"The staff at the Dunrovin Ranch is dedicated to my safety and comfort."
Dana Klinkhart, Anchorage Alaska
Jamie has an extensive background working with children of all ages. It’s hard to say when it all started. As one of the oldest children in a family of six children, the responsibility of caring for the younger ones often fell on her. She volunteered in her family’s church’s nursery, had multiple babysitting jobs, volunteered as a YMCA soccer coach, and then took a ‘job’ as a Junior Camp Counselor for the Missoula YMCA earning $50 a week. It was this ‘job’ that began to shape the events in Jamie’s life that would bring her to Dunrovin Ranch.
Jamie worked for the YMCA for two summers (one as a junior camp counselor, and one as a camp counselor) before heading off to Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. While in school at WWU she volunteered with an organization, Animals as Natural Therapy (ANT), using animals, mainly horses, to help at risk people. Her experience at ANT, working with horses as therapy animals strengthened her already strong relationship with horses that she had developed since childhood with the family’s own horses. Jamie was riding before she was walking.
As Jamie neared completion of her degree, she was asked by the family “what exactly are you going to do with your Recreation degree?” She began to dream about one day owning her own business. A community oriented place, where people could learn about cultures and the environment through experiential learning; a place with an organic garden and lots of animals that could be used for programs and/or to demonstrate where our food comes from.
Jamie obtained her degree, through much of her own experiential learning, and returned to Missoula to be closer to family and back in the town she loves. It wasn’t long after returning that she landed, what she thought, was the job for her at the YMCA. Running the very summer camp that started her desire to get a recreation management degree and working for an organization that was close to her heart. Only 6 months into the job and she got laid-off.
As they say, where one door closes another opens. This is when Jamie found Dunrovin Ranch. Dunrovin has many of the components that her dream business would have. She is a perfect fits for Dunrovin. She strengthened existing children’s programs as well as creating new ones; she is around animals all day that keep her outside for much, if not all, of the day; she enjoys the wide variety of tasks that her work entails; and she now has a large group of fans among all the kids who love to spend time with her at Dunrovin.