Recreation programming is a large component to the milieu programming offered by Oak Hill Boys Ranch. The residents are expected to participate in recreation every day. The facilities provide opportunities for residents to develop skills in a broad range of athletics such as football, rugby, soccer, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, Nordic skiing, volleyball, badminton and floor hockey. Athletic skill development and training is provided by previous professional athletes with physical educational backgrounds.
Athletics play several roles in the therapeutic process. They promote physical fitness and health; they teach young people new skills in sports; they help residents develop skills in team-building; they help generate positive attitudes to successful learning and skill development that is transferable to other situations, they assist in increasing residents’ self-esteem and they prepare residents to compete in external community recreational activities. Oak Hill has its own community soccer team and school basketball team. The Ranch is also well connected to community soccer programs, football programs, karate organizations and hockey organizations enabling residents to compete in community sports. Participation in the above programs has also enabled the residents to establish community friendships and has promoted interest and continued participation following discharge.
As part of the recreation programming, the Ranch also offers several outdoor adventure activities such as: downhill skiing at Marmot Basin, mountain camping and hiking, and two one week long summer camps at Jarvis Lake near Hinton where residents enjoy swimming, fishing, canoeing, and hiking. These activities provide lessons in safety, basic competency, ecology, survival and geography. In addition to these lessons, residents gain experiences that broaden their world view.