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.
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