“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV)

Dylan* and Matthew* are twin brothers who live at Boys Ranch Town, Edmond (BRT). The boys are 17 years old and juniors in high school. In the time they have spent at BRT, both boys have become leaders on campus and role models to the younger boys around them.

Dylan and Matthew did not arrive at BRT at the same time. Dylan has lived at BRT for a little over four years, and Matthew has lived at BRT for two years. “It was weird when I first came here on my own,” said Dylan. “I did not know anybody. But I appreciated when Matthew joined me here. It did not take us long to adjust to being back together again on a regular basis,” said Dylan. “It only took us a day-and-a-half.”

“Because of Dylan, I kind of knew what to expect when I came here,” said Matthew. “He introduced me to some of the other guys, and I felt more comfortable with him around. I didn’t come in blindsided.”

Both brothers enjoy the on-campus programs, but they each have an area they particularly like. Dylan has a show heifer and is diligent in the daily prep required for shows. Matthew enjoys “cowboying” as he puts it. The boys appreciate the responsibility and routine that comes with caring for their show heifer and horses.

“We did not do anything with farm animals before we got here,” said Dylan. “This was my first time to take care of animals in any kind of way.” Matthew added, “I really enjoy showing horses and caring for them. I think it’s my favorite activity to do here.”

Dylan and Matthew are now the oldest boys on campus. Because of their experiences and the amount of time they have spent on campus, the other boys look up to them and listen to their advice. “I have been put in charge of a few things on campus,” said Dylan. “And I think I’ve earned the respect of those around me, because they come to me with questions and want my advice.”

“If I could tell a new kid one thing, I would tell them it gets better,” said Dylan. “Most of the kids who come here are not used to structure, so that’s an adjustment. I didn’t navigate transitioning to life here very well, but I pushed through, and it was worth it.”

“I tell people how it is,” said Matthew. “Especially when we’re working with horses, if someone isn’t doing it right, they can get hurt. So, I tell them the correct way to do it because I have experience, and I don’t want them to hurt themselves or the relationship with the horse. Our houseparents tell us to set a good example, because the other kids look up to us.”

Roping Practice at BRT

Roping Practice at BRT

Dylan and Matthew both expressed gratitude for the opportunities they have had at BRT to grow in their faith, interests and character.

“When I first came here, I struggled with authority and didn’t want to listen to anyone,” said Dylan. “I soon learned life is much easier when you respect others and authority. When you respect others, they respect you too, and then you are able to lead others with that respect.”

*Names changed to protect their privacy.

Related Stories