“Coming into summer 2016 as an Intern I knew my time at Candlelight would be a memorable and wholly worthwhile experience. However, I did not expect what a change the ranch would spark in not only me, but the kids that come out for a fun filled time in nature. Everyday I drive through the gate of the ranch with butterflies, excited to see kids’ smiles of amazement and wonder at the world around them. Each group has its own character and personality, but all share the same increased enthusiasm for nature whenever they leave.
The Candlelight Ranch Foster Camp has come out a few times this summer, and each time I am excited, overjoyed and moved by the strides the kids make in learning about nature and in turn themselves. In all that goes on in the presumed world of a foster child Candlelight Ranch is an oasis of peace and tranquility. I see the children unwind and truly have fun on our zip lines, at Chillville and the tree house, at Jeri Springs, on hikes and with the horses.
The first foster camp that came out in my time at the ranch I had a four old little girl named Ja’niyah tell me, “I could just stay outside all day and live just fine!” Ja’niyah’s sister Kitty, who had a broken arm at the time, didn’t stop smiling the full two days they were at the ranch, all she wanted to do was hike and learn about all the plants and butterflies that call the ranch home. I think Candlelight shows these kids that in all the confusion they may have inside their different homes they can always go outside and nature will be there for them.”