Ensign Ranch Testimonials 
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My son and I live in Juneau Alaska. I have a friend in Vancouver that told me about Ensign Ranch, so we juggled our summer road trip to include this campout. What an amazing weekend! My son is 16 and has Down syndrome--you may have seen him, he liked to help the security people direct traffic or simply just hang out with them. This campout was so good for him! He has only been to one dance in his life, his 8th grade dance, but he wouldn't dance with anyone--although he loves music and loves to dance at home. At the Friday night Family Dance, several women approached him and coaxed him out onto the dance floor. That's all it took, he was a different person after that first dance! His shyness went away and his confidence soared. Not only did he dance when asked, but he asked others to dance with him. As a dad watching all of this happen in front of my eyes, it brought tears to my eye--as it does again just typing this. On Saturday, we went on the rafting trip and as fate would have it, a 16 year old gal got in the raft with him. They chatted like normal teenagers all the way down--again, this is not something that he would normally have done. Then he even asked her to dance Saturday night! I now laugh that I took a boy and brought a young adult back!! What a blessing it was to experience this social growth for him in just a few days!

Everything seemed to run so smoothly. The only suggestion I might add would be to have another tent or two set up in the dining area--there never seemed to be enough places to sit and eat. 

Thank you and all of those who worked so hard to make sure that we had a wonderful weekend! It was a beautiful place, with wonderful people!


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A sister with her children wrote:

My family had a WONDERFUL time at the camp out. I feel really grateful to the stake presidents and their wives and the area leaders and the singles reps who took so much of their time to make this happen.

I have a thirteen year old who has Asperger's syndrome and he REALLY does NOT like camping:). We talked him into going and on our way home he sat in the front and visited with me about our weekend. He expressed that he had a good experience and really enjoyed his time there, (miracle:)). He loved the free time to go explore in the woods and the river with his brother and sister. He liked the challenge of the rock wall and he LOVED the food (so did the rest of us!) . My fourteen year old loved the archery and the tomahawk throw, it was fun to watch them. I like that there was a youth fireside and dance too for the teenagers. He said he made some really good friendships with other great teenagers that he wouldn't have. They are still communicating now and planning to get together.

My ten year old loved the water slide, the hay ride and horses and making new friends. She found comfort in making friends and realizing there were so many other kids with parents who were divorced too, but they were okay. I don't know if that makes sense... 

I really enjoyed the speakers at the firesides and church. All of the classes were uplifting and left me feeling stronger and wanting to do better. It was so nice to camp and feel like I was in a safe environment with my kids where we could just enjoy family time together playing games, carving sticks with pocket knives (my boys) drinking hot cocoa and looking at the stars. At the same time, we were also able to make new friends through the many activities and dances. It was fun to get to know and visit with a lot of great single men and women and their children. I also made some friendships that will last.


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A brother from the South Sound committee:

Thank You! If you hadn't helped me to go to Ensign, I probably would still be in my "shell", and not met the wonderful people I have, nor made the new friends I have made, and finding more to boot. 


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A young primary age girl:

Thank you for putting the campout together and helping those who needed some time to know other people who were divorced.  You helped me to know I fit in.


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A youth:

Thank you again for taking the time to support us!  It is so nice to know there are other children who have gone through divorce too.  Thank you for taking the time you could have spent with  your family to bring together families who need each other.  Thanks again. 

 

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