History of The
Ranch and Its Founders
following one of his usual Monday night visits to Waxsters
Juvenile Detention Center, Chuck McClanahan vowed to dedicate
his life to helping troubled teenagers. Each Monday night,
Chuck would travel from his comfortable suburban home to
the facility, leaving behind his beautiful wife, Christine,
and their two precious children.
His mission was to encourage these troubled teenagers to
make positive changes in their lives. That particular night
as he was preparing to leave the facility, a young boy approached
Chuck and began to talk about his mother whom he loved and
missed terribly. The boy continued to talk about his feelings
until all at once he cried out in pain, “But I will
never see my mother again. She just died from a heroin overdose.
My father’s in prison and I have nowhere to go but here!
Chuck reached out and embraced the hurting teen as tears
strolled down his own cheeks. It was at this moment that
Chuck made a commitment to help troubled teens, just like
the one he held in his arms.
Later that year, Chuck and Christine opened their Prince
Georges County, Maryland home to their first two foster
children. As the size of the McClanahans’ hearts quickly
outgrew their home, they were blessed to find and purchase
an eighteen-room colonial manor home that was located on
two acres in Davidsonville. In October of 1985, Chuck and
Christine began providing care to eight troubled boys. However,
Chuck continued to dream. His plan was to someday build
a ranch in the mountains that would provide a great environment
for troubled teens to make positive changes in their destructive
In 1990, one year after Christine received a phone call
about an available 70-acre property in Pennsylvania, the
McClanahans moved their own four young children into a small
dilapidated PA farmhouse and began cleaning and repairing
the house and surrounding property. However, it soon felt
like home to the young family. In 1993, Chuck was able to
purchase the property. Immediately, the young visionary
and his board of directors began constructing a 6000-square-foot
lodge that would provide housing for fifteen boys. Soon
after, a second house was built that now houses six additional
boys who have achieved the second phase of the program.
Included in the development of the property, was the construction
of a school/administrative office building, a vocational
building, a weight room, horse stables, a hay barn, and
an indoor horse training pen.
The Ranch Today
At this time, the Ranch provides care to twenty-one teenage
boys ages 13-17 and utilizes the services of 25 fulltime
staff members. The McClanahans realize that the need for
facilities such as theirs is continually growing. With twenty
years of experience, they are driven by a passion—that
is in turn fueled with the knowledge—that troubled
teens really are worth trying to save. Now, together with
a dedicated team of folks who are committed to the cause,
Chuck and Christine work diligently to provide troubled
teens with the tools they need to get their lives back on
As Executive Director of the Ranch, Chuck McClanahan oversees
day-to-day operations, financial management, and all plans
for future development of the facility.
As Personal Care Director, Christine procures and manages
all services and goods provided for the care and welfare
of the Ranch’s residents. Both Chuck and Christine continue
to work to promote the Ranch and its programs to surrounding
businesses, clubs, churches, and other interested groups
while providing a home-like atmosphere to the boys that
are in their care.