Sky Ranch Spotlight


Haley Plucheck (Right)
Sophomore, Augustana University

Our 21st century world is home to a culture reliant on technology and social media. We often find ourselves scrolling through the news feeds of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter re-reading the seemingly important news of what our friends did last night. We anxiously await the latest posts, while we unknowingly ignore the people sitting right next to us. It’s not to say that technology or social media is bad per se, but sometimes it makes the people sitting right next to us feel thousands of miles away. However, some of us are lucky enough to experience a world that leaves behind this infatuation with modern technology and allows us to discover not only our neighbors, but ourselves, which permits us to explore the questions brewing in our minds and dive deep into our faith.

I was lucky enough to explore this precious lifestyle amongst the Lodgepole Pine and Aspen trees. Surrounded by Columbines and an array of other wildflowers, I was able to exchange the pictures and posts of other people’s experiences for my own. At 9,200 feet, I not only had the chance to admire one of the most breath-taking views of the Rocky Mountains but also able to “encounter Christ on the mountaintops” and facilitate that encounter with others. I experienced this because of a place called Sky Ranch. However, do not be convinced I was able to do this only because I stayed in a beautiful location. Sky Ranch is more than just a place—it is a community surrounded by God’s spectacular creation.

A summer, or even a week, at Sky Ranch allows you to see the raw beauty of this world. It can be experienced through conversations and laughter at mealtimes, listening to God’s word through song and scripture, and exploring His creation. This authentic and intentional community lets its members share both their joyous and painful experiences to help not only themselves grow, but also their peers. It is home to a group of people that allow you to be you and are eager to discover Christ alongside you. Sky Ranch is a community that leaves behind the addiction to technology and encourages you to lead an authentic life by serving others and allowing others to serve you.

John Muir once said, “In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.” I can promise you that a “walk” at Sky Ranch will transform you and present you with far more gifts and experiences than you could have ever imagined. I encourage you to experience this unique and faith-filled community, and listen to God and know that when, “The Mountains are calling… I must go.”

Each month we will highlight a story from a camper, staff, adult sponsor volunteer or guest on their experience at Sky Ranch. 

Our spotlight this month is Haley Plucheck. Haley is a sophomore at Augustana University, Sioux Falls, SD, majoring in Spanish and Communication Disorders. Last summer was Haley’s first year on staff and this summer she will be returning as a rotating counselor. 

Past Sky Ranch Spotlights

Joe and Luke Rein

Haley Plucheck

Dave Kiel

Robin Lutjohann

Katharine Ritzi

Ben Fulton

Meagan Murphy

Kaari Von Bernuth

Doug Hill

Caitlin Almer