Have you ever considered a Christian youth ranch?” Dale asked.
No, what do you know about one?” replied Bob.

The conversation that began in 1955 between Dale Linebaugh and Bob Monell was only the beginning of what is now Mapleridge Ranch today. And they could never have fathomed how almost 60 years of ministry would change the lives of thousands of campers. Bob had a burden to reach the young people of Owego, NY for Christ and Dale had a vision that a Christian camp could meet that need. These two men and their wives committed to the vision that would eventually become a reality.

Dale was earning his doctorate at the time and desired a good western name for the Ranch. After some input from his Spanish professor, the two coupes decided on the name El Rancho de Paz, meaning “the ranch of peace.” The Ranch would operate under the corporate name “The Haven of Peace.”

Bob had been a farmer for many years and had put up his farmland for sale to become an evangelist. When plans for the Ranch evolved, his wife, Helen, and he decided to not sell the property, but rather use it for the Ranch. One of the chicken coops became the outhouse.Another chicken coop, two stories high, became the girls’ bunkhouse. The second story of the barn (the red chapel building of today) became the boys’ bunkhouse. A cement addition was put on the barn large enough to make separate washrooms for the boys and girls. The main floor of the barn was the chapel and the game room. The basement of the barn had previously been used as a calf pen and was full of manure. A local teenager named Phil Card volunteered to clear the two feet of “fertilizer” out of the basement. He went on to have a successful business, “Phil’s Chicken House.” That basement was renovated and became the dining room, Hitching Post (snack and game room) and craft shop.

The Ranch 1955The work to create El Rancho de Paz was long and hard and came with much sacrifice. Dale’s wife, Opal, and Helen not only gave their time and skills, but also their dishes and silverware. That first summer, all the camp meals were prepared and served in the kitchen and dining room at Bob and Helen’s farmhouse on the property. Dale and Opal took out a loan on their car to obtain cash to meet camp needs. An immense amount of work and sacrifice went into that first year of El Rancho de Paz.

The Ranch has come a long way since that first summer in 1955. It has endured times of abundance and times of need, sustained changes in leadership, and now even has a new name, MAPLERIDGE Ranch! There have been highs and lows in its almost 60 years, but the Ranch has consistently remained true to its original vision of reaching teenagers for Jesus Christ. With only 17% of the Northeast U.S. population attending an evangelical church, the “harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few” (Luke 10:2). Today, the Ranch has the same needs it did back then: men and women to be willing partners in the ministry. The hundreds of volunteers and workers sacrificing their time and providing their skills are what have kept the Ranch going and thriving. If you would like to be a part of MAPLERIDGE Ranch’s present and future, please contact us for service opportunities or click here.

All information adapted from Dr. Dale Linebaugh’s autobiography, Come Ride With Me.
To purchase a copy of this book, click here.

Camp Directors Through the Years

1955 – 1961

Dale Linebaugh

1960 – 1964

Dick Siefried

1964 – 1972

“Grandpa” Peet

1971 – 1975

Bob Crisswell

1975 – 1979

Dan & Bev Corbett

1979 – 2012

Pat & Kim Blasdel

2012 – Today

Duane & Tiana Blasdel

old ranch director

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