Diamond Ranch Academy

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve

The girls all gathered in the cabin tonight to watch "Ice Age 3" to celebrate New Years Eve.  They were so excited to eat the taffy they had made that I barely got these pictures. :)  

"Can we take a funny picture?"

They love to pose for pictures!

-posted by Melanie

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Coins for Kids

This year our students helped our local community charity "Koins for Kids".  We were asked to send some youth to help wrap and organize presents for local children.  The girls did such a great job.  The directors of the charity and the local volunteer center we very impressed with all of our students.

We are so proud of these young ladies!!

our mission statement is to mobilize people and resources for creating solutions to community needs.  we accomplish this with a whole bunch of super-great youth volunteers like those at Diamond Ranch Academy!!
-linda sappington, washington county volunteer center 

Friday, December 25, 2009


the girls brought their blankets and treats to watch ELF on the projector after seeing santa!

"elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup"
-buddy the elf

christmas toys!

look what we got from santa!

and then they threw the balls into the air.
the result:

"my favorite picture of the day!"

"the girls had a blast with their new equipment today!"
-brooke, staff supervisor

showing off the latest fashion of DRA:

"i think my new shirt is totally cute; i love it!"


SaNtA's CoMiNg!

this year santa showed up on a golf cart!

mErRy ChRiStMaS!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

holiday spirit

a few of the girls showed their christmas spirit by sponsoring the homeless students so they will be able to participate in christmas! it was very impressive; some of them gave all the money in their ledgers! crystal springs accumulated almost three-hundred dollars in donations!

Christmas at DRA

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

At Diamond Ranch Academy, we have been working hard to prepare for the holidays.  The students have been busy decorating, writing, cooking and performing acts of service.  We are so excited to see the enthusiasm, the smiles, the anticipation.  We hope this short video presented by Ricky Dias will be helpful to you as you see the effort to make this holiday season special for your students.  We know this is a stressful time for all.  We are thankful for the trust you have placed in us to watch over and help your students, especially during the holidays.  We enjoy sharing the joy and blessings unique to this time of year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Pancake Palooza

We made pancakes in Mr. Force's science class.  Mr. Force, wearing his cooking visor, led the cooking crusade. Mr. Force ground the wheat into a fine powder that resembles the pancake mix you would buy in a box. In a blender, he blended apples, honey, salt, baking soda, and some other ingredients. Mixed together, it looked like mush. He then poured the batter on a hot griddle. The sizzle of the pancakes made my mouth water. The smell of apples and cinnamon quickly filled the room. When they were done, Mr. Force handed us each a thick, fluffy, whole wheat pancake. He taught us that Pectin, an ingredient found in apples makes the pancakes fluffy. These pancakes were amazing; nothing compares!

After our cooking lesson, we were rewarded with the treat of Force’s Cooking Corner. Mr. Force told us the story of how he got his pancake recipe. He made it so that his kids would eat healthy, but also enjoy. As kids, we usually avoid good food because we don’t think it will taste good. This is symbolic in my life as an addict, because I avoided doing good things because I believed that life wouldn’t be as fun. As I learned from Mr. Force, I was completely wrong. If you simply spice up the recipe a little bit, I have found that doing good things can be just as satisfying and even more fun.

-posted by Melanie Fox


ScRaPbOoK MaNia

Another fun Saturday of arts and crafts at DRA.  It was a chance for us to show our creativity, not to mention make chic Christmas gifts for family members. A fun activity and a bonding experience for the girls; everyone made a picture scrapbook paper with individual themes. This was definitely one of the most fun activities yet!
Samantha, WC

-posted by Melanie Fox

saturday basketball!!

"i couldn't be happier with the team. there's so many girls from all over the place that are in and out of here, it's so amazing that some of them who have never touched a basketball can come together as a team and compete on the same level as others who have been playing together for years"
-betsy, assistant athletics director

"there's not one person who dominates; not just one all-star. it's everyone giving it their all for the team. i love coaching them!"

"the game on the 12th was AMAZING! the girls were down by about 15 points and came back to win by five! it was so fun, but we told the girls not to do that again because betsy and i can't take that kind of stress!"

"the other team was tough! our girls spent most of the game wrestling the ball away from them! even though their patience was tested, i was impressed that our girls kept their cool."

the girls have a 5-2 record so far! GReat jOb, ladies!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

BirThDaY bEneFiT!

"Even though we are away from our friends, family, and home, Diamond Ranch Academy made an incredible effort to make us feel special on our birthday"

 On December 7, a van full of girls from the birthday months of November and December got to go off-ranch to enjoy themselves and be pampered. It was kept a secret till the day of the festivities. It rained as we drove away from the ranch, turning the vermillion rocks around us a murky dark red. The van full of birthday girls drove to St. George to make their first stop at Evan’s Hair College. Twelve girls were matched up with twelve cosmetology students.

Six of us went to the classroom in the back of the building to get honey facials, the other six went to get manicures. I went to get a facial first, and thought I was going to fall asleep countless times.
After that relaxing treat, the groups switched. After I got my nails painted metallic gold, I went to see other girls’ nails. Glitter nail polish was most popular among all the girls, although the neon colors were almost as equally liked.

We left Evan’s and headed down to our second, and last, stop Golden Corral Buffet. One of the most discussed topics on ranch among the students is food; the birthday girls were standing in front of an all-you-can-eat buffet. Everyone ate a lot (emphasize A LOT) of food, and one could usually find at least one student at the dessert counter at all times.


Graduations are one of the best parts of DRA. we just had a crystal springs graduation this wednesday; it was AWESOME! the theme was a universal truth: what goes around comes around.

Kelby told stories to illustrate "what goes around comes around." he had everyone laughing.
tayleigh (campus director) and stuart (therapist) presented the certificate to our graduate.
in her ending commentary, the grad spoke about the progress she's seen in each girl here at the ranch. she spoke about trials and how she's glad she had them to make her stronger and is so excited to continue learning and growing.

operation: trash can

in the beginning.... there was dirt and seaweed.
slowly, the ugly trash can transformed into art
so proud of our fish!

the girls painted some trash cans
"they look great!"
-ricky d

after dinner, we shared favorite Christmas memories, then we watched "the muppets christimas carol."

"you can't have Christmas without the muppets!!"

Saturday, December 12, 2009

tuesdays with tayleigh!

every tuesday night, the upper levels hang out with their campus director, tayleigh

the typical tuesday with tayleigh includes:
-main activity (sports, painting, decorating, games)
-group discussion

"my favorite part is the group discussion!"

"tuesdays with tayleigh helps me relate to the other girls"

"we're one big team; we work together"

"i love tuesdays with tayleigh, they're a lot of fun!"
this week, first thing on the agenda was to take pictures in the snow. then we continued decorating the big building for christmas. after dinner and discussion on "flying it well when things go wrong," we watched "Matilda," chosen by our graduate, alessia

crystal students of the week!

"any chance they get to be outside in the snow, the girls take it!"
- betsy, assistant athletics director