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 competitions.

Outgoing and to-the-point, Carter isn’t concerned about the many eyes that will track his every move in Marshall Cator Arena. In fact, he said being in front of all those people doesn’t worry him one way or another.

“I’m going to feel important,” Carter said, nonchalantly.

A caring older brother, Carter is more concerned with his younger brother Casey’s first rodeo.

“My little brother, Casey, is going to do junior calves,” Carter boasted. “It’s his first time.”

Carter and Casey live together in Fischer Home at Boys Ranch. Often, siblings live in separate homes on campus so each can focus on his or her own emotional needs without feeling pressured to care for or be cared for by the other. But, in Carter’s case, one goal for his stay at Cal Farley’s is to see his brother as a permanent, positive part of his life. Before coming to Boys Ranch, Carter saw his brother as a threat, one who might steal their parents’ attentions. But, through counseling and other activities designed to strengthen their relationship, Carter is learning to unpack years of emotional insecurity and discovering the joys of brotherhood.

Part of the life-changing program at Boys Ranch is encouraging healthy relationships in all our residents. Even the most casual of activities has an intentional purpose in creating a physically and emotionally safe place for our youth to learn, heal and grow.

The Boys Ranch Rodeo is an extension of that purpose, too. Our youth, understandably, are very competitive, both with each other and in competing against themselves. More importantly, though, the rodeo gives our children a platform on which to exercise the life lessons they’re being taught through everyday life at Boys Ranch – things like caring for others or showing good sportsmanship.

Since Carter’s chief concern is seeing his little brother do well, it’s understandable to wonder why Carter would want to compete this year at all. To that question, Carter has a very simple answer:

“I think I’m good at my events, so I have to do it,” he grinned.

Boys Ranch is giving Carter the opportunity to build his self-confidence and healthy relationships with his family – all while safely exploring his natural craving for adventure. For this, and so much more, Carter says:

“Thank you for supporting us at Boys Ranch.”

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