All posts by Ron ~ Youth Social Worker

Cran-Hill Day 3

Today in the stable the boys continued to learn and practice proper grooming skills, horse bathing, cleaning and feeding care.

From there the afternoon focus was on riding positions, technique and the use of various control maneuver activities which allowed the boys to gain a sense of confidence while riding on their horses.  It was fun to witness the playful interaction between them, their horses and the wranglers.  Check out our Facebook page @rranchmi.org to see a live video posted today covering the barn and arena time!

All of the boys also enjoyed spending time in the lake wrestling  and attempting to “get” us leaders.

Perhaps the most moving and meaningful activity  of the day was the first testimony shared by Patrick and the follow-up activity  which allowed the boys to an a very private matter identify in writing  choices they have made in life that they know have hurt themselves or others and came from sin, which we been burned in a fire pit at the foot of the cross symbolic of being no longer a needed struggle.  This activity helped the boys tap into some real emotions which allowed them to come together and support each other as they laid their struggles at the cross!

The food service provided to us continues to be awesome and enjoyed by all. Our evening concluded  with a quite descriptive rendition of the scary dog-man story   that left a few puzzled, inquisitive and a bit on edge. I thunderstorm end of the night which prevented any dog-man night hike, much I’m sure to the satisfaction of a few.

Problem Solving and a Spider Web

Today as we realize the midway point of our camp experience, there is the realization that the boys are growing in their comfort level with one another and understanding both the difficulty and the excitement of some of the challenges that may lie ahead.

Group problem-solving and teambuilding activities have revealed and conveyed to the boys the importance of flexibility tolerance and patience when needing to all work together and accomplish what at times can be very difficult tasks.

The less structured activities such as swimming and typical pre-teen games of wrestling and horseplay have provided opportunities for them to continue to gel with one another.

Watching the boys care for the horses and doing a trail ride today was an amazing experience. The boys have progressed to turning, backing up, and even trotting on their horses!

It’s amazing to see the boys building such a strong friendship with their horse! Pray that God will speak to these boys, even through their horses! God will use every opportunity to speak to these boys and to us if we are listening!

New Challenges and New Adventures

Last night we had a blast during archery tag. We had some great competition between the teams and even let the boys unload arrows on the leaders like a firing squad! It was a lot of fun!

Today was another exciting day at new adventures. We continued to explore learn and practice horse grooming, riding prep, leading, barn chores and bathing of the horses. It was an amazing experience to see some of our campers overcome some initial anxieties and hesitation to experience success in some of these areas as witnessed in the emotions, body language and interpersonal sharing with others.

During entrepreneurship, creative thinking skills were put to the test in the creation of towers made out of supplied materials in which team building, problem-solving and communication skills between the boys were all exercised small groups working cooperatively with one another.

We continue to learn and grow from each another as the day presents new challenges, and adventures.

The boys are starting to get comfortable with each other which is good but also presents challenges as they are getting on each other’s nerves and some are starting to display some negative behavior. This is normal as our activities are presented in a way to allow this to happen. Our team meets each of the boys where they are and we are able to give them coping skills and strategies to work through these behaviors. This will especially help them when they return home.

All the boys are doing great and continuing to challenge themselves in BIG ways! Keep us in your prayers as we navigate the rest of the week!