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Lolo’s Dunrovin Ranch Launches a Youth Apprenticeship and Leadership Program

With the arrival of spring, a unique opportunity is blossoming for Bitterroot and Missoula area teens.  The first session of the Dunrovin Apprenticeship for Work and Leadership Skills (DRAWLS) program will begin in April. DRAWLS is designed to cultivate in its participants, the qualities of valued employees and community leaders—strong social and work skills, habits and ethics—through horsemanship, mentoring and ranch work. DRAWLS is open to teens, ages 14 to 17 and offers three sessions throughout the spring, summer and fall.


“This is a really good opportunity for high school students. It will provide them with something fun to do when they are not in school, but also give them experiences that will help build their resume, hone their skills, make connections and ultimately support their efforts in finding future employment,” says Jamie Breidenbach, Dunrovin Ranch Manager.


Each DRAWLS session is limited to 8 participants who have applied and gained acceptance to the program. The program presents multi-dimensional work and leadership opportunities that include horsemanship training and games, manual ranch tasks, ranch trail rides and helping to organize the annual Halloween Festival—The Headless Horsemen Haunt. Participants also partner with an adult mentor and in turn, mentor younger children involved in other Dunrovin Ranch programs.


Work skills training will outline work standards and operating procedures, familiarize participants with the proper way to perform routine ranch tasks and discuss effective teamwork, attitudes and skills. Performance will be assessed daily by both supervisor and participant, in relation to punctuality, focus, follow-through, attitude, teamwork, ownership of work and taking initiative. Adult mentors who are competent with horses and familiar with Dunrovin will partner with participants to help them learn leadership skills and further develop their work ethic.


Danielle Lattuga is a participating mentor, “I am really excited about being a mentor for the DRAWLS program. This is something that I wish I had experienced as a teen—the opportunity to work in a fun environment, learn about horses and become more self-reliant. What an adventure, and a great way to gain important work skills.” 


Successful program graduates will receive a coupon for a guided, standby, part-day trail ride at Dunrovin Ranch. Graduates of four sessions over one or more years will receive a certificate and a letter of recommendation to potential employers. Dunrovin will work with the local business network to assist in connecting program participants with potential employers. Mentors will also provide a reference for successful program graduates.



Jamie Breidenbach

Dunrovin Ranch

Lolo , Montana





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