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Sorensonís Ranch School - Combining School, Treatment Center, and a Hard-Working Ranch in a Safe, Natural Environment


KOOSHAREM, UT- Sorensonís Ranch School, the premier rehabilitation ranch for troubled teens, relies on itsí extensive experience when treating patients. The school has teachers that have been there since the beginning. Although much has changed in the years since then, Sorensonís continues to be a place where teens can learn for a better future, work hard until the day is done, and still have enough time to play, enjoying the surrounding natural environment.

In fact, the original teachers and founders of the school, Burnell and Carroll Sorenson, thought the exact same way over 30 years ago. The school always came first, and since then the establishment has been fully accredited by the state of Utah and the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools. Secondly, the teenagers were made to work hard and actually want to go to sleep at the end of the night, an odd occurrence in todayís no sleep, television and video game-filled world. There have always been animals, and they were Burnellís recipe to treatment in the early days; he used to say ďTeens are like colts. Let them have too much and they do pretty much what they want, but put them in reigns and a bridle, and we can control them with just the right amount of pressure.Ē

According to long-time employees who have remained essential to the programís team, there is one thought that has never been ignored in times of trouble or extreme cases. That is most importantly, the program must operate around a change of environment for long periods of time; giving the teens positive experiences so all treatment is not done in vain. This ensures that in the end, accomplishment will always build self-esteem, a wonderful product of the Sorenson equation.

Another important part of the program that isnít widely known is the amount of true fun the students have while they are changing behaviors, tackling mental problems and going through school. There are frequent camp outs, cookouts, trips to the local National Parks, fishing, boating, swimming and other various activities. These reward the teens with comfort and enjoyment for going through the tiresome process of becoming a healthier and better social individual.

If anything has changed in the 30 years, however, itís that the problems that teens face today are much different that what they were back then. Many more divorces, adoptions, illnesses, and drugs have been introduced or popularized since then. The program has successfully adapted to all of these with bringing in new staff members with licenses in therapy dealing with all of the above. They are just another essential part of the Sorenson team; a part that no doubt provides depth that could not be given in the early days.

Have things changed at Sorensonís Ranch in 30 years? Certainly! However, the important focuses and goals have not changed one bit since the beginning when the school started with just two teachers, five students, and one cook. One important thing that remains the same is that every person there loves what they do, and it has become who they are.

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