Bar -O- Boys Ranch
Originally known as Bar-None-Camp, this became our work project in 1955 and for the next two years. Through a member who was a school counselor, Marge Speicher, we became interested in this camp, John Ostrum, Supervisor of Education, came and told us of a dream to start a rehabilitation camp in Del Norte County. He had worked in such a camp in Santa Barbara. His mother a Soroptimist in Twin Falls Idaho, would buy the ranch for him to use for such a purpose.
In July 1956 the old dude ranch, containing sixty acres of land, one three bedroom house with two old cabins, and a stable was purchased by John Ostrum and his wife Mary. Bar O Boy Ranch became a Rehabilitation Camp for boys 13 through 17 years of age, who have been committed, to the ranch by a Juvenile Judge.
We felt there should be a level at which these boys could be helped; knowing that good character may be brought out when given the proper opportunity.
We formed a committee, met with the Board of Supervisors, and presented programs to other service organizations and the community to enlist support of this project. Soroptimist Committee, John Ostrum, and Roy Hunt began by enlisting aid from mills and lumber companies. With their cooperation together with that of interested citizens, we made repairs at the ranch with space for ten boys, cooking and dining facilities, and facilities for school classes.
Soroptimist worked on the committee during the needs process, and through working with other service organizations obtained Livestock, materials and lumber for expansion, shop equipment, power and hand tools, hobby tools, mechanic tools, two old cars, pots and pans, dishes, refrigerator, library materials, recreational equipment, record player, games, and a radio.
We purchased individual Christmas gifts for the boys in 1956 & 1957, purchased a clothes dryer, and a 16 mm sound projector with large screen, provided movies weekly and various magazine subscriptions, teen age books, and record club.
Supporting Bar O Boys Ranch has been one of our ongoing projects for over fifty years now. In recent years, our primary focus has been on education.