Since the beginning of the year, 11 Division officers and Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School students took four day trips to the Teen Ranch in Caledon.http
Teen Ranch is a non-profit, inter-denominational, Christian retreat facility located in Caledon offering a wide variety of activities for people of all ages, giving students a chance to build and develop stronger relationships and an opportunity to learn new skills. The ranch offers day camp, overnight camp and summer camps with a focus on developing relationships with kids. Some of the activities offered at the Ranch include horseback riding, equine safety and grooming techniques, ice skating, archery, climbing and many more activities.
The program, which was funded by ProAction Cops & Kids, was designed so that the students would build relationships with the officers as well as the other students that are a part of the program. The program offers activities that the students would not normally get to do and to build a relationship with the horse that they work with.
During their time at Teen Ranch the students spent the majority of the time learning and interacting with the horses. The officers taught them how to groom and tack up their horses and would then take them on a trail ride through the ranch. While at the Ranch the students also got to participate in an archery tournament against one another as well as skating at the indoor arena.
”Being with the horses is like therapy because it takes your worries away," said student Rocio Campos. "The program feels like a second family, a home away from home.”
All of the students involved have asked for the program to continue next year with the chance of also having an overnight weekend.