Weekly Check-In #32
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Welcome to Brook Haven!
Welcome to Brook Haven Ranch! We are a 18+ premium role playing community set in Trader's Bend, Montana. Our concept is the culmination of twenty years of plotting and planning. We feature a rich, developed program in which many troubled characters thrive. Our community is one of the best on jcink and we look forward to you becoming a part of it!
Healing Horses & Troubled Teens since 1995
Not every teenager has the benefit of growing up in a loving, happy home. Some are victims of abuse, neglect, a system that shuffles them from foster home to foster home. Brook Haven Ranch was established in 1995 as a refuge for abused and neglected horses -- and teenagers who needed a second chance in life and the opportunity to become something more than society expects of them.
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8/25/2017 - Revamp Executed! 11/3/2017 - Holiday Event Launched!

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 Santa's Helper, @openish
william jenkins
Student • 16 YRS
ISTP
Occupation
Student
Nickname
Will, Billy
Pronouns
he/him
Sexual Orientation
heterosexual
Status
single
Partner
none
Riding Style
English
Polly
is
Pollyana

Breed
Irish Sport
Gender
Mare
Age
16
Disciplines
Hunter/Jumper
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
she/her
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM for Discord
59 Posts
600 Points
Tenderfoot
Mustang
11 November, 2017 for @rebekah brook
TW: talk of negative foster care experiences, references to sexual abuse, references to physical abuse
The ranch had come alive with the spirit of the holidays. It had happened over night, Halloween swept away, the spirit of horror replaced instantaneously with the spirit of giving. Horror, Will understood. Holiday cheer remained a mystery. Staff smiled more, passing them along with warmth that glowed like the fire's embers, but it hadn't touched his cold heart until today. Noah was still in juvy, and the holiday season only made the sting of his absence more acute. He'd written two letters, but had yet to receive a response. Finally Kate had sat him down and encouraged him to send a Christmas card. A Christmas card decorated with glittery snow and a reindeer, wholly secular and by all accounts silly. Will had been reluctant, to say the least, but he had sent the card with a simple message to wish his brother the best holiday he could have in that place. The sealant on the envelop had been bitter on his tongue, but it had felt different to mail it; Like a new part of his life was about to start. It should have started somehow earlier. Will spread his hands out flat on the wooden table at which he sat. Someone had lined them up in tidy rows. Early yet; They had remained in their places with neat chairs tucked up beneath them. He'd stood and carefully seated himself in one of them, leaving his wheelchair behind the seat. Back there, it would be in the way, but he hardly had a choice. Someone would have to help him to move it if he wanted it out of the path. Pride stood in the way of his asking; He should have had more courage. People in his life had been unreliable. How many people had he told about his foster father's abuse? They didn't listen. How could he expect them to help him now? Kate had helped; She'd put him in touch with Noah, given him the resources he needed to write him letters, to send a card. He'd kept that close to his breast, not wanted the other Tenderfoots to find out what he'd done. They'd never let him hear the end of it. Fisher would never let him hear the end of it. Will kept his head down, focused on his space. Students were permitted their own space, their own project. Some tables had things laid out for them in advance; Will had requested something specific, something special. Christmas in foster care had been like any other snowy winter day. He'd learned to hate the cold weather; It left him with nowhere to escape to. The holidays brought back memories he preferred not to unpack. Snow had begun to fall two days ago. Nothing heavy, it didn't stick to the ground and collect. If he wanted to, Will could still get outside; He could spend time in the barns, could be with his horse. Nobody could force him to face the grownups, to confront his demons. Therapist asked him to talk, but he wasn't ready. Most of the time they let him be. Eventually he'd open up, in his own time. For now, most of the students seemed to think he was sensitive. The staff thought he was violent. The truth was somewhere in between. He'd had his share of fights, and Will had proven he could hold his own. He felt out of place, but hadn't he always? Nobody else was around at this hour, hanging about the Make Barn immediately following breakfast on a Saturday. Later, they would fill it, looking for small ways to fill their time indoors. Cold Autumn weather chased everyone into the barns, the heated buildings to escape the chill. Will had come with his own purpose: a sense of determination. His own Christmases had been miserable events. Schoolmates shared their joy, Santa's arrival with presents beneath the tree. He and Noah shared their misery, another day of abuse and beatings. The therapists, Bekah and Tara, had encouraged him to change the narrative. That's what he got for expressing disdain for the holiday season. Maybe they were right. It was a small glimmer of hope in an otherwise miserable season. He'd never let on, of course, but it left him feeling warm as he waited for someone to drop off the supplies he'd requested. Will had "special skills," something that could help to bring real magic and joy to a foster child this Christmas. At first, he'd been angry: Nobody had ever done that for him. As time had gone on, however, he'd become convinced, and so he'd asked Bekah Brook to bring him the soft polymer clay he would use to construct a puppet (or two if he had time) to give to some little girl or boy on Christmas morning. Doll-making had gotten him through some of the most challenging days of his life after his brother's arrest. It might not have been the most manly pursuit of his time, but he enjoyed it. He stretched his bad leg out beneath the table and arched his back. It felt strange to sit in a proper chair, but he'd committed to trying it, had told Dr. Novak that he would start to use his muscles more. Ache trembled up the thigh, lodging itself in his left buttock, down deep where the bullet had struck him. Will pushed up on the table, squaring his hands and rising up out of the seat to stand unsteadily. For a moment, he hovered, then he lowered himself back into the seat. Every inch of his body quivered, every muscle from his abdomen down jelly. It was a reminder of how hard he had to work just to be normal. At least at Brook Haven they were all looking for some "normal" in their chaotic lives. The quiet kids had more time to observe, and Will was one of the quiet kids. It meant that he knew the other students' weaknesses if a battle came up, and it made him harder to bully. It also meant that he had seen the other students struggle; Even those who didn't like to believe their struggle could be seen from the outside. All it took was a bit of watching and learning about other people. Will noted that most of the students were too selfish to care about what was going on with the others, but it got him out of his own head, if only for a little while. A gust of wind swept into the barn, sending a chill down Will's spine. He looked up and shielded his eyes from the light that poured in through the barn's door. It was difficult to make out the figure in the doorway until she turned in profile. Bekah. Relief robbed him of breath for a moment and quickly subsided into contentment. Will put his hands flat on the table again and pushed himself up into a standing position so that he could greet her. "I wasn't sure when to expect you. I'm the only one here."
rebekah brook
Therapist • 26 YRS
ENFP
Occupation
Therapist
Nickname
Bekah
Pronouns
She/Her
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual
Status
Married
Partner
Simon Brook
Riding Style
Western
Sweet natured and giving, Rebekah Brook is a friendly face around the ranch. She worked the program as a teenager, and met Simon Brook when she was in college. They married and returned home, only for her to discover that he was, in fact, one of Brooks who owned the ranch where she had spent her adolescence. It wasn't amusing at first, but as time went on, it became a personal inside joke, and Bekah became a friendly face around the ranch, someone who understood the kids better than most -- including her husband -- and who would bend over backward to make the newcomers as comfortable as she could.

