Building Life Skills at Boys Ranch Town
Since 1954, Edmond’s Boys Ranch Town has offered a child-focused campus for boys in need of a home. There, young men arrive seeking help, experience a home, and leave with skills to serve them for life.
One of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children’s (OBHC) many ministries, Boys Ranch Town is a 145-acre working ranch housing four cottage-style homes where up to eight boys can be placed under the care of a husband and wife pair serving as house parents. Within these homes, the boys’ material needs are fully met. But it’s also the intangible aspects of their life that the ministry aims to address. The ranch also has nine transitional living apartments.
“When I first moved to Boys Ranch Town, it felt really big with a lot of new people and names to remember,” said Patrick, a Boys Ranch Town resident. “But I love the safe environment here. Lately, I have been learning to trust God with my circumstances. I am really proud of myself for growing in how I handle my emotions.”
While living at the ranch, the boys enjoy day-to-day life together, from meals to activities, chores, and homework. They attend Edmond Public Schools or on-campus schooling and are encouraged to participate in a variety of school, church, and campus activities. Boys Ranch Town makes activities like 4-H, animal programs, sports, crafts, trail rides, camp-outs, rodeos, auto mechanics, and a welding program easily accessible for residents, all with the goal of teaching responsibility, patience, and compassion.
“I am excited about the ministry taking place at Boys Ranch Town. The programs on campus provide valuable opportunities for the boys to develop necessary life skills, preparing them for great success as they transition into adulthood,” said OBHC Executive Director, Michael Williams.
“While educational programs are wonderful, the most important thing we can do is share the Gospel. The primary objective in everything done on campus is to show and share the love of Christ to these boys and their families.”
Boys Ranch Town is currently serving 30 boys – 23 in the cottage setting, and 7 who have moved from the cottage into an apartment on their own. Boys ages 8 to 15 are eligible for placement, but participants are able to continue to live on campus until they are 18. Those living independently on the campus can focus on college or careers while working closely with advisors toward the ministry’s overarching goal of successful, self-managed lives beyond the campus.
“We want their experience to be as close to a traditional home setting as possible for these kids,” said OBHC Director of Communications, Heather Beard, who also expressed her personal passion for the ministry. “We hear stories of life change – and this is not an exaggeration – every single day. We see the difference these programs are making every day.”
When considering the vast variety of experiences coming through the campus on a daily basis, Heather says it’s important to remember that success looks different for each child. “We want them to know the love of Christ and the love of a family,” she said. “But we also want them to be able to hold a job, pay rent, and make responsible life choices.”
Supported entirely by the generosity of like-minded donors, the ministry invites the community to contribute in three powerful ways: pray, serve, or give. Learn more at www.obhc.org/ministries/campuses/brt/.