All posts by Jasmine Hansen

Spring is A-Buzz with Activity at YBGR

Spring is almost over, and man has it been a busy one at YBGR.

The youth enjoyed the second annual Spring Social Supper on May 12th.  This year’s event featured a fantastic meal from Sodexo that the youth got to pre-ordered on RSVP cards; a candy bar full of treats thanks to a generous donor; and whimsical decorations in the dining hall thanks to some wonderful neighbors that wanted to help make the night a hit.

The youth went thrifting at Goodwill to find attire for the event and to take their turn at the photo booth.  They also got to practice their social and coping skills in a festive environment and enjoyed the night off from chores as staff and volunteers did all the serving and cleaned up.

On May 26th YA and YBGR celebrated six youths that have overcome a lot in their short lives and earned the honor of graduating high school. Youth were celebrated by their families, staff, and peers in the Chapel and enjoyed a cupcake reception after the ceremony.

The following week was a blur of activity as the kids were getting ready for school break and the annual Spring Fling Clean-up on June 1st. Youth and YA staff have been getting ready for the annual clean-up since late January when they headed into the greenhouse to plant seeds. They nurtured their seedlings to life and learned a lot along the way, from growing in a greenhouse, how to remediate less than ideal soil, not to over or underwater, and patience. Their efforts paid off and the campus is abuzz with happy bees from the seven hives YA has going this year flitting from flower to flower gathering their pollen to make some delicious honey!

YBGR Host First Annual Spring Social

Spring Social

YBGR’s first annual Spring Social was held Friday, May 13th, at the Nutter Dining Hall. Kids in the residential treatment program miss a number of milestones in their young lives while getting needed treatment. The Spring Social was an opportunity for them to get dressed up, have a nice meal, practice social graces, and enjoy a new experience.
Community volunteers and staff worked to decorate the dining hall. Donors from the community helped to provide attire for those youth that needed something nice to wear. Staff and Foundation members served as wait staff, delivering plated meals, refilling glasses, and bussing dishes. One of the Lodge Program Managers commented,
‘I have never seen so many smiling faces all at the same time and place since I have been here”
Thank you to our generous donors who ensured the kids could have a special meal and also had appropriate clothing to wear and to all the volunteers who helped put on the event.
It meant so much to the kids!

YBGR Host A VIP Train the Trainer Event

In early August, YBGR hosted over 30 teachers, school resources officers, and community program staffers for a Violence Intervention and Prevention Response (VIP Response) Training class. These attendees became certified trainers in VIP and will be able to train others within their organizations to utilize these de-escalation techniques should a member of the populations they serve become escalated.

“Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch has been equipping staff for working with challenging children and their families since 1957.  YBGR is now going to make some of this training available to the public through the Learning Cooperative in which YBGR seeks to equip other agencies and professionals with the tools needed to effectively navigate this ever-changing field,” says John Dailey, Trainer at YBGR. “YBGR adopted the VIP Response training model over 7 years ago and has seen great value in the model with a reduction of the need for aggression prevention maneuvers. The individuals in this training will not only be trained in these methodologies and tactics, but also be able to train others within their organizations.”

“One of the great things about the VIP Response program is that it is fully customizable for any organization to adopt the elements that they are needing, be it crisis negation, evasion methods to prevent assault humanely and safely, and, should the situation warrant, prevent someone from causing harm to themselves.” Daily went on to say.

VIP Response’s goal is to provide as much of a hands-off de-escalation approach as necessary by training individuals to identify signs of escalation and intervene before an individual becomes assaultive. Attendees gained a deeper understanding of how, psychologically, humans react the way that they do and how to avoid triggering and escalating the situation to a more violent level.

The training was made possible by a learning cooperative grant from PacificSource and the individuals in attendance are certified trainers for their organizations for the next three years.

Robbie Chapel 50th Celebration

In celebration of the Franklin and Merle Robbie Chapel’s 50th year, a commemorative service will be held in the Chapel on the YBGR campus Sunday, September 12, 2021 at 9:30 AM, followed by a rededication of the Stephen Paul Healing Plaza.

The Spiritual Life Program has been an integral part of the YBGR experience since the Ranch opened in 1957.  Christian based in focus, the Ranch SLP’s strives to provide support and guidance to youth of all religions or beliefs.

Who better to explain the importance of weaving Spiritual Life into the very fabric of the Ranch than the Founder, Franklin Robbie?  In the October 1962 issue of the Wrangler, Franklin wrote:

“In accepting a boy from a juvenile court, there is nothing in the court order outlining the necessity or importance of religious training, but it becomes part of our moral responsibility to strive to meet all the needs of each boy given into our care.  That includes more than providing food, clothing, shelter, education, and recreation.  It embraces trying hard to take the place of parents in defining and teaching moral and spiritual values as well.  We are keenly aware that ‘man doth not live by bread alone but by every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God,’ (Matthew 4:4) and we have many encouraging evidences of the value of the religious emphasis included in our daily program at Yellowstone Boys Ranch.”

Much has changed since 1962 (most notably girls being accepted at the Ranch starting in the early 1980’s), but the importance of spiritual wellbeing as an integral part of treatment is more relevant today than ever before.  For more information on the celebration, contact Kristi at 406.656.8772 or

2021 Yellowstone Conference

Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch would like to invite you to attend our fifth annual Yellowstone Conference: Resilience In The Face Of Adversity being held on our main campus in Billings, MT on Thursday September 16th. This year’s conference is focused on is focused on adversity, resilience, and change Montana families, providers, and organizations are facing with professional panel discussions on:


  • Treatment & Technology
  • Family Voice: Engaging Families
  • Underserved Voices: Igniting Change
  • Collaborating for Outcomes


Registration is open now and the cost of the conference is $25.00 and includes lunch. CEUs and OPI credits are available upon request. Register Here