Blog

Sam’s Club—Fargo Grants $500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Sam’s Club—Fargo Grants $500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Sam’s Club—Fargo granted $500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to underwrite the cost of AED Trainers, which will be used during the mandatory CPR training courses on our Fargo campus. The granted funds from Sam’s Club were donated through Sam’s Club’s Community Grant Program.…

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Moving Towards the Light

Moving Towards the Light

Earlier this year, Dakota Family Services, the arm of the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch family that provides outpatient mental health counseling, hosted "The Light Experience." With Dakota Medical Foundation's support, the virtual event gave teenagers a safe space to talk about mental health, learn, and ask questions. Small breakout sessions were offered on depression, self-care, anxiety, suicide, and ADHD. The youth had a chance to learn about mental health and how to ask for help. Over 100 teens "ZOOMED" into the event.…

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A Joyful Servant

A Joyful Servant

Marie Frye comes in early each morning to brew a pot of coffee for the Minot Thrift Store staff. This is a small act, but one that so many that work with her appreciate. It's telling of her care and love for the Ranch and the people she works with.…

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Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Staff Complete Mental Health First Aid Instructor Training

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Staff Complete Mental Health First Aid Instructor Training

Three staff members at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch recently became certified Mental Health First Aid instructors. During the multi-day interactive training, candidates learned how to teach the course with fidelity to a range of diverse audiences and learning styles. The Ranch’s newest certified trainers are Dr. Megan Spencer, Clinical Psychologist; John Campbell, Coordinator of Student Services; and Tom Kopp, Director of Residential Services.…

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Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch supervisor honored by Department of Defense for patriotic support

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch supervisor honored by Department of Defense for patriotic support

Tim Gienger, Clinical Director at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award recently for the extraordinary support he provides his employee Kyle Schmidt, Captain, North Dakota Army National Guard.…

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Grateful Family Floods Us with Pizza

Grateful Family Floods Us with Pizza

Pizza everywhere! As I walked into the building that houses the living areas for the children on one of our campuses, all I could smell was pizza. You know, the sauce, pepperoni, ham, sausage, crust. I'm not sure you actually "smell" the cheese, but when you smell pizza, you know it's pizza. I walked into the staff room and there were enough pizza boxes to feed Hannibal's army.…

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Each Ranch Child's Story is a "Mini-Resurrection"

Each Ranch Child's Story is a "Mini-Resurrection"

This week we celebrate Easter. The story of the death and resurrection of Christ is the Greatest Story ever told. Over and over we share the joyous news of His triumph over death. In His resurrection, we have the irrefutable proof that Jesus is exactly who He claimed to be—God’s son, the Messiah. We celebrate the event in profoundly human ways—with worship, candy, special meals, fancy clothes. At Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch we do a full-on Easter Egg hunt! But the underlying impact and meaning is about hope, an eternal Father who loves us, and mercy. Telling and re-telling the story, over centuries, has ensured each generation has the opportunity to believe.…

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Seeing Him Smile Again is Worth Every Tear

Seeing Him Smile Again is Worth Every Tear

Today I'm giving a shout-out to the brave parents who trust us with their precious boys and girls. I say "brave" because it takes courage to reach out for help. It is difficult to imagine the pain and heartbreak some parents experience when their child needs help. The parents of kids who come to the Ranch are out of options and out of hope. We look into their eyes and say, "How can we help?" And most of them, through their tears, tell us they just want their precious child back to "normal."…

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Celebrating Unsung Heroes

Celebrating Unsung Heroes

In the latest edition of Ranch Voice, there is a great article talking about our amazing facilities team. I’d like to take a moment to celebrate these unsung heroes who day in and day out work very hard at providing a clean, safe, and healthy environment for our precious kids and dedicated staff.…

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When Jesus is Our Map

When Jesus is Our Map

I have had the wonderful opportunity to hear Pastor Mark Huber, from the Sanctuary Church in Marshfield, Massachusetts lead devotions at several national Christian Leadership events. I have never listed to him without then spending significant time pondering his words.…

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Moving Kids to the Top of Our Priority List

Moving Kids to the Top of Our Priority List

At Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, we work with kids who have endured more than anyone should in a lifetime. They are kids with psychiatric, behavioral, and social issues; and sometimes working with them is exhausting. But, they are still kids. The people who work here must have well-developed resiliency—and the ability to see the potential in each child—over the noise of their challenges.…

