The 2000s – The Building of the West: Eagle View Ranch
A view of the Ram’s Horn during the construction of the Gear Shed at Eagle View Ranch. (2006)
The early 2000s were defined by globalization, the popularization of the cell phone, a financial crisis, an increasingly sedentary society, and the golden age of the internet. To balance the ever-evolving parenting landscape of the new millennia, families were searching for outdoor spaces, academic opportunities, and a supportive environment for their ADHD/LD children. SOAR provided all three.
We created new courses with an academic focus, expanded our program offerings, elevated our semester program, presented to ADHD experts on a national and international scale, and perhaps the most impactful, built Eagle View Ranch, the western headquarters of SOAR.
Building construction of EVR. (2000s)
Please enjoy these few moments and memories of the start of a new century with SOAR:
Academy at SOAR created from a semester program
New summer courses:
Big Sur Course
Peruvian Amazon/Andes Adventure
NC Whitewater Intensive
Postgraduate Summer Adventure Course at EVR
Rock Climbing Intensive
Canadian Rockies Specialty Course
SOAR receives American Camp Association (ACA) accreditation
SOAR also presents at numerous national and international conferences, further establishing itself as a leader of outdoor programming for youth and young adults with ADHD/LD.
Construction of EVR. (2000s)
Creation of Eagle View Ranch
Purchased WY property in 2000
Covered dining area, bathhouse complex, riding arena, and cabin tent platforms constructed in 2001
First courses at EVR in 2001
Horse programming expanded in 2002
Expansion of Wyoming courses throughout the early 2000s
View of EVR arena and “Mighty Bucky”.
The Covered Dining Area, Kitchen, and Bathhouse at EVR. (Constructed 2001)
Our approach of focusing on strengths instead of deficits, along with incredible outdoor adventures, has been critical to ensuring the success of thousands of campers and students throughout our 45 years. The best part is that we are just getting started!
Would you like to be an integral part of our mission? You have the ability to change the life of an ADHD/LD child. Please consider donating $45 for our 45 years. As a 501(C)(3) nonprofit, your donations will be used for our Scholarship Endowment Fund. We envision a day when any child with a learning or attention challenge will have an opportunity to experience these life-changing adventures.
We thank you for your continued support and interest in SOAR!
By the end of high school, I was unsure of what I wanted to do. I wanted to go to college, but I was unsure of what major to choose. I did not want to make a rash decision and throw myself to chase something that I may not want to do. My mom found a GAP Year Program called SOAR. It was completely out of my comfort zone at the time. The program consisted of learning essential skills like finance, professionalism, social skills, and leadership in Wyoming while exploring the experience of the great outdoors. I took a chance on the GAP Year, and it became one of the best decisions of my life. I accomplished a lot during my gap year. Some of these achievements included a Summiting Mountaineer trip three weeks total, with two of those weeks being back to back. I earned the chance to lead the last expedition, and I gained confidence, leadership skills, and learned how to effectively work with a team.
I later used what I learned at SOAR to gain some valuable professional experience. I worked in the sports industry with FC Tucson, a professional soccer club, during my time at the University of Arizona. However, despite the successes at Tucson, it was not the right fit for me due to the school being big. I decided to transfer to Notre Dame College, a smaller school that was more suited to my liking. I gained a wide range of friends. My current project before I graduate in a year and a half is to launch the college podcast station. Looking back, I contribute the increase of my confidence to SOAR. In turn, it has allowed me to believe that a GAP Year Program like SOAR can change a person’s perspective on life if they are willing to follow the guidelines.
What a fantastic start we have had to the Academy and GAP Year Programs at SOAR! We are thrilled to be programming in person and so excited for all of the adventures and memories to come! Both the Academy and GAP Year started the semester in early September and have completed their first rotation. Both programs have two phases, a campus or base phase and an expedition phase where participants get to travel out in the real world for two weeks!
In Waynesville, NC, the Academy at SOAR kicked off by welcoming students and their families with an in-person orientation and dinner. The Academy was able to get a few facelifts before the start of the school year bringing color and more fun into the halls! So far our teachers, Gene (humanities), Shelia (English/language arts), Blair (science), and Em (math), have had a great time with the students in class as well as on field trips. They have been to Western Carolina University, where they attended a Forensic Science lecture with Dr. Becca George, visited the rooftop of the new Apodaca science building with astrophysicist Dr. Gomez, met with author and bird behavior biologist Dr. Jeremy Hyman, and visited the Fine Arts Museum (that was the absolute favorite!). The students were also able to attend a live local theatre production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” at the Hart Theatre in Waynesville.
As for their first expedition of the year, the four houses completed their Triple Threat challenge! Staying close to home, they visited the beautiful backcountry of South Carolina where they went on a backpacking expedition, whitewater rafting on the Chattooga River, and canoeing across Fontana Lake. North house field instructors, Curtis and Tessa, shared, “After an immensely fortuitous and eventful two weeks, we find ourselves back at Folkmoot and getting into the swing of things on campus. Looking forward to our next expedition, where we will be heading towards the Tennessee and Georgia line to backpack the Cohutta Wilderness and do some climbing in Chattanooga, Tennessee!”
Meanwhile, in Dubois, WY, the GAP Year at SOAR welcomed gappers and their families to Eagle View Ranch for an in-person orientation and introduction! During their first base phase, gappers prepared for their expedition and got to experience their first (tiny) dusting of snow. The team woke up to a remarkable view of snow-capped mountains in the distance. They have been busy camping in Sinks Canyon, rock-climbing, playing on the Alpine Tower, starting Life Skills Lessons, and planning for future phases of GAP.
As for the gapper’s first expedition, the group successfully explored Yellowstone, backpacked in the Wind River Range at Green River Lakes, and rock climbed in City of Rocks in Idaho! The group will soon be starting their first college course at Central Wyoming College and will get a tour, be introduced to the class instructors of their Intro to College course. The team will be completing Life Skills Lessons, volunteering, expedition planning, and adventuring this weekend in Jackson, WY.
It is going to be an amazing year! Stay tuned for more updates! Stay connected with SOAR on social media so that you never miss out on the Academy and GAP Year updates!
SOAR is an authorized permittee of the National Park Service and the National Forest Service. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in its programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.