Buckland celebrates 20 years

Buckland celebrates 20 years

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Whats-new | 0 comments

Rain and cool weather couldn’t dampen the spirit of youth, staff, and community members that came out to Buckland campus on September 19th to celebrate the program’s 20th anniversary.

“It’s the one day this whole summer that we had rain,” joked Kevin Mugford, director of the northern program.

equine assisted learning

Community members taking part in an equine assisted learning demo

The celebration kicked off with organized tours of the campus and a demonstration of equine assisted learning. The program is exclusive to the Buckland campus and popular with youth and staff across the province.

“Buckland campus has always had horses,” explained Amanda Snell, equine program leader. “We have been building this program for the last 10 years. It is a really exciting program and we wanted to showcase the benefits for the youth.”

cake cutting

Cutting the cake (l to r), Andrea Brittin, Ingrid Sinoski, Kevin Mugford, and Malcolm Neill

The formal anniversary program kicked off with a welcome from Kevin, who also thanked the original Buckland landowners – the Robinson family, and greetings from Andrea Brittin the Ranch Ehrlo CEO.

“Someone had the vision and foresight to take this piece of land and developed what you see here today which is an amazing campus that is doing amazing things,” Andrea stated.

Malcolm Neill, vice-president of residential services, gave the crowd a history lesson. He discussed how plans were in the works since the 80’s to create a campus in the north.

“At that time the board of directors and the leadership of the Ranch realized that the best way to help young people was to help them stay connected and close to their home communities,” he explained.

All eyes and ears were focused on Sara*, a current youth, who shared her story about living at the Ranch and how she credits the staff for where she is today.

“Thank you so much for all the time, energy, and support. I’m sure that I’m just one of the many people that you have helped. I truly believe I would not be here today without all of your work.”

The last person to speak was one of the longest serving, current employee in Prince Albert, housemother Ingrid Sinoski. Ingrid was emotional giving her speech and was supported by a youth in her program. She talked about the start of her career in 2001 and the changes in staff and programing she had seen along the way. Over the years, three generations of her family have also worked alongside her in the agency.

“A lot of staff have come and gone. One thing that has always remained the same is the care given to the youth,” she concluded.

A round dance and barbeque wrapped up the celebration.

*Name changed

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Horse program adds to Buckland campus

Horse program adds to Buckland campus

Posted by on Sep 7, 2017 in Whats-new | 0 comments

There are many unique aspects to our Buckland campus – geographical location, proximity to a national forest, and natural beauty, to name a few.

Riding arena

Riding arena

One of the first things a new visitor to campus may notice, however, is a slight smell of horses. Venture a little further in and you’ll notice a two-story arena within walking distance from the campus’ group homes. The structure is the Donalda Hansen Centre (named after former board member Donalda Hansen).

Though we offer Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) to some of our southern clientele through the Regina Equestrian Club, Buckland’s Donalda Hansen Centre is literally outside the door for clients who live in Klassen or Alex Guy houses. The two-level facility has a state-of-the-art riding arena on the main level and a classroom for Ranch youth on the second level.

So naturally, clients at our northern campus get a lot of one-on-one time with horses – and, perhaps surprisingly, it can be one of our biggest keys to unlocking the potential of each youth.

“The youth we work with at times are quite difficult to reach and even harder to motivate. Some resist treatment, and some have difficulty forming relationships and trusting others,” explained former director of programs north Randy O’Shaughnessy. “But when you’re working with a horse, you have to develop a relationship – a horse won’t have anything to do with you unless it has that element of trust.”

“Horses never lie, and they work best with a trusting and respectful relationship,” equine program leader Amanda Snell added.

“So basically, working with horses breaks down these defense barriers with youth. Through this, they’re forming a close bond and a relationship they may have always wanted – and its good practice for and can be related to working with humans, as well.”

brushing a horseBut the benefits don’t stop there.

Equine-assisted learning also provides clients with a self-confidence and helps with developing emotional intelligence and empathy.

Randy concluded, “Horses are quite in-tune with their environment, so when the youth learn to read the horse and its body language, it provides an underlying sense of empathy and leads to kids being able to look at themselves and say, ‘how am I feeling, and how is it affecting others?’

** *

Join us on September 19th from 3 – 5 p.m. as we celebrate 20 years of going forward with pride in the north with a barbeque at the campus!

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You are invited

You are invited

Posted by on Sep 5, 2017 in Whats-new | 2 comments

You are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting of Ranch Ehrlo Society.

When: Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Time: 11:30 a.m. (lunch), 12:15 p.m. meeting

Location: Executive Royal Hotel, Regina

Special guest: Jack Holden, from Cornell University, discussing trends in residential treatment

This is a great opportunity to meet the board of directors, enjoy a great lunch, and learn about the future directions of our agency.

Please RSVP to Shelley Wright at 306-781-1800 before September 20th.

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2nd annual powwow a success

2nd annual powwow a success

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in Whats-new | 1 comment

For the second year running, Ranch Ehrlo Society’s Pilot Butte campus was temporarily transformed into a powwow grounds as we celebrated changing lives with the help of our community partners.

Several dancers were in attendance for the competitive style powwow, which featured dancers in from Tiny Tot (ages 3- 5) to Golden Age (65+) in many categories (jingle, fancy, traditional, and chicken to name a few) with dozens of spectators.

