Kentucky Sheriffs’ Boys and Girls Ranch

I had a fantastic visit this morning with the Kentucky Sheriffs’ Boys and Girls ranch. What an outstanding program, hidden away in Marshall County. I’ve lived in this area for 15 years, and had no idea (until fairly recently) that it was so close by. It’s been there since 1975! I feel, from my visit, this camp does not get enough recognition for all it does.

Many of us are familiar with Trooper Island. The KYSB&G Ranch is similar, in that it gives children (between the ages of 8 & 11) of low-income/high-risk areas the chance to receive positive reinforcement and recognition that they might not otherwise receive. I learned today that many of these children have never had a McDonald’s Happy Meal, much less 3 meals a day. At the camp, they receive regular meals and snacks.

Children are chosen by their county’s Sheriff’s office during the year, and their attendance is paid for before they ever board the bus to come to camp on a Sunday afternoon. The funding is provided by gifts/donations from individuals, businesses and organizations.

The ranch, itself, is set on 30 acres of beautiful land. I got to see an eagle’s nest, and an adult eagle on the property today. The campers have a ton of awesome activities to do. I witnessed them caring for Rosie, a miniature horse, and making some cool looking pillow cases (all of their crafts are saved for them to take home). Of course, there is a law enforcement tie-in, as well. Kids are presented each week with drug and alcohol awareness from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department. McCracken County’s Child Watch also presents a program each week.

While they do offer amenities for the children (like a swimming pool, a gymnasium, dorms, athletic fields, and a cool pond), it’s important to remember that the Ranch continues to operate by donations. Not only monetary, but tangible gifts as well. Paper products, cleaning supplies, laundry items, ice pops, socks, antibiotic ointment (other first aid supplies), pencils, crayons, bandages, bikes (for camper of the week) and Bibles are all accepted, in addition to a list of other items (I can ABSOLUTELY get you this list!).

I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to visit the ranch, and look forward to working with them in any capacity we’re able. What an amazing, positive outreach for these children. I encourage EVERY Sheriff’s Office to get involved, and for everyone else to find a way to help with items from their wish list. Thanks, Sgt. Sizemore (Madison County SO) for your time today with the tour, and to Tracy and her crew for being so hospitable.

-Brandi

PS- they totally sell t-shirts and, yes, I scored one!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/KY-Sheriffs-Boys-Girls-Ranch/84324055204?fref=ts

http://kentuckysheriffs.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx

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