- 2011 in Review: Psalm 9:1-2 "I will Praise you with all my heart. I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with JOY because of you." A short paragraph can only give a few highlights of the year. 2011 finished our 35th year of serving God, our community and beyond. The entire year either exceeded or maintained all of our expectations. Of course, like all of us, we have challenges, but as we look back, we can vividly see God's guidance, wisdom, strength, and as He promises "He has provided our needs". Just for the record I will list a few challenges: My health for 3-4 months, lightening strikes impacting us for 2 months, death of two great ranch supporters. A few highlights: Serving 60 agencies, record in volunteer hours, our end of the year goal of $20,000 in donations was exceeded, We received national recognition for our work with disabilities, one new military camp was added, a record harvest in crops, record lumberjacks, nine teenagers baptized at teen camp, three Eagle Scout project, plus much needed maintenance and mechanical equipment.
- Sponsor a soldier/family in 2012: We are excited and honored to add another weekend for our military in 2012. We anticipate serving another 100 military soldiers/families. Your involvement is needed. Please consider sponsoring a weekend for $275. Perhaps you could do a fundraiser of some sort? Another important way to be involved is serving at the candlelight dinner on Saturday evening each retreat. If you know of military families who would benefit from a weekend like this, please let them know about our retreats. Contact Steve@ironwoodsprings.com nCheck the website! Miraclelodge.com
- A NEW retreat this year called 'Spouses and Children of Deployed Military' March 30-April 1. Much to our surprise, this retreat is already full. A waiting list is started. So funding now will be our challenging as these weekend retreats are free of charge for all military. These retreats are vital to the health and well-being of our soldiers, let's continue to support them.
- Turkey Hunt - May 10-13 is our only turkey hunt this year with the NWTF (National Wild Turkey Federation). This hunt is for WOUNDED WARRIORS and those with Disabilities. There is no charge for this hunt except for purchasing your turkey license. Volunteers/guides/sponsors are needed.
- New Staff: Sam Sutter has been our camp program director the past few years. We want to thank him for his service and the blessing he has been to the youth who have attended Ironwood camps over the years. He has taken a position the Minneapolis with a faith based ministry called Treehouse.
- Joanne McGulpin has come on full time as an office assistant. She has been a friend and volunteer of the ranch for several years. Her sister, Shelly has been an employee for 10+ years. Welcome Joanne. Send her a note email@example.com
- MONSTER TRUCK/DAVE ROEVER - 4th annual Miracles Happen Festival will be July 27-29, 2012. Mark it on your calendar! We are hopeful to have USA 1 4X4 Monster truck with Evert Jasmer. Evert was recently inducted into the Monster Truck Hall of Fame. His breathtaking display is 100% military/faith based. He will be presenting both on Friday night for the youth and Saturday afternoon during the Military Celebration. If you have heard of Dave Roever, let me know, we would love to have him come and speak also at the military celebration. Check his website www.daveroever.com Sponsors are needed for both these events. Other events: 5k run & bike ride, a kids carnival, National Guard climbing wall, Tony Melendez in concert as well as other big Saturday afternoon entertainment. Got any new ideas? Want to join our committee?
I recently enjoyed the Christmas season as once again we celebrated Christ's birth and enjoyed the entire Christmas spirit, from ringing bells, opening gifts, listening to Christmas songs, my favorite being "Oh holy night" to attending church with family and friends.
I was reading a few weeks back the December issue of Highline Hi-lites, a monthly newsletter published by People's Cooperative Services. The Hi-lites is a twelve page newsletter full of valuable information for all its members. I noticed when I was finished reading that the words 'Happy Holidays' which are very appropriate were mentioned throughout, but I did not see the words MERRY CHRISTMAS anywhere is the issue. I am sure in years past it was there so I was hoping it was just an oversight.
I contacted People's and got a response saying, "No, MERRY CHRISTMAS was intentionally left out so as not to offend anyone, and be politically correct". I responded back that I was greatly offended as a member by not recognizing the most celebrated day for the Christian community. The saddest part is this is just a reminder of the subtle ways that God is being taken out of our society and yet we don't hesitate to sing, "God Bless America...stand beside her and guide her" or "My Country Tis' of Thee, sweet land of liberty" or say "In God we Trust", and "One Nation under God".
Remember if we don't speak up for our values, others will and ours will be gone. Our constitutional freedoms are already being challenged and at times seem to be on life support. Let's stand up, or in my case I can't stand up so I speak up for our values and Keep America One Nation under God. If you are a member of People's Cooperative Services, please contact them and kindly encourage them next year to recognize the reason for the season by saying Merry Christmas to its members. Many would be grateful. Our business is well served by People's Cooperative Services vision and hard work and so are all the members. Keep up the good work. Don't quit, finish strong. Bob Bardwell
- Calendar of Events in 2012:
February 20 Annual Pancake Supper
March 2-4 "A Time to Sew" Quilters Retreat
March 30-Apr 1 *NEW* Retreat for Spouses/children of Deployed Military
April 27-29 Operation Welcome Home Weekend
May 5 Crossroads Horse Ministry
May 10-12 5th Annual "Wounded Warriors Weekend" and Turkey Hunt for disabled individuals
May 17 28th Annual Benefit Auction at Ironwood
May 18-20th ISCR Women's Equestrian Retreat
May 25-28 Memorial Day Weekend and Cookout
June 9 Wheels & Heels of Fire 10K Event
June 9-14 26th National Wheelchair Sports Camp
June 18-21 ISCR Junior I Trailblazers Camp
June 25-29th ISCR Junior II Highriders Camp
July 2-6th Wrangler DAY Camp - Beginners
July 8-11th Boys Spiritual Outdoor Adventure Retreat
July 11-13th Wrangler DAY Camp TEEN *NEW this year *
July 16-20 Twangler Camp (Teen & Wrangler's)
July 27-29th Miracles Happen Festival IV
July 30 Aug 3 Wrangler DAY Camp (Intermediate)
Aug 31st - Sep 3 Labor Day Weekend
Sept 14-16 Operation Welcome Home Weekend
Sept 22 Sportsmen's Outdoor Retreat
Sept 28-30 ISCR Mother/Daughter Equestrian Retreat
October 20 Lumberjack Weekend
November 2-4 "A Time to Sew" Quilters Retreat
Our God Reigns! Bob
Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch