Visitors to Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch campus often marvel at all the fun activities available for our residents. From horseback riding and kayaking to bicycling and even indoor rock climbing, there’s a near-endless array of options for the young people we serve.

But, as fun as these activities may be, each of them serves a significant purpose in helping our residents work through their individual struggles. In this way, experiencing healthy risk-taking in a positive, controlled environment serves as a bridge to allow the hurting children we serve express their natural need for excitement and accomplish very tangible therapeutic needs.

“It creates an opportunity for (residents) to get outside their comfort zone in a safe, measurable way,” explained Luke Benton, who heads Cal Farley’s Adventure Program.

Benton said sometimes a child who isn’t comfortable connecting with others can do so more easily in the context of a fun activity. It’s just one of many techniques Boys Ranch professional staff will use to reach children who otherwise might be unwilling to actively participate in their placement at Boys Ranch.

“I’m all about relationships. That’s our biggest intervention, getting a relationship between staff and the (youth),” Benton said.

Adventures that inspire

Adventures at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch abound. For some of our boys and girls, adventure is the first step towards a brighter tomorrow. 

Sarah: You’ve Given Me So Many Opportunities

BEFORE COMING TO CAL FARLEY’S BOYS RANCH, SARAH ADMITS TO BEING a “very, very stubborn child. I refused to do anything my parents said. They tried everything and eventually got to the point where they didn’t …

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Marlie: Focused on what matters most

Pretty blue eyes, framed by strands of long blonde hair, sparkle and dance as Marlie, 9, is working on a jigsaw puzzle on a table at Veigel Home. This little ball of sweet energy keeps at it until she finds a piece that slips in place and fits. Her face does a little happy dance! As with the puzzle, Marlie’s also figuring out what does and doesn’t fit in her life.

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Oriana: Serving Others

“One of the things I love about Boys Ranch is it is a place where a kid can really shine,” said Oriana, 15, a freshman at Boys Ranch High School. And, shine she has. When Oriana …

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The 11-year-history of an unusual idea

It all began with an idea. Way back in 2007, the boys living in Rafter R Home wanted to go canoeing. Unfortunately for them, not only was it the middle of February, but a particularly cold …

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Seth found himself in unfamiliar waters

Seth looked down the road in front of him. It seemed to stretch off into nowhere. I’m in the middle of nowhere — another city, another state, he thought. While the long drive to Cal Farley’s …

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Family comes first for Carter at Boys Ranch Rodeo

“Practice, practice, practice.” That’s how Carter, 10, summed up the key to overcoming his challenges in this year’s Boys Ranch Rodeo. In his second rodeo, Carter will be competing in the senior calves and junior roping …

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