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It is our belief that everyone has a unique purpose and calling in life that can be found and fulfilled through a life of Integrity, Service, Efficacy and Vision. We believe that the outdoors and wilderness environments provide the most inspiring and effective venue for the development of these attributes and to begin the journey to fulfilling that purpose. Service of others, Integrity of character, and team interdependence is not an option out here: everyone excels on some days or in some areas; everyone struggles, hits walls, and reaches their breaking point on other days or in other areas. They must dig deep within themselves and rely on each other to bring them through. This service grows Efficacy and Vision. Dramatic vistas and star-lit skies provide insight and clarity into life situations that are difficult to see within city walls. High adrenaline activities or miles of walking together brings a depth of conversation that rarely exists in day-to-day life.

100_3566Adventure and wilderness experiences are not an escape from the daily grind. They are reality where the true self always, without fail, eventually surfaces, free of the walls and masks built up through time and experience.  These experiences, if paid attention to, can provide the very lessons most needed for each person at the point where they are in that exact moment of their life. This may be a time of purification, of testing, of building, of confirmation, of waking, of changing, of envisioning, or even something totally different. However, whatever is needed is there for the taking if they choose to seek it. At the ranch, individuals, families, and teams are given the resources and opportunity to truly determine where they are in life, and what they truly need (not to be mistaken with what they want) to begin their journey to become the men and women they can be.

“The Journey is the Thing”

While it is exciting to see individuals hike mountains, climb sheer rock faces, paddle down rivers, complete challenge courses, learn how to make fire with nothing but what is found around them, and the multitude of other activities offered here, the real reason the ranch exists is not just to give individuals a once-in-a-lifetime experience to tuck away in their back pocket. Every experience on these trips, be it an activity, hiking, cooking, packing, or something totally different is only a catalyst designed and used to help bring individuals to a greater understanding of themselves, where they are in life, and the path that they can travel from here. By using a variety of techniques to allow deliberative processing of the experiences, interactions, and reactions that happen throughout each day, participants are able to maximize the impact these experiences can have on lives.

Three elements are vital to the success of this program:


While some of the programs have a certain amount of perceived risk, the safety of our participants is our foremost concern. In order for individuals and groups participating in the program to be successful, they must be both physically and emotionally safe at all times. Each activity and event is tirelessly researched, trained on and evaluated to ensure the physical safety of each participant. Activity supervisors are certified through nationally recognized bodies of experts. The emotional need for safety and security is just as important as physical safety, and staff constantly monitor and maintain a positive environment for the feelings, perceptions, cultures, relational interactions, and other intangibles so vital to healing and growth.

Service and Respect

“To find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others,”-Mohandas Gandhi.

The ranch exists to serve individuals, families, and teams. Our staff is here to serve those who journey through our programs. While conducting adventure and wilderness events, participants soon realize the necessity of serving each other, and the primary need for respect towards others, oneself, and the environment around them that precedes a life of service.

Challenge of Choice

Participants are expected to take charge of how they are involved in the group during their time here and commit to challenging themselves to push past their own perceived limits.

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Meramec Adventure Learning Ranch, a Great Circle® program
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