For more than 60 years, McCrossan Boys Ranch has been home to hundreds of boys in need of help.
It’s also home to a rich history that is being celebrated with a brand new visitor’s center.
18-year-old Carl, who is staying at McCrossan Boys Ranch, loves to share stories.
“If I’m… up here by myself, sometimes, I sit and talk with some of the horses or sit and talk with some of the goats, and… they’re just good listeners,” Carl said.
He’s been living at the ranch for just over a year now.
“The ranch has been a life saver for me. I’ve had bad situations in life but I needed to get some help and the ranch has been there for me,” Carl said.
And he’s not the only one.
“McCrossan’s campus has changed dramatically since it’s been founded: starting from five boys now to over 60 kids at the ranch at any given time,” Menning said.
Pretty soon, he and other boys will have the chance to share their stories thanks to The McCrossan Visitor’s Center.
“McCrossan’s has a rich history. It’s got so many cool things over the years that it’s been involved in,” Menning said.
The facility broke ground in October of 2018, as it digs into the history of the ranch.
“And so starting with our founder Melinda McCrossan you’re going to get to learn about McCrossan’s ties to the state of South Dakota, Melinda’s part in society in Sioux Falls in South Dakota, how she started the ranch and why,” Menning said.
It’ll even have full displays of historic McCrossan trademarks like their Wagon Train, and a giant draft horse sculpture.
There’s also going to be an archive room dedicated to past boys who’ve come and gone.
“We will have photos for our boys to come see. Like year books of McCrossan Boys Ranch over the years. We’ve had volunteers spending hours and hours of time putting photos in albums, and, that way, boys can pick off their album, make copies of pictures of their time when they come out here to show their families or their kids,” Menning said.
Showing boys like Carl just how far they’ve come…
“The memories from here… it’s something that can help them through life, and we have a lot of people that have actually came and worked hard and to have shown that we are actually people that can get through life,” Carl said.
…and just how far they can go.
“We have so many success stories at McCrossan Boys Ranch and this way those stories can be heard,” Menning said.
“It makes me feel really good because I now know that I’ve been here, and I can bring if I really want to – I’m going to bring my kids out when I have them and I’m going to bring my family; My mom and my dad want to come back out here and see the ranch,” Carl said.
And something to share for generations.
“It’s going to be good memories,” Carl said