“We are so incredibly excited to have all of you here,” said Ranch CEO Andrea Brittin in her opening remarks. “A powwow is a First Nations tradition. It is a fun event, it is a social event, and is a sacred event, and we are so incredibly proud at Ranch Ehrlo to be hosting our 2nd annual powwow.”

Special guests included Regina Police Service chief Evan Bray, deputy chief Dean Ray, and Cst. Dale McArthur, Saskatchewan Child Advocate Corey O’Soup, and representatives from Child and Family Services.

“Today is another great day full of culture, spirit, and friendships,” said Chief Bray. “Our role being here is to continue to foster those friendships and relationships we have, and make some new ones as well.”

The family carnival, which featured ten old-fashioned carnival games such as ring toss and can knock-down, was a popular spot for the younger crowd, who received tickets to redeem for a wide assortment of prizes at the end of the day. The bingo area remained full all day as well, running continuous games from 2 to 4 p.m.

Casion Regina volunteers

Special thanks to elder Archie Weenie, arena director Teddy Bison, announcer Howie Thompson, host drum Cree Society, the planning committee, our sponsors, and all our volunteers, for making our event so successful!

kids dancingSee you next year!

Event sponsors

Signature Printit Centres ISC  Welldone

Drummer/dancer sponsors


Canteen sponsors

Family carnival sponsors


Brienza Business Ventures

Supremem basics
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Community connections embraced at Buckland

Community connections embraced at Buckland

Posted by on Aug 25, 2017 in Whats-new | 0 comments

Ranch Ehrlo has a strong presence in the community of Prince Albert, where we have one group home within the city limits and a campus a few kilometres out.


youth participating in 4H

Our clients have helped at various events on a volunteer basis. Through relationships with organizations such as Kiwanis and Optimist Clubs of Prince Albert, we hold an annual Youth Activity Fair showcasing all the recreational opportunities available in the city. We also operate a community sports program similar to Regina’s Ehrlo Sport Venture.

But it wasn’t always that way.

“When I started as director in 2012, the Ranch seemed to have more of an internal mindset. We were happy doing a good job and going about our business and supporting kids and families; but my background was to advertise that good work to the community,” explained current director of programs north, Kevin Mugford.


youth volunteering at Relay For Life

With several years as an educator in northern Saskatchewan under his belt when he started at the agency, Kevin brought a different mindset to the campus that is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

“I had hoped that (by reaching out to the community) it would lead to positive connections for us. We would advertise our good work to attract people from Prince Albert to work at the Ranch,” Kevin explained.

One doesn’t need to look far to see that Kevin’s change in mindset has certainly paid off. The Youth Activity Fair has grown exponentially in its five years, the Outdoor Hockey League portion of the community sports program expanded last year to include youth from neighbouring Wahpeton First Nation, and Kevin fields phone calls on a regular basis asking if his youth would be available to volunteer at community events. But he is quick to give credit where credit is due.


Youth Activity Fair

“I’m so proud of our collective Ranch staff and how they’ve embraced connecting with the community. Some of my connections have contributed to that work but it’s the work of our staff members that made a difference,” he said.

“I think the word is out in Prince Albert that Ranch Ehrlo has good people, we’re grooming positive citizens, and we want to contribute to the community.”


Buckland campus will be celebrating 20 years of going forward with pride in northern Saskatchewan, and want you to join us. On September 19th from 3 – 5 p.m. you are invited to a barbeque at the campus!

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Filming his journey

Filming his journey

Posted by on Aug 16, 2017 in Whats-new | 3 comments

Rylee Fraser believes Ranch Ehrlo has changed his life, and he’s made a video to prove it.

Rylee, 13, came to Ranch Ehrlo in January of this year. He spent three months in Appleton House before his parents, Tara Fraser and Shaun Smith, came down from their home in Whitehorse to join him in the Ranch’s Family Treatment Program (FTP). They have been part of the program since April.

“It’s different (in Saskatchewan) – I’m not used to seeing fields instead of trees and mountains,” Rylee said. “But it’s a nice place, and there’s nice people.”

Since being in the FTP, Rylee has been taking videos and photos of his daily life. A budding videographer, he didn’t stop there – Rylee has edited his footage into a professional-looking movie trailer that manages to both showcase the fun he has and capture the distance he and his family travelled to get the help they needed.

Using his iPhone’s built-in movie maker, Rylee has cut together videos and photos from his family’s time in the program and overlaid it with music, text, and a voiceover.

“(Basically, it’s about) how Ranch Ehrlo changed my life,” he said. “I used to have rough times back home, but after getting tons of help and support here, it helped me change.”

“I started it one day actually because I was bored, but then I thought, ‘maybe I should do this more’,” Rylee said of his trailer. “Then I did it – and it turned out really good.”

He worked on the trailer for about a month. He plans to upload it to YouTube and burn it to a disc for FTP director Patti Petrucka to keep, as his way of thanking everyone in the program for all they’ve done.

“I think it’s a great project,” said Rylee’s mom Tara. “I’m really proud of him for all the creative things he’s done.”

Rylee is also writing about his experiences in the Family Treatment Program and hopes to get his work published through the Family Treatment Program’s writing group.

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