Blog

Jim Vetter Receives Walt Odegaard Leadership Award

Jim Vetter Receives Walt Odegaard Leadership Award

Jim Vetter, Vice President of Treatment Services and Government Relations, Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, is the 2022 recipient of the Walt Odegaard Leadership Award, presented by the North Dakota Association of Nonprofit Organizations (NDANO).…

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Wearing a Winter Coat on a Florida Beach

Wearing a Winter Coat on a Florida Beach

She recently started a lecture series to train Ranch staff on some of the mental health diagnoses we see more frequently in the children who come to us. The first session was on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). With a wide range of staff expertise and training in her audience, she used many analogies to help each person understand. The one I will hang on to when I am trying to explain the behavior and reactions of our children is her analogy about trauma behaviors being, “like wearing a winter coat on a Florida beach.”…

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Barry Foundation Support Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Through Philanthropy and Youth Committees

Barry Foundation Support Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Through Philanthropy and Youth Committees

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch received two $1,000 grants from local high school students at Central Cass and Barnesville High School through the Barry Foundation’s Philanthropy and Youth program.…

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

The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Kansas 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, Kansas District during the 2022-2024 biennium to support its Spiritual Life programming. Funds will be used to update lighting fixtures in the Kruse Memorial Chapel on its Minot, ND campus, part of an overall renovation of the chapel.…

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Otter Tail Corporation Foundation Grants $8,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Otter Tail Corporation Foundation Grants $8,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Otter Tail Corporation Foundation awarded $8,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, Fargo, to furnish a Balanced Learning Environment in the Library/Media room in Dakota Memorial School, the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch.…

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Heroes in the Background

Heroes in the Background

The best part for me, however, was getting to spend time with these heroes in the background. I heard them express how when they are making decisions they think about how it will feel to the kids. They reflected on meals that brought joy to particular children. They talked about fixing damage in walls made by a child too angry for words and spoke with compassion about wanting to do repairs quickly. They spoke of children by name, and about problem-solving with program and education staff. They laughed. We prayed.…

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Pomp and Circumstance

Pomp and Circumstance

Eight amazing young people graduated last week from Dakota Memorial School, the on-site school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch! What a great opportunity to celebrate them! Each and every one of them has overcome so much to take that walk while “Pomp and Circumstance” echoes around them. Every year I get all teary-eyed as the kids walk in.…

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Pulling Back the Curtain

Pulling Back the Curtain

We do a whole lot of training at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. Each of us goes through days of standard and specific training every year. The training ranges from basic first aid and defensive driving to organizational communications and understanding complicated psychiatric diagnoses in children.…

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Verendrye Electric Awards $2,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Verendrye Electric Awards $2,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Verendrye Electric Cooperative awarded $2,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to upgrade the lighting fixtures in the Riding Arena on its Minot campus.…

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Not just individualized, but personalized

Not just individualized, but personalized

...the successes and accolades are because we know how to "personalize" education. In her words, "not just individualize, but personalize." Marcia believes deeply in showing respect for each child. She talks about children by name. She knows their strengths. She knows their challenges. She is a strong proponent of trauma-sensitive education. She and her team, in all ways, are child-centered. Because of that, at Dakota Memorial School, the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, "we help at-risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ."…

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The Power of a Name

The Power of a Name

One thing newer staff have trouble adjusting to at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is the number of nicknames and replacement names the kids ask us to use.…

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"It's a dragonfish!"

"It's a dragonfish!"

“I never thought I’d really be able to tell the stories that are in my imagination.” That was the excitedly delivered message from one of our high school art students as he presented his work to a group of Ranch employees.…

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God's Provision

God's Provision

God’s provision for the Ranch and our cherished boys and girls comes in many forms.…

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Walmart—Minot Grants $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Walmart—Minot Grants $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch was the recipient of a $1,000 grant from Walmart—Minot. The funds will be used to create a safer living environment for children at the Ranch as they heal from trauma.…

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Blessings for the caretakers of the mind

Blessings for the caretakers of the mind

Many of the children who come to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch have not lived with both their biological parents, or either of them, for many years. The children have been in foster care, with relatives, in an adoptive home, or with a single parent. They have been removed from the situation and/or people that caused them trauma. The behaviors and mental illness created by the trauma are now left for the child and their caregivers to navigate.…

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Pondering Holy Week

Pondering Holy Week

Sometimes, as we go through our somewhat sanitized lives, we forget what Jesus went through to get to that remarkable day of Resurrection! We want to jump to the good part… where the good guy, Jesus, wins. We want to celebrate that… with bunnies and chocolates and big meals. But, that undermines the whole Easter story, which, as Olmstead said, truly begins with a baby’s birth in a muck-filled barn.…

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Great River Energy Donates $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Great River Energy Donates $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Great River Energy awarded $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to do safety upgrades on its Bismarck campus. Specifically, funds will be used to update the fire alarm system.…

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Really Good Healers

Really Good Healers

I firmly believe that Christ is at the center of all healing that happens at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. I am also a firm believer that good science is one of God’s gifts to us. At the Ranch, Faith and Science work hand in hand to meet the needs of the hurting children.…

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YOU make a difference!

YOU make a difference!

Each child that arrives at the Ranch is stepping into the best opportunity in their young lives for a chance at a better life and future. Many of the children who come to the Ranch have been abused and traumatized. They need our help. Your faithfulness to these kids gives them the opportunity for healing and hope.…

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Budding Leader

Budding Leader

"I remember being clueless about mental health and not knowing it was an actual problem but looking back on those times and having experience of mental health issues just got me thinking. Why do we look at mental health negatively?”…

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Capital Electric Cooperative Awards $2,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Capital Electric Cooperative Awards $2,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Capital Electric Cooperative granted $2,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to purchase LED lightbulbs for its Bismarck campus. The grant will help the Ranch convert the interior fluorescent ceilings lights to energy-saving LEDs.…

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Overdrawn Accounts

Overdrawn Accounts

The kids who come to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch have come from situations where everyone’s accounts are overdrawn. The trauma, neglect, insults, and abuse have depleted any deposits made along the way. They also don’t know how to make honest emotional deposits. They have learned to strike out to protect themselves, or be manipulative to get what they need.…

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Healing Through Art

Healing Through Art

At a recent team meeting, we were blessed by several of our students who are taking an art class from our Dakota Memorial School* art teacher, Alana Wentland. After Alana introduced the students, they showed us the things they are creating—watercolor paintings, award-winning photography, sculptures, and soap carvings.…

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These Hands

These Hands

“We need to remember across generations that there is as much to learn as there is to teach.” Gloria Steinem Many of the kids at the Ranch have disrupted families. Sometimes parents are in prison. One of our children has weathered the death of both parents and a loving aunt in the last seven months. Some are torn apart by addiction or domestic violence.…

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Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is “Twice-Blessed” by Grant from St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is “Twice-Blessed” by Grant from St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation

St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation (SJCHF) distributed $30,480 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch for CPR training supplies and safety upgrades on its Minot campus. Through the SJCHF’s Twice Blessed program, $20,480 was raised in addition to the SJCHF match grant of $10,000, to underwrite the entire project.…

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