From its inception in 2014, Stillwater Ranch has primarily focused on providing equine-assisted therapies. For years folks asked us to consider offering additional services, activities, and programming on the ranch. It was finally time to take a closer look at how Stillwater Ranch could make a greater impact for Veterans in our community and beyond. What followed was a deliberate journey toward better understanding all that Stillwater Ranch was meant to be under the guidance of a nonprofit consultant.
After sending out hundreds of surveys to Veterans and civilians, having dozens of face-to-face conversations at community events, and conducting several roundtable discussions with Veteran resources and mental health organizations, we came to realize there is a long list of unmet Veteran needs in our community. We had to face that fact that we couldn’t possibly solve all those needs, no matter how much we’d like to try.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed, we combed through the extensive list and chose those top needs we could best serve in the ranch environment. We then grouped them and realized we were working with four distinct service areas. These came to be known as Stillwater Ranch’s Foundational Pillars: Comradery, Family Support, Alternative Therapies, Education and Trainings. Within each pillar, we can provide a variety of programs and activities for not only the Veteran but the entire family unit, another area that is often overlooked.
Our 2019 journey led us to the discovery that Stillwater Ranch is a hub, not only of activity but of extensive resources geared specifically toward Veterans and their families. Within each of our Foundational Pillars, we provide a wide range of programming by bringing together internal and external subject-matter experts. Because of that, the sky is the limit on what we can offer as long as our Veteran leadership agrees we are staying within our Foundational Pillar wheelhouse. As a hub, we provide a “one-stop shopping” experience for our Veterans who no longer need to seek services in several different locations. Once Stillwater Ranch is experienced, we become a trusted, safe place for Veterans to seek additional resources. This is their ranch where they and their families can find fun, support, growth, healing, and so much more.