“Wow, what you’re doing here at Boys Ranch is incredible! I had no idea such cutting-edge work was happening here!”
That’s a pretty common reaction from visitors to our Oldham County, Texas, campus. Sometimes, our guests expect our campus to feel cold and clinical. At other times, the expectation is dusty streets, log cabins and horses everywhere. (Well, OK, we do have a few dozen horses enjoying life in our western pasture.)
Boys Ranch today is a curious mix of past and present. Here, in our rural community, a largely bygone lifestyle lives in harmony with the latest technology, the newest techniques and the truly cutting edge.
How can that be? How can the same community be a happy home to cowboys and counselors? How do rough stock and robotics coexist together so successfully?
The answer, of course, is that regardless of each person’s background, interests or profession, everyone and everything at Boys Ranch is singularly focused on the welfare of children.
There’s something else that unites Boys Ranch as well: We are constantly changing.
It’s an undeniable fact of life that all living things grow and change. When Boys Ranch was created in 1939, it was founded on a lot of hope, but precious little childcare expertise. Today, we’ve grown out of our infancy into a well-respected industry leader. Our journey didn’t stop when we became the model by which other organizations around the world benchmark their own services to children and families.
Good enough is never good enough!
Simply saying, “This is how we’ve always done it,” doesn’t provide the best care to the children who’ve come to us in their hour of greatest need. They and their families trust Boys Ranch to give them the answers they need, the care they deserve, and the hope for which they are so desperate.
And, so, the Boys Ranch of today, while a literal standard for premiere childcare and expertise in neurodevelopment, is a far cry from what Boys Ranch will look like 80 years from now. The Boys Ranch journey has just begun! Change is at the heart of our existence. Today, organizations across the United States and abroad look to Boys Ranch and see the very model of care for at-risk and hurting children. Yet, who knows what the standards of 80, 100 or 250 years from now will be? We can’t judge ourselves today by the unknown standards of tomorrow anymore than we can judge our predecessors by today’s standards, which they could never have dreamed of!
What is fair to judge is our commitment to maintaining the highest standards, to implement the best practices and to remain at the same time true to the timeless values that made us who we are while making whatever changes are necessary to provide children the means to cope with whatever difficult circumstances life has thrown at them.
So, you see, this remarkable journey is one that never ends. It would be wonderful if, one day, we could say there are no more hurting children? Yet, that’s a destination we’ll continue to strive toward, knowing all the while it’s one we’ll never reach.
As sad as that thought is, it’s also one that steels our resolve at Boys Ranch to be better every day. Where we are today is a stop along the journey, but never a destination. Our children deserve the very best we can give them — today, tomorrow and always!