Our archives are full of content created by former staff – pictures snapped, interviews done, notes taken. It’s a great way to look back at the past.

But sometimes we get a special treat and come across things created by our former clients. Recently former staff member Helen Finucane gifted us with the Ehrlo Express, a 59-page booklet filled with everything from original drawings, to album reviews, to interviews with staff and other youth, all created by the youth of Kruzinenski House in 1990.

It’s a blast from the past, featuring some staff who still work here today! 

This week, we’re looking back at the answer to “what is the most rewarding part of working at Ranch Ehrlo?” from former staff members! While a lot has changed, we think these answers stood the test of time.

Geoff Pawson (former founder and CEO): The young people, and we’ve seen all kinds of young people grow, change, and mature. Not all of them do well, but we’ve seen all kinds of young people become really, really fine individuals. Probably the most exciting part of working at the Ranch are the kids.

Oli Erickson (former principal of Schaller): I think there are many rewards to working at Ranch Ehrlo. One of the things I really enjoy is the openness of the kids that come to Ranch Ehrlo. They do not have any pretensions, or they don’t try to portray themselves as something they are not. They are pretty much open books and it is very easy to get to know them and that is the fun part of it all for me.

Jim Ennis (former director of resource development): I think it’s dealing with the kids and being around the kids. I came to work at Ranch Ehrlo because I like kids and I haven’t changed my mind. I think they are really, really neat. I always admire kids because they learn. One of the things I learned from them is that they’ll adjust to change a lot quicker than adults do.

Rick Norick (former director of residential care): The most rewarding part is seeing kids come here and seeing how much they grow and how much they achieve. The big rewards are having those contacts afterward, like some of the kids phoning and saying, “I’m doing well,” or, “I’m doing this.” It doesn’t always have to be well, but mainstreaming the contact is important.

Bob Bodnar (former VP and director of education and Ehrlo Community Services): The most rewarding part of working at the Ranch is seeing young people grow up and mature, and make a good life for themselves.

Russ Matthews – (former vice-principal of Schaller and founder of the OHL): It’s quite the challenge. Probably the most rewarding part is being able to work with people and not being locked into a curriculum. A lot of teachers go to work and they have to do from page 25 to 32 in one day. Here at the Ranch, we are allowed to make our own assessment of what we want to do, and then we are allowed to create. The most rewarding part is the freedom to be creative and do our own thing.