Ranch Ehrlo hosts a unique winter games

Tyler Clarke
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Pulling back after laying a smooch on the snout of Rocky, a 21-year-old horse, Mayor Greg Dionne let out a belly laugh to the delight of an audience of youth.


Prince Albert Police Service Chief Troy Cooper laid a smooch on Scotty, 20, to a similar reaction from the youth.

The equestrian-themed kissing booth was unique to this year’s Ranch Ehrlo Society Winter Games, in recognition of Valentine’s Day.

“Today is an awesome opportunity for the kids to have fun,” Ranch Ehrlo director Kevin Mugford said.

“We bring them all together, and in the spirit of this year -- the Olympics -- and at the same time they’re enjoying themselves.”

About 50 youth gathered at the Ranch Ehrlo Buckland campus on Friday, coming from both the Saskatoon-area location and the Prince Albert locations to take part in the games.

Starting with a short torch run -- tied up cat tails dipped in animal fat bound in flint and steel -- the youth proceeded to take part in various events, including hockey shootouts and milk jug curling.

Although the Ranch Ehrlo Society takes in “youth at risk,” as Mugford previously clarified to the Daily Herald, they’re not “bad children.”

Today is an awesome opportunity for the kids to have fun. Kevin Mugford

After a brief lunch break when Dionne and Cooper joined various youth in puckering up for Rocky and Scotty, Mugford noted that things are progressing well at the facility.

“I hate to say (we’re doing) that much better than previous years because I don’t want to downplay the progress of previous youth and staff, but we’re just so pleased with how things are going with the children,” he said.

“We’re just so proud of the consistency and the progress and the therapeutic gains our children are making.”

After Friday’s Winter Games, many of the youth went home to see their families for the long weekend, or the week, after which they’re expected to return to finish their stints with the organization, which prepares youth to go back home to their home communities on a permanent basis.

Organizations: Prince Albert, Ranch Ehrlo Society, Daily Herald

Geographic location: Saskatoon

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