The Inner City Slickers program will return to the Sunnyside Ranch on Saturday for its second year of inspirational therapy for teenagers through team building exercises and working with horses. Founded by Michael McMeel, the former drummer of the band Three Dog Night, Inner City Slickers is meant to work with kids from all walks of life to teach them leadership skills.
Owner of the Sunnyside Ranch Leota Johnson said that the mission statement of the Inner City Slickers of teaching kids to believe in themselves and to pick themselves back up when they stumble is one that resonates with her.
“We help these kids tackle the obstacles in the real world such as bullying while also teaching them how to be a leader and to have confidence,” Johnson said.
One group of kids that the programs focuses on is the kids in Juvenile Probation. McKenzie Bauman works with the 12 to 18-year-olds in the probation program and said that thanks to grant funding, the kids are able to go out and participate in the activities.
“We’ve seen strong interest in the program. We’ve seen a lot of positive changes and growth in the youth who have attended,” Bauman said, calling the program a “service to the community.”
Johnson stressed that the program is free of charge and open to any and all families who would like to see what it is all about. In some cases, Johnson believes that just one day working with McNeel and other kids could be “life changing.”
“Some of the letters that [McNeel] has gotten from kids that have attended his program will just make your heart sing,” Johnson said. “They say that they never thought that in one days time it could’ve changed their lives, but it has.”
Inner City Slickers will be held on Saturday at Johnson’s Sunnyside Ranch, located 30 miles south of Lund, just off the 318 highway. The program will begin at 9 a.m.