What an adventure!
The words crossed my lips, uttered to no one in particular, as I read about the remarkable life of one of Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch’s earliest residents.
World war heroics, global travel, a successful career and family life — these were the hallmarks of a life very well lived after a childhood spent at Boys Ranch! Do you know what gives me more awe, even, than that? In more than 20 years of service to this great organization, I can share with you story after story of men and women just like that!
So many thousands of people across all ages, genders and walks of life can look back on the weeks, months or years they spent living, playing and learning in our midst as the key moments that started them on a fantastic journey.
There’s Alvis, one of our inaugural residents, who taught himself to paint museum-quality portraits, fought Nazis in Europe and became a renowned handball player. Then, there’s Gary, who came to us in 1957 with his brother. For him, Boys Ranch was a launching pad to a very successful business career spent growing and selling companies to players on the global stage. And, I recall Bubba, whose adventure took a much different form. He spent his working years in a solid middle-class job, building a family and being the father he never had to his children. For him, a life of adventure led to early retirement and a life on the road with his wife, traveling between his children’s homes to visit their grandchildren.
The adventures that begin at Boys Ranch are as unique as the fingerprints on every child we serve! And, more importantly, those adventures don’t end when our youth leave us to reunite with their families or pursue higher education.
On the contrary, they’re just getting started!
In this issue, you’ll see another group of unique adventures. For some, like Chase or Grace, life’s adventure is one of self-discovery, of learning to master their own minds and relationships. For others, like Joshua, the adventure that began at Boys Ranch is one of finding his passions and learning everything he can about them. And, for Robin, a young woman of exceptional talent and determination, a life of adventure means trusting fully in God’s providence as she steps out into a great big world to share the gifts of faith, service and hope she experienced for so long in our nurturing community.
The many adventures that have begun at Boys Ranch are rich and inspiring. But, do you know what the best and worst thing about them is?
These stories will never end.
Yes, it’s sad society will always have a need for a place like Boys Ranch, ready, willing and able to care for hurting or cast-off children. Yet, that sadness pales in comparison with the success stories that have — and will continue — to start in our expert care.
Life is a grand adventure. I’m honored you’ve chosen to experience it with us!