Blog

Blessing Us with a Servant Heart

Blessing Us with a Servant Heart

So many folks help make Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch a place of His healing and hope, including the members of our Boards of Directors. Our Boards are filled with some of the best people I have ever met in my life. Each brings a special gift or skill or expertise to their governance role, and in combination, they ensure we are Sustainably Excellent.…

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I Wore Pajamas to Work!

I Wore Pajamas to Work!

I wore pajamas to work. Well, technically it was an oversized cotton sleep shirt/dress. And I wore tights and boots. Quite an ensemble. Why you might ask? Surprisingly, it is about normalcy.…

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One Child's Profoundly Simple Life Goals

One Child's Profoundly Simple Life Goals

Our mission at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is to "help at-risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ." Our work at the Ranch is to help children find their best selves. Ranch kids learn to think about goals and the future. I know I've mentioned it before in these writings, but when kids come to the Ranch, they are not future-oriented. They have been in survival mode (because of fear, hunger, abuse, and trauma) for so long that their goals are to make it through the day, or the morning, or this minute. The future is a concept without meaning when you have to scrabble through each moment. So we teach the children to stop and dream. Set goals. If you are your best self, imagine what your goals could be, your future could become.…

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Lutheran Services in America Presents Front Line Heroes Award to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Lutheran Services in America Presents Front Line Heroes Award to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Lutheran Services in America presented the Front Line Heroes Award to direct care staff, nurses, therapists, occupational therapists, and others who work directly with the children at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch.…

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Everyone Loves a Taco

Everyone Loves a Taco

One of the favorite lunch meals for children at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is the "walking taco." For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a walking taco starts with a personal-sized bag of tortilla chips. You crunch the bag to break the chips into small pieces, then open the bag and add taco meat, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, salsa, and possibly sour cream or guacamole. The gastronomical delight is eaten right out of the bag with a fork. Sort of a taco salad, but funkier. "Walking taco" is a fun name.…

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Otter Tail Corporation Foundation Grants $2,567 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Otter Tail Corporation Foundation Grants $2,567 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Otter Tail Corporation Foundation awarded $2,567 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, Fargo, to replace the appliances at the Fargo Youth Home.…

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The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Michigan District Grants $7,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Michigan District Grants $7,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch will receive $7,000 from the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML), Michigan District to purchase furniture for Seegers Cottage on the Minot, ND campus, which serves boys ages 14-18.…

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Midco Foundation Grants $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Midco Foundation Grants $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Midco Foundation awarded $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to underwrite the additional costs (created by the pandemic) of safely operating the Bismarck campus of Dakota Memorial School (DMS), the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. Specific costs include purchasing masks for the children, disinfecting, Personal Protective Equipment for the teachers, and individual devices for the kids. Keeping kids safe, while providing the best possible care, is a top priority at the Ranch.…

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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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