Whetstone Boys Ranch is intentional and proactive when it comes to character development – a goal that is expressed in our very name. Like the purpose of a whetstone is to sharpen a knife, our purpose is to sharpen the mind, body and soul of each boy on our campus, making him useful for service in his family and community when he leaves.
Our unique 4 Level/12 Trait system is incorporated into each aspect of our program. We take the sharpening concept to its limit, using every opportunity to instill 12 traits necessary for a successful and fulfilling life after they leave Whetstone. Beginning with the end in mind, we work through the 4/12 system in a detailed manner, applying Scripture and building relationships all along the way.
I. On Level One, we focus on Honesty, Self-Control, and Kindness. Put into basic terms, we are looking for compliance. Will this boy work with us instead of against us? Is he a danger to himself and others? Can we let him out of our sight?
II. On Level Two, we raise the bar – continuing to hold him accountable for the first three traits, while adding Purity, Loyalty, Responsibility. During this stage, we start to examine the words, attitudes and behaviors of each boy. We start to dig beneath the surface and to shift our focus to matters of the heart. What is going on inside? How can we challenge him to be a man of integrity, to do what is right when no one is looking?
III. On Level Three, along with the first six traits, we begin building Perseverance, Humility, and Excellence. These require more maturity, and they flow naturally from the previous traits. Self-Control can be shown in the moment, but Perseverance must be demonstrated over time. We start to ask things like: Can that job be done better? Can it be done faster? What does it mean to put others before ourselves, and why is it so important?
IV. Finally, Level Four ambitiously seeks to equip boys with Wisdom, Contentment, and Servant Leadership. We feel that today’s society thinks too little of young men. It holds them to a standard so low it’s offensive. We are determined to not make this mistake. We believe that God designed boys to be leaders, to show courage and determination in difficult circumstances, and to demonstrate a degree of wisdom that proves them worthy of being called Father or Sir…or Mr. President. The goal of Level Four is to make sure that boys don’t end up back at Whetstone, unless we hire them as staff.
While it is never our intent to bash anyone with the Bible, we have staked our lives on the truth contained in its pages. And although we will never fully understand or perfectly interpret it, we will do our best to humbly apply the truth we do understand. To this end, we have boys memorize one Bible verse each week, meditate on it what it means, and apply its teaching to their life. (If you would like a closer look at these verses, CLICK HERE.)
Whetstone Boys Ranch is confident that the daily application of Scripture to the lives of troubled boys is the key to personal transformation, which is the ultimate goal of our Level System. Like the Apostle Paul wrote to a young man of his day, we proclaim that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” II Timothy 3:16-17