Rawhide Boys Ranch believes in teaching troubled youth that they have options—options in their life direction and fun, healthy options for filling idle time. We introduce our students to a broad range of sports and physical education activities to equip them with hands-on knowledge of those options.

Thanks to generous donors, our guys are able to learn new pastimes and interests that are important to their well-being and chance for a better life. Rawhide offers them:

  1. Physical Education or “Gym Class”
  2. Organized Sports
  3. Free-time Athletic Activities

Athletic Programs for At-Risk Youth

Athletic programs at Rawhide are designed to teach the guys values outside of the sport itself, like teamwork and respect for others.

“I try to focus on playing games that teach them how to get along with each other and encourage teamwork even after they leave Rawhide.” – Jeff Schillinger, Phy. Ed. Instructor

Jeff Schillinger, physical education instructor at Rawhide’s Starr Academy, focuses on two kinds of sports:

  1. “regular sports,” such as football, basketball, and softball
  2. “lifetime sports,” such as bocce ball and badminton

Jeff’s goal is to expand their interests, too. “All the guys come in thinking they’re basketball players and are surprised when they discover a passion for something totally different like badminton.”

Organized Sports Programs

Outside of traditional gym class, Rawhide guys can compete against area schools in Track and Field and Basketball.

Track and Field

track and field for at risk youth

Through 15 years of competition in Track and Field, Rawhide guys have set numerous school records for Starr Academy, but three jumping records stand out:

  1. Long Jump: 20’ 4.75”
  2. Triple Jump: 41’ 6”
  3. High Jump: 6’ 0”

All three records above were set by the same guy in 2002. Had he been eligible to compete in the Wisconsin State Track and Field Championship that year, his long jump and triple jump records would have placed him in the top five in any of the divisions.


basketball for at risk youth

Rawhide guys may play basketball for the Starr Academy All-Stars team during their time on the ranch. The team plays from late November to mid-February and competes against schools in the Fox Valley and Green Bay area. They also take an annual trip to play on Washington Island in Door County, Wisconsin.

Free-time Athletic Activities

Free time activities vary by season since the ranch is located in Wisconsin. During warm weather, Rawhide students may play disc golf during leisure time, often enjoying a fun competition with youth care workers after school hours.

Rawhide guys can also use a zip line course, ropes and nets course, and weight machines donated by Planet Fitness.

Planet Fitness Donated Machines

Rawhide guys also have the chance to go on a week-long winter adventure. Along with staff, the guys experience:

  1. Rock climbing
  2. Snow tubing
  3. Snowshoeing
  4. Floor hockey
  5. Snow volleyball
  6. Cross-country skiing
  7. Ice fishing


21 Benefits of Athletic Programs for At Risk Youth

Physical education and athletic activities offer improved health, in addition to these other benefits for our guys:

  1. Increases motor skills
  2. Fosters self-discipline
  3. Teaches teamwork
  4. Creates leadership skills
  5. Teaches necessity of cooperating with others
  6. Strengthens peer relationships
  7. Teaches respect for fellow peers
  8. Encourages goal setting
  9. Creates healthy habits for the future
  10. Lowers risk for depression
  11. Enhances memory
  12. Generates multitasking skills
  13. Improves sleep patterns
  14. Expands learning capacity
  15. Increases ability to handle stress
  16. Balances mood
  17. Offers variety of activities to stave off boredom
  18. Creates a sense of accomplishment
  19. Hones problem-solving skills
  20. Improves muscle tone
  21. Lessens odds of long-term health issues

Our guys enjoy the variety of physical activity at the ranch. They burn excess energy, learn healthy pastimes, and experience real, honest-to-goodness fun.

Give At-Risk Youth a Second Chance

All of these athletic activities are possible because of our generous donors. Please consider making a donation to help fund Rawhide’s programs. Every bit helps give at-risk youth a second chance.