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New Perspectives - Oct, 1995 Issue #36 

Dinosaur, Colorado
Kevin Hall, President

Mountain Homes Youth Ranch is an 84 day work-intensive outdoor ranching experience designed for at-risk adolescents ages 12 to 17 years. 

Located in the thickly forested mountain region of Western Colorado near the community of Rangely, MHR operates on 16,000 acres of privately owned ranch land with a field staff of 10 professionally trained people and a professionally trained counselor. 

The MHYR mission is to act as a site for exploration into individual perceptions and behavior (Dr. H. Stephen Glenn's "Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World," Prima Publishing, 1989). We adhere to the concept that in order to change behavior certain perceptions must be changed. These perceptions for successful living are taught in a milieu of structured work-intensive activities combined with professional counseling services. 

Participants will learn to appreciate themselves for their strengths, skills, and power to set and pursue meaningful goals. They will gain perceptions of personal capability and personal significance. They will learn and demonstrate personal skills of communication and responsibility, and gain a clear understanding of their role as meaningful contributors to their families and to the community. 

The MHYR Program is divided into 3 leveled phases; "Beginning", "Advanced", and "Ranch". Each phase is designed to build on the skills acquired in previous phases. 

Some of the features of the MHYR Program are: 

- Philosophy based on tested, nationally recognized counseling strategies. 

- Professional counseling services delivered by a certified counselor. 

- Professionally trained field staff skilled in communication strategies, crisis intervention and group counseling techniques. 

- 24-hour on-call medical and emergency services. 

- A working ranch environment where participants work alongside ranch hands in a mentoring relationship where they learn such ranching skills as branding, herding, fence repair, calving and livestock care. 

Mountain Homes Youth Ranch doesn't tear kids down in a paramilitary "boot camp" environment. We begin by providing a daily milieu of activities centered on communicating the unconditional love and valuing of our participants. Physical conditioning is designed to bring mind, body, and spirit to a level of equilibrium. Short hikes rather than lengthy forced hikes serve as a vehicle for thoughtful introspection. Participants are never denied the basic necessities of food, shelter, and protection from the elements. Consequences are designed specifically to strengthen the interpersonal and intra personal skills of each participant. 

MHYR in coordination with Mountain Homes Youth Foundation, a non- profit organization, may provide partial tuition assistance for qualifying families. 

Copyright 1995, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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