Saturday, February 2, 2008

HEAL Program

With Chuck's new position as the coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters, we are already being used in ways we'd never have dreamed. Last Saturday we spent most of the day at The Shepherd's Ranch. All of the kids in the BBBS program are dealing with some kind of difficult situation at home, and Vicki, a co-founder of the ranch, suggested that it would be beneficial for the kids to participate in the H.E.A.L. (Horse Experiential Alternative Learning) Program. In general, there are at least 14 kids on the Waiting List to be matched with an adult mentor. So Chuck identified two who would be a good match for the program, and off we went! Unfortunately, as is often the case, one of the kids was not at home when we went to pick him up because his family had forgotten that he had a doctor's appointment. That left us with a seven year old girl who, although shy, was excited about the opportunity to spend time with horses, her favorite animal. It was quite the experience since neither Chuck nor I have had much experience around horses. The program is also God-centered, so they incorporated a Bible study time as well. It was definitely out-of-the-box and a neat experience for all. Although I have had lots of experience with experiential education, this was a new ballgame. We did take some pictures, and I'll try to post them soon.

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