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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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The Many Ways People Find to Be Good

The Many Ways People Find to Be Good

Sometimes I am astonished by the many ways people find to be good. Today at the Ranch, we received a $5 donation. We are incredibly grateful and are careful stewards of each and every gift. This gift came with two letters, one from a teacher at a Christian school, and the other from her student.…

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The Truth About You

The Truth About You

I think it is really important to say out loud to people the good things you see and appreciate in them. For the children at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, it is a critical part of their healing. It is called being "Strength-Based." Because most of our kids have not been told they are good at anything, teaching them to see the positives in themselves is so very important.…

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Pondering Happiness and Pizza!

Pondering Happiness and Pizza!

The Fargo Youth Home is a Qualified Residential Treatment Program of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. It is located in a residential area away from our main campus. The children who are at the Youth Home are generally 14-18 years old. They tend to have fewer family or social connections and are also in need of less intensive treatment and supervision. They are working on independent living skills, some hold jobs, some go to public school. They may ride public transportation or take driver's education. They are taking charge, and responsibility, of their own lives.…

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Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch the Recipient of a St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation Twice-Blessed Grant

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch the Recipient of a St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation Twice-Blessed Grant

St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation (SJCHF) distributed $20,670 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to create outdoor learning areas at Dakota Memorial School, Minot—the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. Through the SJCHF’s Twice Blessed program we were able to raise $16,170 in addition to the SJCHF match grant of $4,500 to underwrite the entire project.…

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An Attitude of Gratitude

An Attitude of Gratitude

Many years ago I had the opportunity to hear a talk by Lou Holtz, the former head coach of numerous winning football teams...perhaps most memorably, Notre Dame. His message, as I remember it, was about how he stays enthusiastic, positive, optimistic. He made the point that when you are not winning is when it is most important to stay positive.…

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The Tom and Frances Leach Foundation Provides Funds for Technology Updates at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Tom and Frances Leach Foundation Provides Funds for Technology Updates at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Tom and Frances Leach Foundation awarded $25,000 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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Otto Bremer Trust Awards Funds to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Otto Bremer Trust Awards Funds to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Otto Bremer Trust awarded a $100,000 matching grant to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to be used for a remodel and update of the Bremer building on its Minot, ND campus.…

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The School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province Grants $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province Grants $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province awarded $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to replace outdated appliances in Butt Cottage, which houses girls ages 10-14 on our Minot campus.…

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Trauma is a Thief

Trauma is a Thief

Trauma is a thief. It steals one's sense of safety, predictability, trust. A generally accepted definition of Emotional and psychological trauma is "the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won't go away."…

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Can You Walk on Water?

Can You Walk on Water?

It was a beautiful North Dakota winter morning and the Ranch's Wildlife Club was just about to start its first fishing adventure of the season. Helping to unload the pickup was a very chatty 14-year-old girl who was relatively new to the Ranch. Since her early childhood was spent in the south, I knew she had never been ice fishing. With a twinkle in my eye and sincerity "dripping" from every word, I leaned over to her and whispered, "You CAN walk on water, right?"…

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Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church awards $267,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church awards $267,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Walnut Creek, California awarded $267,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. The generously granted funds will be used as part of a rejuvenation project on the Ranch’s Minot, ND campus, specifically making necessary improvements to the Bremer building, one of the original buildings on that campus.…

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Tearing Up After Receiving Donation from Former Ranch Resident

Tearing Up After Receiving Donation from Former Ranch Resident

People from all across the United States help Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch wrap each precious child who comes to us in the care they need to find and become their best selves. Many pray for our staff and kids. Others donate time through servant teams, board service, or within our thrift stores. Still, others donate treasure, funds that are the result of the sweat of the brows of the givers. Regardless of where or who or how the gifts of prayer, time, and treasure come from, they are all blessings. They all contribute to the healing of these brave trauma survivors. Every gift has special meaning.…

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An Extra-Special Graduation Ceremony

An Extra-Special Graduation Ceremony

A couple weeks ago, three very proud young people were the stars of their high school graduation at Dakota Memorial School. That was kind of a funny time of year for a graduation. It also doesn't sound like a very large graduation class.…

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