. Having a strong support system can improve our overall mental health. Being a part of that strong support system for others could make all the difference. #Tools2Thrive…

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Finding the Positive

Finding the Positive

FINDING THE POSITIVE is today's #MentalHealthMonth tool. Changing the way we view negative situations, reframing common negative thoughts, and practicing gratitude have been shown to reduce sadness and anxiety. #Tools2Thrive…

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Creating Healthy Routines

Creating Healthy Routines

CREATING HEALTHY ROUTINES is today's #MentalHealthMonth tool. Creating routines helps us organize our days and ensure that we are taking care of tasks and ourselves. Routines help us establish patterns in our days that make it easier to get things done without having to think hard about them. #Tools2Thrive…

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Owning Your Feelings

Owning Your Feelings

OWN YOUR FEELINGS is today's #MentalHealthMonth tool. Take time to slow down and identify what you’re experiencing and the feelings behind it. This simple act can help you feel better and improve your communication and relationships with others. #Tools2Thrive…

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Do You Know Your Tools2Thrive?

Do You Know Your Tools2Thrive?

While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. The good news is there are practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency - and there are ways that everyone can be supportive of friends, family, and co-workers who are struggling with life's challenges or their mental health.…

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How Can Three Simple Words Bring So Much Joy?

How Can Three Simple Words Bring So Much Joy?

Before they get to the Ranch, our kids have experienced so much trauma and pain. In many cases, they've been told they're out of options. Now, they have succeeded, and they have a place to go! They are joyful because they did the work, completed their treatment, and now have hope for a better future.…

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Chicken/Bacon/Waffle Sandwich with Homemade Maple Sriracha Aioli Sauce

Chicken/Bacon/Waffle Sandwich with Homemade Maple Sriracha Aioli Sauce

Do you remember when your mom or Grandma would try out a new recipe and it was really wonderful? I remember how it felt. I didn't have all the words then, but I felt cared for and special and loved. I saw how hard my mom tried to make every part of my life as good as she could.…

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God Carries Our Stories

God Carries Our Stories

Every person we meet has lived a life only they can truly understand. Like the children at the Ranch, some of us can tell our stories, and some cannot. Each of us carries our experiences in our own way. And, when they are too heavy, God carries them for us.…

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Emily's Story

Emily's Story

Like so many of our Ranch kids, there was a time when Emily certainly didn’t believe in herself. She did not realize her potential or the plan God had for her life. Yet today, Emily stands strong and resilient; capable and confident, a beautiful, genuine young woman…who surely has promise! Thank you for helping to make stories like Emily’s possible. You cheer our kids on with your prayers and support, believing in their POTENTIAL, helping precious children realize that they indeed have PROMISE, that their lives certainly have POSSIBILITIES and that the God who loves them, surely has a PLAN for their lives.…

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If We Do the Possible, God Will Do the Rest

If We Do the Possible, God Will Do the Rest

In this time of trying to separate the truly important from the normally important, I want you to know we are focused on one thing, "to help at-risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ." Right now, helping these kids succeed means making decisions that keep them and our staff as safe as possible. It means delivering programming and education that creates a semblance of normalcy and predictability in a time when the world is neither. It means praying and laughing with our kids, and listening to their fears. It means accepting children from other facilities that have shut their doors. It means relying on Him, when we are not enough. He will give us the strength.…

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Uncharted Territory

Uncharted Territory

We are in uncharted territory. Although we are likely to start sentences with "it's like of like" or "I remember when," the reality is that the COVID-19/Coronovirus pandemic is a new reality for the entire world. Here at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, we, like everyone else, are navigating one day, and sometimes one minute, at a time.…

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