Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Triple Diamond Award "The Budget"

Kyle and Matt were selected as the Lava Falls "Triple Diamond Award" recipients this month. I decided to throw in a little twist to the activity they were taken on to teach a life lesson. I took the students down to St.George with an open agenda and a limited budget to simulate a typical Saturday. Kyle and Matt were told their budget and together with the Stone Ridge and Sage Canyon students who were also on a budget, planned out a day of fun activities as well as meals to keep them occupied. The students did an excellent job of staying within their budget and learned that it is possible to have fun doing healthy activities and that sometimes you have to sacrifice in some areas to increase in others. Matt and Kyle spent a good majority of their money at Iceberg for lunch and had to sacrifice and spend less money at dinner to have enough to go for ice cream afterword. All the activities other than eating, were free, but were a blast. It was a fun benefit and the kids were creative in planning out their day and "living within their means." We went hiking on the Red Hill, toured a coin shop, and relaxed and played at the park. Here are a few pictures from the benefit, congrats on your hard work Matt and Kyle!

Kyle and Matt looked for awhile trying to find the right place to approach and climb this rock.
Matt went around on the easier trail, and Kyle decided to test his climbing abilities.
Matt relaxing enjoying the view from the top!
And...lets just say that it wasn't as easy as it looked...We're not above a little bit of help and teamwork :)
Just about there....
Finally made it, amazing view of St.George!!
Getting ready to head into "The Narrows"

The Students were debating whether or not they would get stuck going through the crack

I almost got stuck...I'm happy to say that we all made it through and nobody got stuck!

After the hike we went to a coin shop, this gold bar was lost in a sunken ship that was in transit during the California gold rush. Due to it being gold and because of the historic value, the gold bar was worth $35,000. The boys were intrigued looking at all the historical coins and bills at the shop.

Matt found a bill that had a guy that everybody thought kinda looked like him

After the coin shop the students wanted to go to the park and relax, they were still exhausted from the hike!

After the park, it was time for dinner. We went to Troy's (A local BBQ place) they LOVED it!!!

Kyle went with the Ribs

and Matt with the Brisket Sandwich

Then on to Krave for dessert!!

nothing tops off the day like a bowl of ice cream, and these guys apparently love their toppings. I think Matt put a little of everything on his as he couldn't make up his mind (showing us his white personality :) )

Thursday, June 3, 2010


The weather was nice so we did advancements out by the upper pond! This week we had quite a few big advancements, we had 4 students get Graduate, 1 get Director, and 1 get Manager. I'm always impressed with the speeches the students prepare and the things they accomplish as they apply what they learn at Diamond Ranch. I decided to share one of our advancement speeches from today, so you can get a feel for how impressive our students are!

          "Today is a great day. I'm finally going up for Graduate! I have learned more at the Director level than any other level about myself. I am a leader, a friend, and most of all a mentor. I have found myself to be doing things that I would have never thought possible without DRA. Before the home visit, I wasn't sure about how I was going to deal with my addiction. It seemed to be all that I could think about, but I was determined to succeed and overcome. When I arrived home something was different. It is hard to describe, but it seemed as it did when I was a kid. I was happy! Everyone was getting along and having so much fun (something I never though possible without drugs). There was a single moment in which I looked over at the smiling faces of my family and right then I had an epiphany: I never wanted to use again. With this weight off my shoulders, I realized something about myself. I can accomplish anything with determination, love, and hard work.
        With these essential factors, I have found that I have accomplished a personal affirmation: balancing work and play. When I first came to DRA my whole world was revolving around "having fun." I simply didn't have any work ethic. At Director I have discovered that work is the key to the door of success. Once you have that key, the door is your gateway to a happy accomplished life. Simply put, work comes first. There have been many instances where I would have rather played than stay buckled down to a most difficult task. In the end, I have learned to bite my lip and get the show on the road.  Probably my biggest change here at Diamond Ranch was to learn this important life lesson.
        Although I feel accomplished, I still have many goals and personal kinks to work out at the Graduate level. The motto of Graduate is to "Serve Others." As this is a motto for the level, it is a motto of my life that I really need to take grasp of. Before going home I have already made a commitment to finish the 10th grade. Although I would much rather go home and play, this has been an important affirmation of mine, and the work needs to come first. i also wish to become one of the best O&A Mentors. All in all I've accomplished a lot of work. I've made changes I've desperately needed to make, and I'm very confident when I say that I AM GRADUATE MATERIAL!"

Here's another quote from one of the other speeches:

"I finally feel secure with who I am. This took a ton of time to achieve. I've learned to stand up for what is right, without worrying about what people think of me. As a white personality this hasn't been easy, but I feel it is my biggest accomplishment."

                          The Student Advancement Team (Ben and Chris)

                                            Dan, our newest "Director"!
                                            Shawn, our newest "Manager"
  Jerrad, Ben, Chris, and Brendan, our newest "Graduates" look out O&A !!