Live With Us
At Erik’s Ranch & Retreats, we create an environment that offers individuals with autism safe and sensitively-designed private living spaces, opportunities for rewarding, challenging and exciting careers and leisure activities to be shared with family, friends and volunteers from around the world. Achieving a life full of promise and possibility that allows individuals to live life on their terms is what Erik’s Ranch & Retreats is all about.
We are committed to helping members thrive in an environment that focuses on what they can do, not what they cannot. We offer multiple opportunities for members to explore their interests and skills to find the best work opportunity to fit their capabilities. The following are ways we help members make their choices:
- Hospitality Operations:
In addition to being home to our members, Erik’s Ranch & Retreats offers boutique guest accommodations for guests and voluntourists. Members may become involved in managing or running daily operations. Opportunities include:
· Building, grounds or pool maintenance
· Chef/sous chef
· Environmental researcher
· Event planner
· Information technology specialist
· Recreation coordinator
· Ski instructor
· Trail guide
- Erik’s Minnesota/Montana Adventures:
Erik’s Minnesota Adventures and Erik’s Montana Adventures is an innovative program for young adults with autism. As tour guides, they lead volunteers on tours, providing an opportunity for them to share their unique talents and expertise in specific areas within the arts, history, sports, environment – whatever their passion. Each tour invites guests staying at either Erik’s Retreat or Erik’s Ranch as well as volunteers from the community to participate. Our program is poised to give young adults with autism meaningful options. Volunteer tour guests, or voluntourists, have an important role: by virtue of being guests on a tour, they provide tour guides with rewarding jobs; by listening and learning, volunteer guests help build tour guides’ self-esteem, self-worth and sense of accomplishment.
- Therapeutic Riding Program:
At Erik’s Equestrian Center in Belle Plaine, Minn., we provide therapeutic riding lessons at a reduced rate to individuals with special needs. Members with an interest in horses and riding may apply to work for this program. Upon successful completion, Erik’s Ranch will have the same therapeutic riding program and model, complete with a riding stable overlooking the Absaroka mountains with gentle therapy horses.
- Recreational Opportunities
Erik’s Ranch & Retreats staff understands the importance of enriching cultural, social and educational activities. We create on-site activities as well as supplemental off-site excursions within the local community. We encourage members to participate in, plan and evaluate activities based on their interests. Helping to plan activities ensures the events are enjoyable and enlightening.
- Minnesota: Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes, and for good reason. Part of the beauty of Erik’s Retreat is its close proximity to our chain of lakes located in the heart of Minneapolis. Bike, walk, kayak, rollerblade or canoe around our lakes while enjoying vistas of the Minneapolis skyline. During the winter months, frolic outdoors and enjoy ice skating, downhill- and cross-country skiing, snow tubing or snowshoeing. Minneapolis is also home to a top-notch arts scene with world-renowned museums, exhibitions, music festivals, orchestras and dance companies at your fingertips.
- Erik’s Ranch: Located 40 minutes from both Bozeman and Yellowstone National Park, Erik’s Ranch is a little slice of paradise, aptly located in Paradise Valley. Located on 230-acres of uninterrupted property, members will be able to hike, snowshoe and cross-country ski right from their front door! For the more adventurous, consider a day trip to Gallatin National Forest, carve through fresh powder at nearby Bridger Bowl, or enjoy white water rafting on the Yellowstone River. The wildlife is unparalleled, the views are breathtakingly stunning and the recreational opportunities are endless!