- About Us
KVC Missouri is a nonprofit passionate about strengthening families, preventing child abuse and neglect, and helping people achieve mental wellness. Learn about KVC Missouri.
At KVC, we want every child and adult to be safe & connected to a strong family and a healthy community. We’re proud to be a leader in innovative, effective and compassionate care. See our services and programs overview.
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Your Help Matters
There are many large and small ways you can still lend a hand.
KVC Missouri provides a robust offering of trainings and community outreach events to support the needs of children and families across the state.
Meramec Adventure Ranch
Experiential Learning & Therapy
KVC Missouri’s Meramec Adventure Ranch, located just 90 miles from St. Louis and 30 miles from Rolla, is a beautiful 1,200-acre therapeutic wilderness campus that helps children from all types of backgrounds to heal, as well groups of adults. Using the great outdoors as a space for quietness and growth is a practice as old as time itself. In fact, the beautiful wilderness of Meramec Adventure Ranch (often shortened to “The Ranch”) along with expert staff and programming helps youth learn, connect to nature and other people, and ultimately to experience the kind of deep personal healing and transformation that can change the trajectory of one’s life.
Wilderness therapy is considered the gold standard in outdoors therapeutic treatment. Unplugging from technology and going somewhere remote to experience the natural rhythms of sunrise and sunset, fresh air, the sounds and scents of nature, and the experience of countless plants and animals, gives youth a sense of stress relief and reset. Whether youth have had traumatic experiences such as abuse, neglect or serious family challenges or need support as they heal from depression, anxiety, or other mental health needs, the Ranch offers them a chance to connect with people who care, to connect with themselves, and to experience peace.
The Ranch serves 6,000-10,000 participants each year. It offers ropes courses, aquatic adventures, camping, climbing, kayaking, biking, team challenges, and more. In addition to serving youth with mental health needs, the Ranch provides programming for youth on the autism spectrum, wounded veterans and their families, and other groups looking for challenges, growth, and healing. As a part of KVC Missouri, the Ranch has a special mission on making its elite wilderness therapy accessible to youth for whom cost may be a barrier. Currently, the Ranch’s therapeutic adventure/wilderness programs for these youth are largely donor-funded. While the Ranch is a primarily outdoors space, it follows all residential treatment standards and procedures and acts as an extension of those programs, continuing groups, therapy, staffing and supervision ratios, etc. to youth receiving this level of treatment.
How Wilderness Therapy Helps People Grow & Heal
Meramec Adventure Ranch offers therapeutic adventure and wilderness programs to help the youth and families we serve confront personal challenges, and discover inner courage and a renewed passion for life.
Adventure experiences aren’t an escape from life’s challenges, but rather an opportunity to:
- Break down walls and defense mechanisms created by life’s challenges
- Discover individual emotional, mental and physical strengths
- Believe in the ability to grow and change
- Build positive relationships and connections with others
- Find purpose in serving others by using our unique gifts
The Ranch’s 1,200 acres in Steelville, Missouri feature one of the most extensive adventure bases in the Midwest, with ropes courses, aquatic adventures, camping, climbing, kayaking, biking, team challenges, and more. Each year, the Ranch serves more than 6,000 individuals.
Staffing And Employment
The Ranch’s staff is fully trained to deliver high-quality therapeutic adventure programming in many areas and work with children who are dealing with life’s challenges, struggling with traumatic pasts or who may have an autism or other special education diagnosis.
For more information about Meramec Adventure Ranch or any of its programs, call 1-844-424-3577.
How to get to the Ranch
If you are interested in any of our services, want to know more, or have any questions, feel free to contact Brett Bailey, Director, at BBailey@kvc.org or (573) 775-5513.
Meramec Adventure Ranch
1203 Meramec Wilderness Lane
Steelville, MO 65565
All activity staff members are trained extensively and regularly to the highest standards,
using state of the art equipment, training and techniques.
Programming staff also have advanced wilderness first aid training and certifications.
Member, American Camp Association
Single Pitch certification, American Mountain Guides Association
Single Pitch Guide certification, Professional Climbing Guides Institute
Courses built, inspected and certified by Association of Challenge Course Technology