Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ranch life.

There's this thing called Post Ranch Depression. Approximately 70 or so people suffer from this disorder once a year. It's real. And it bites.

This summer i worked at Birch Creek Service Ranch as a counselor/cook for teenagers.
I've been back in civilization for a month and I still find myself bringing the ranch into my daily conversations. I know that it's annoying. I can't help it, people.

The reason post ranch depression is so common
is because of how real and true the ranch makes people feel. We have no rules, but we live and teach principles: be service oriented, think of others first, and challenge yourself. By following these principles and by serving others side by side, kids start to build REAL friendships that have substance rather than relationships based on outside stereotypes.

We have a camp creed that hangs on the wall by the kitchen. It has become one of my favorite quotes:

"Learn to like what doesn't cost much.
Learn to like reading, conversation, music.
Learn to like plain food, plain service, plain cooking.
Learn to like fields, trees, brooks, hiking, rowing, climbing hills.
Learn to like people, even though some of them may be different...different f
rom you.
Learn to like to work and enjoy the satisfaction doing your job as well as it can be done.
Learn to like the song of birds, the companionship of dogs.
Learn to like gardening, puttering around the house, and fixing things.
Learn to like the sunrise and sunset, the beating of rain on the roof and windows, and the gentle fall of snow on a winter day.
Learn to keep your wants simple and refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others."
Lowell Bennion

One of the biggest lessons that I have learned from the ranch over the years is to enjoy the simple things in life. It's easy to get caught up in materialistic luxuries; it's easy to take all of the little blessings for granted. But, if we fill up our lives with the small and simple joys, we can have a life full of true happiness. At the ranch we are temporarily outside of the real world. We live in complete simplicity. That's why we love it. That's why we keep coming.

Symptoms of Post Ranch Depression consist of random desires to sleep outside, to call locals and offer yard assistance, and to eat excessive amounts of oatmeal. If you find yourself feeling guilty for sleeping in a comfortable bed and for taking daily showers, there is a large possibility that you have PRD. If you think you might be suffering from Post Ranch Depression, please contact fellow campers and counselors for support.

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