Welcome to Summer Recreation

Recreation helps children’s bodies to stay active and their minds to stay healthy.

A long summer is almost here. This year, some Boys Ranch residents will attend summer school, and some will focus on their Experiential Learning Programs.

For almost all of them, recreation will help fill in free moments with fun activities to stretch their bodies and minds.

two children and an adult play disc golf.
Disc golf stations set up around Boys Ranch make it easy for children and adults to enjoy impromptu games.

Boys Ranch is an ideal environment for energetic children. Recreation will help by giving them plenty of room to run, play and grow.

This summer, the recreation staff will help children find productive ways to express their excess energy.

Many children enjoy fishing on lakes at Boys Ranch.

Recreation helps residents stay in shape, said Shelli Miner, director of youth activities.

“There are a lot of kids who don’t do anything active,” she said. “We try to make sure they have plenty of opportunities to be busy outside of their houses.”

All summer long, those children will have the opportunity to play friendly games of kickball or engage in sack races. They’ll be able to go fishing or kayaking.

Recreation Helps Children Connect With Others

Some children have never been able to compete on organized teams. They are able to be on teams for the first time at Boys Ranch. Fun recreation can help them understand teamwork. 

“Their circumstances have never allowed some of our residents to be on organized teams,” said Miner, whose degree is in recreation.

“We try to introduce them to things like nine-square or ultimate frisbee to help them understand that recreation comes in all forms.”

Four boys play sack race
A three-sack sack race is a game the recreation department invented.
A teenager kicks a large rubber ball during a game of kickball.
Friendly games of kickball are fun without stress.

Recreation is a safe space for many Boys Ranch residents. While formal games can be competitive, no one keeps score when a child shoots hoops for an hour for fun.

Recreation helps many children quiet their minds. The rhythmic activity of bouncing a ball and shooting at a goal or taking a walk can help children feel more regulated.

“Activity helps our kids regulate themselves,” Miner said. “Recreation is one more way to engage our youth and build those important relationships.”

Two boys paddle a boat made of cardboard and duct tape.
Each summer, children are invited to build boats from cardboard and duct tape for the Cardboard Boat Races.

Another recreational opportunity for Boys Ranch residents is at the Bivins Recreation Area across the highway from the main campus. Activities there range from hiking to stargazing and hayrides to keep young minds and bodies active.

“The important part is to get them outdoors so they can enjoy the fresh air and form peer relationships,” Miner said.

Welcome to Summer Recreation

Scroll to Top