Blog

Go touch grass

Go touch grass

Erinn Dosch is a great communicator. She writes grants and manages website and social media activity at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. She is a voracious reader, funny and smart, and a “word collector.” You know, she loves a turn of phrase or clever pun. She’s a really good Rancher.…

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Nasolabial folds

Nasolabial folds

Deep nasolabial folds are part of my family’s genetic profile. My mom and dad both had prominent ones, as do my siblings.   They’re those wrinkles that run from the sides of your nose to the corners of your mouth. I am pretty sure they’ve always been there, but with the march of Father Time, mine are reaching new depths. Not yet Grand Canyon status, but perhaps the Columbia Gorge.…

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Seeing the real

Seeing the real

Many kids come to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch wearing their toughest attitudes and with challenging behaviors. They have worked so hard to survive their trauma and trauma environments that they have lost touch with their own core. They struggle to see their true selves.…

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Oh Christmas Tree

Oh Christmas Tree

I love Christmas trees. I think they are a bold proclamation that we are celebrating the birth of our Lord. I think of them as a really big Birthday candle! You just can’t hide the fact that you’re celebrating Jesus' birth when you have a 4 or 6 or 8-foot reminder in the middle of your house.…

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Love Languages

Love Languages

It is a pretty irrefutable statement that we all communicate differently.   We send and receive messages in the context they make sense to us, based on our experiences. I would guess that you, and certainly I, have occasionally had to say, “That’s not at all what I meant. What I was trying to say is….”…

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A Sliver of Light

A Sliver of Light

The staff who work directly with the children at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch will probably never know the great impact they have had on children’s lives. When our children leave the care of the Ranch, unless they choose to reach back, we may never hear from them again. That’s a good thing. They move on with their lives.…

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A safe place

A safe place

It’s Friday afternoon, and I am in my office replaying the time I spent with the surprise visitor who stopped by this morning.    About 9 a.m. I heard Karen, one of the women I work with, greeting someone at her office door. Karen is a sincerely kind person who is always gracious to everyone, but I could hear something special in her voice. I eavesdropped a little, and it was soon evident she was talking to a past resident. “Are you working now?” “So, you have your own apartment?” “You look really good!”…

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BNSF Railway Foundation Awards $6,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

BNSF Railway Foundation Awards $6,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The BNSF Railway Foundation awarded $6,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch for technology upgrades in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes at Dakota Memorial School, Minot, the Ranch’s on-campus school.…

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Thanksgiving and success

Thanksgiving and success

The mission of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch always has been, and I believe always will be, “to help at-risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ.” Very simple and straightforward. Right?   Well, maybe not. Success is defined by many different variables: money, education, career, marital status, family, sobriety, healthy living, etc.…

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Creature Comforts

Creature Comforts

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. —2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV…

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Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Awarded $1,000 by School Sisters of Notre Dame

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Awarded $1,000 by School Sisters of Notre Dame

The School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province awarded $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to purchase items for the Caring Closet at Dakota Memorial School.…

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Get over it!

Get over it!

“Get over it!”   We hear that a lot. We say it a lot. I say it to myself when someone cuts me off in traffic, or my arms are too short for me to read the instructions I’m holding. Sometimes, we just need to move on.…

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Slightly Askew

Slightly Askew

I write a lot.   I write reports and emails and presentations and columns. However, my favorite writing is personal notes on cards designed by our kids.…

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S'more Experiences

S'more Experiences

The relationships our staff build with children are what allow the care we provide and our Christ-centered focus to do their work. It all starts with relationships that build trust. It starts with shared and new experiences.…

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A simple knot

A simple knot

A little girl, 11 years old, came into the dining room for breakfast one day last week. She had tears running down her cheeks, and her face was red. Christy, a phenomenal cook with a kind spirit, saw one of our Ranch employees trying to comfort her while making sure the other kids got their breakfast.…

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North Dakota Community Foundation Funds Innovative Remodel at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

North Dakota Community Foundation Funds Innovative Remodel at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

North Dakota Community Foundation (NDCF) granted $5,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to underwrite the cost of an innovative remodel at Dakota Memorial School (DMS), Minot, the Ranch’s on-campus school. The funds are part of the NDCF’s Statewide Greatest Needs Fund.…

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Bring on the crowds

Bring on the crowds

I’ve told you before, working at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is hard work. Good work, but hard. It is hard to hear the kids’ stories of trauma, abuse, and mental illness. It is hard to be distrusted by these hurting kids and hard to earn their trust.   That’s why it is so important that our folks always support each other, cheer each other on, and share successes.…

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Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Receives $3,200 from Otter Tail Corporation Foundation

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Receives $3,200 from Otter Tail Corporation Foundation

The Otter Tail Corporation Foundation awarded $3,200 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to complete safety upgrades on its Fargo campus.…

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Respect

Respect

Most of the children who come to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch have not been treated with respect.   Most are trauma survivors. The very definition of a trauma survivor is someone who has suffered because of an absence of power. Perhaps it was an abuser, or poverty, or drug addiction, or death, but something in their lives exercised extreme power over them. That disparity led to them being abused, neglected, injured, and suffering. They are deeply hurt.…

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Kiwanis Club of Fargo Awards $1,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Kiwanis Club of Fargo Awards $1,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Kiwanis Club of Fargo granted $1,500 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to purchase noise-canceling headphones for the Occupational Therapy program.…

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Learning Styles

Learning Styles

Finding every single way to help children understand themselves, heal from their experiences, and become their best selves all depends on communicating in a way they can grasp. Since every child starts in a different place, professionals at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch use many different tools and approaches.…

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A note of pain

A note of pain

“Kids don’t really think about suicide, do they?” or “Kids just want attention, they can’t really want to die.” Even with all the media coverage of children’s mental health, I'm still asked questions like these.…

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Why me?

Why me?

I have shared before in these messages about our Chaplain, Rev. Rick Jones. Chaplain Rick has been with Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch for 11 years. He is the best person ever to be a Chaplain at a place for hurting children. He is strong in his faith, compassionate, and relatable. The children love him.…

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Elmer & Kaya Berg Foundation Granted $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Elmer & Kaya Berg Foundation Granted $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

The Elmer & Kaya Berg Foundation granted $1,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to purchase necessary toiletry, clothing, and home items for the Caring Closet at Dakota Memorial School, Fargo.…

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Not an athlete

Not an athlete

I am not an athlete.   Oh, I work out. That’s not the same as being an athlete. An athlete has grace, stamina, field awareness, and coordination. Those I don’t have. I can lift heavy things, but that’s about as far as it goes.…

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