Florida Rancher Summer 2017 : Page 3

of people. It is important to always have the rope in case the cow tries to break away and run. You are there to keep the heifer safe and to make sure no harm comes to her or others. Again, I asked about the accident, and he told me that his fellow rancher never let go of the rope but got too close and received a kick from a very stubborn cow. As we continued to talk, John said to me, “Mr. Frye, kids at the ranch need to know that you (meaning all the ranch staff) will never let go of the rope.” That statement has been on my mind ever since he made it that day with such confidence. You see, “never letting go of the rope” is what we have been doing for almost 60 years now. In fact, it is what I would call the necessity of parenting and over the years we have helped both children and parents by either holding on to the rope personally or helping a struggling parent hold on. Just as my parents were there for me as I grew up, got married and raised my own family; we are there for our daughter and her family today. While the rope has grown longer over the years, the knot is still there at the end and we are still holding on in case the need arises where our help is needed. Here at the Youth Ranches, our staff is the family for the children who come to us, whether it is in one of our residential programs like the Boys Ranch or our camping programs. Once they arrive, we take hold of the rope, we tie a knot at the end and we do not let go! For almost 60 years now we have held on to many ropes! That is why men and women from their 20’s through their 70’s still keep in touch and bring their families to visit “home”. We have attended graduations; various swearing in ceremonies, weddings and child births and sadly, funerals throughout these years. All because our kids and their families know we continue to hold on to the rope. As the years go by the symbolic rope still represents the fact that we are here just in case we are needed. Like the time when one of our former ranchers became disabled and we made sure his electricity stayed on while he recovered. Or one of our former youth, now a mother herself struggled with her own child and reached out to her former cottage parents for guidance. Or the Here at the Youth Ranches, our staff is the family for the children who come to us, whether it is in one of our residential programs like the Boys Ranch or our camping programs. relatives of a fallen rancher not being able to afford the cost of his funeral and reached out to us for help. The knot which is now the “bond” remains intact forever. In this issue of the Rancher, you will read about some of our youth, hear their stories and see their pictures. Like every year before, many of our ranchers will be preparing to leave us to be reunited with their families or move into adulthood. Some will seek higher education and go off to college or trade schools, some will join the military and others will go straight into the workforce with skills learned while living in one of our residential communities. We that remain, with your help and support, will continue to hold the rope just in case they need a helping hand or a calm and reassuring voice as they continue their paths to success! Thank you for your love, support, generosity and belief in what we do every day for God’s children. Most of all, thank you for holding on to our rope with its big knot at the end and allowing us to serve children and families in need! God Bless, Bill THE RANCHER  SUMMER 2017  3

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