Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Grand Reopening

During the summers of 2013 and 2014 things were way too quiet at the ranch. We didn't operate any sessions and the future of the program was uncertain. With the organizational structure dependent almost entirely on volunteers, we had operated ten consecutive summers of ranch sessions, acquired and developed a beautiful 80-acre piece of pinyon juniper forest, complete with power, water, a comfortable and functional lodge, one bunkhouse and a nice basketball court. All of this was due to generous donors, hours of volunteer labor, and the faithful participation of many young people and their families. Amazingly, this was all accomplished without accumulating any debt.

Cofounder and director, Eric Peterson, had abandoned the ranch to pursue graduate school in 2010, leaving the entire program on the shoulders of cousin, Adam Bateman, the other cofounder and director. Adam directed alone for the summers of 2011 and 2012, and with a great staff of counselors and cooks, and a supportive board, chaired by Bryce Johnson, managed four very successful sessions of 12-15 year old boys. Adam is a professional artist, an art professor at Weber State University, and the full-time director of the Central Utah Art Center (CUAC) in Salt Lake City. After the Birch Creek sessions of 2012, he was stretched too thin with time and resources to maintain all of these positions. In spite of his passion for the ranch and his desire to see the tradition continue, he had to give up his volunteer position at Birch Creek.

Two summers with the ranch tradition on hold was enough to light a fire under Eric, Adam, and a growing group of board members and former camper families anxious to see the program continue. A new board of directors has come together and is pledging very generous financial resources to help the program continue. The organization has hired back Eric Peterson as full-time director, to organize and prepare for a grand reopening of the ranch this coming summer 2015. Lowell Bennion started the ranch tradition in the early 1960s and we feel it is an inspired program that holds a unique and important place in the growth and development of those who participate. Please help us to keep the tradition going by sharing your ranch experience, encouraging 12-15 year olds in your families and communities to participate, and if you are able, by donating to the non-profit.


The dates for summer 2015:

Session 1 (12-15 year old boys): June 15 - July 8

Session 2 (12-15 year old boys): July 13 - August 5

The cost is $1,500 per session.

Please put the dates on your calendars and pass the word 

Apply Now

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Where do I start? Birch Creek was most definitely one of the best highlights of my summer. Easy. I really loved the ranch because we had such great counselors, awesome food, AMAZING experiences. One of my favorite things we did were the hikes, because they were physically challenging, but created a fun and learning environment. I also was impressed by the campers and how everyone was tried their hardest to work hard there, and how cool and different they were. Chapel was one of my favorite experiences, because I really felt connected to everyone, and like I was in a safe environment where I could share fellings. The ranch was an epic adventure! Everyone says to me, Jake, that ranch must have been a character building experience, because, My you sure a great kid, before you were great, but now you are even better. And you got big muscles. Ha. I really loved the ranch and am looking forward to coming back.

Jacob Alder


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Recently I have realized that one of the things that is most important to me is the discovery of sanctuaries. Our lives are full of complications and headaches, in the midst of all the chaos I think the places that matter most are the places where we can find inspiration and peace of mind. Birch Creek Service Ranch is, without a doubt, one of those sanctuaries for me. The summer of 2009 was the first summer I spent at Birch Creek and I hope it will be the first of many.
Because of all the principles taught at the ranch I was able to forget about all of the anxieties and selfish problems that I had at the beginning of the summer. I think the main reason this was possible is because I truly loved working with all of the kids I had the opportunity to meet this summer. When you are at Birch Creek everything you are doing makes sense, this is true because all of the values and goals of the ranch are honest. I only wish that my parents had sent me to Birch Creek when I was a kid.

Brette Richmond!


Letter to the ranch: ok well, birch creek service ranch is something i look forward to every year, i have been going for five years, and am planning on going as a counciler this coming summer. I've learned lots while at birch creek. Its helped me learn to like the simple things. Its taught me how to work really hard and not be lazy. Enjoy different types of food, and learned to be more organized. Also while i'm there i make a "second family" type thing, i get to know the people and become really close to them, so i make tons of new friends there.
There is a majority of the campers who come back for various years, after their first, then later sometimes become counciler.
so this is why i love birch creek and am hoping to be able to go back as a counciler!!

Stefano Martinengo

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


i absolutely love Birch Creek and i feel that i get more out of it then Birch gets out of me(if that made any sense). What i'm trying to say is, every year i've gone i've thought about the purpose of the camp and how just helping a stranger for four hours can really make a difference in their lives. But each year when the session comes to a close, i notice my consistent mood, content. Starting when i was twelve and it was my first year at Birch, before hand i was struggling with anxiety. Birch was only a week that summer, but it stopped my anxiety right off the bat, from hiking/crawling crazy steep mountains to working hard four hours each day.
Each session i've attended, i have met the nicest, funniest people and whether we like it or not, we're like a family by the end. I was able to be a youth counselor this past summer and the knowledge of setting an example for the campers really pushed me to work my best each day(something i struggled with as a camper).
So pretty much i'm trying to say, Birch Creek brings out the best in me.
(sorry it's so long!! i guess i love birch too much:)

Heidi Bennion