What We Do

Session Components

The overall purpose of our session program is to gently love and encourage children toward the hope of Jesus. This process takes on as many unique, fun and beautiful forms as there are unique, fun and beautiful kids. Every session is a personalized experience for the child. As the leader listens to the Holy Spirit and follows Him into the heart of each conversation, the result is equally unique, fun and beautiful.

Each session will generally include:

  • Purposeful Conversation: Session leaders practice “Pray-Listen-Do.” By asking the One who knows the child best and what they need in the moment, they listen for His answer and then walk out His loving best for the child in their care. By asking thought-provoking questions and listening for honest answers, a safe place is created for the kids to talk about their life, ask questions, release pain and experience the healing love of God.
  • Ranch Tasks: Every child/leader pair will complete a 15-minute ranch task at the beginning of the session. In part, this time is designed to teach the importance of serving others by giving through the work of your own hands. Often this opportunity empowers children to know how their efforts can make a loving difference to those around them. This time also helps leaders understand the current challenges the child might be facing and gain valuable perspective for how to proceed in their time together. 

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  • Play: Our nation is becoming increasingly sedentary. Current statistics reveal that depression, oppression, anxiety and fear are all highly linked to lack of movement. With the awareness that the human body was meant to move at least five miles a day, we offer opportunities for kids to simply be kids and physically play. Also, spontaneous playing is often absent when abuse or neglect are present.  Moving naturally releases stress and promotes a clearer mind to move through challenges. Whether through a rousing game of kickball, hide and seek, racing up the back hill, redneck golf, whiffle ball, noodle jousting or running to power the Ranch swing, we highly encourage kids to have the chance to be kids through movement and play.
  • Working with a Horse: Most of the children who come to Crystal Peaks are drawn to the Ranch because of the horses. To ensure safety for both the kids and horses, everyone starts with the basics by learning how to correctly approach, halter, handle, groom, tack up, round pen and ride. Depending on individual interest and the development of a corresponding skill set, some will even vet horses throughout their sessions. As always, each session will be guided toward what the child and horse need on any given day. Our horse sessions can range from simply touching a horse for the first time to advanced riding skills. All activities with horses are not “performance” based, but rather focus on developing a kind relationship of clear communication between horse and rider.

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  • Woodworking: The Ranch woodshop is another means to encourage imagination and creativity in kids as they consider a project to build, then watch it come to life. Many kids enjoy time in the shop creating a gift for a parent, grandparent, sibling or loved one.

Arts and Crafts: For those who are more artistically inclined, the Ranch has assembled some wonderful arts and crafts for children and leaders to use. Kids are welcome to paint on canvas or paper,  draw, color through interactive coloring book or make jewelry that can be symbolic of their—or a loved one’s—journey of hope.

  • Gardening: Gardening is an ever-increasing valuable life skill offered at the Ranch. The ability, expertise and awareness to grow food is truly a gift that gives not only to the gardener but also to those in need around them.

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  • Volunteering: Since its inception in 1995, the Ranch session program has been completely free of charge. In part, this has been made possible through the hands of those who volunteer.  By giving of ourselves, we can each become a unique portion of the solution we seek in the world around us. The Ranch offers daily opportunities for kids to learn the profound value of how one person can make a difference by choosing to serve others.

Sessions can include any of the above components or something entirely unique. By following the Lord of love, the leader determines the best course of action for each child every time they are together. Our highest hope is for the heart of every child to be encouraged forward—in their own unique and beautiful way—toward knowing the hope, peace, love, joy, laughter, freedom and complete redemption of Jesus.