Our staff work very hard to make the atmosphere during the Christmas season festive and positive. Activities are planned months in advance. The morning usually starts out with a favorite breakfast of waffles or pancakes. No school classes take place on this day!! Students are able to relax and take extra time writing in journals, writing letters home, playing games in the dorms, participating in festive activities like pulling taffy, etc. There is also a tasty Christmas lunch of ham or turkey with all kinds of other great “fixins” like mashed potatoes, bread stuffing and pie or brownies for dessert.
Santa makes a special delivery to the students with a stocking full of gifts and goodies for everyone. Santa also brings campus gifts such as new recreation equipment, classroom supplies, video games, etc.
Thanksgiving is a fun holiday for the students at Diamond Ranch Academy. The kids are treated to a favorite breakfast, usually waffles or blueberry pancakes. Then they all gather outside for a campus “Turkey Bowl” flag football tournament. Afterward students return to their dorms for an extended nap/relaxation time. They can sleep if they wish, play board games or write letters home. Then comes LUNCH!!! A traditional Thanksgiving meal is prepared with a variety of pies for dessert.
Many of the students also participate in some type of service project. We have written letters to soldiers, volunteered at a local soup kitchen and made blankets for a battered women and children shelter. Students are able to reflect on their blessings, both the blessings they have and the ones they may have taken for granted. It is also a time to reflect on the coming year and set some goals. All in all it is great time of year…
Halloween has evolved into a huge event at Diamond Ranch Academy. School is only half-day. Staff members dress up in Halloween costumes. Students make homemade costumes and compete in contests. A big celebration lunch is prepared. A local company sets up huge inflatable slides and obstacle courses. A rock wall and a gladiator style jousting ring are also provided. Staff members run a variety of booths. We have relay races, a haunted house and other contests where all students earn a prize (usually candy). It is a day our students can’t wait to participate in!!
DRA Summer Bash
Every year soon after the 4th of July students at Diamond Ranch Academy are treated to a Summer Bash. The local movie theater is reserved for our group early in the morning. Everyone gets popcorn, candy, drinks and a choice between two newly released movies. After the movie everyone returns to the ranch for a BBQ lunch served outside under the shade trees.
Then the fun really begins; it is a summer bash after all!! Water games, giant slip-n-slide and a dunk tank (the “dunkees” more often than not end up being staff members rather than students), but most importantly NO SCHOOL!!! It’s a great event that has become highly anticipated by staff members and fondly remembered by students for months afterward.
Other Religious Holidays
We support and encourage our students to celebrate and participate in the activities of their chosen religious holidays. We also celebrate Jewish and Muslim holidays with those students who wish to join in. We recognize that Holidays away from family can be difficult. Whenever religious holidays occur, we work to make it a special time for our students.