Bekah is generally considered to be one of the most approachable adults on the ranch. She is considerate, kind, and compassionate, and she tends to see the students for the people they are beneath their troubles. Of all the adults on the ranch, she's the last one to judge one of the students based on their troubles. After all, she's had her fair share of struggles as well.

She's currently pregnant, which limits her activities quiet a bit, but Bekah still does her best to keep up with the kids on the ranch and to help them as much as she can. Adjustment is a process as far as she's concerned, and most kids settle down once they have the opportunity to know that somebody on the ranch actually cares for them.

A very hands-on adult, Bekah goes out of her way to spend time with the kids in a personal setting, and she reaches out to them individually, particularly when they're struggling. Even on her toughest days, she eats with the kids, checks in on them in their dorms, and provides room for them to communicate with her. If they can't or don't want to communicate, she's more than happy to just hold space for them.

Maddie
is
Midnight Madness

Breed
Quarter Horse
Gender
Mare
Age
18 Years
Disciplines
Barrel Racing
Application
is Offline


Age
37
Pronouns
She/Her
Timezone
GMT-5
Contact
PM or Intro
58 Posts
400 Points
Brook Haven
Co-Owner
11 November 2017 for @william jenkins
TW: pregnancy, therapy themes
Bekah tucked her hands into the deep pockets of her heavy cardigan. Its thick, aran knit protected her from the wind, but Autumn had swept the ranch with its bitter cold. In Montana, winter would arrive soon. Snow had already begun to fall on the ranch, sending a chill through her bones. Warmth and Summer weather brought peace, a particular type of joy. Cold months brought memories Bekah preferred not to face. Her father, her mother, step mother. A shiver went through her as she trekked across the grounds. Mud splashed about her boots where rain had fallen and snow had melted. It had been a wet season so far. She could only hope that the winter would be drier. No. If she was honest, Bekah disliked the cold. When her mother lived, it had meant holidays and togetherness, curled up on the sofa together to watch Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. Things had changed in the years that followed her mother's death, and even time hadn't healed those wounds. Bitter wind made for a bitter heart. It was everything she could do to remain steadfast for her regular students. After all, even therapists had their issues. Bekah was all about the Spring and Summer events on the ranch. She'd dug in for Easter, gotten her hands dirty and made sure it was beautiful for the students. Part of her yearned for that same willing involvement for the winter holidays as well, but she found herself restless, annoyed. Things had changed since she was a student. Some of it was her doing: She'd been the one to insist that the students needed cheer for the holidays. It was hard to regret being part of something good, but Bekah found herself wishing she could be more invested in the process. Mr. Bennett had been generous this year, not only with his money but with his ideas. She kicked the doorway to remove the caked-on mud, then pulled the barn door open to the right. It stuck for a moment, a gust of wind following her into the building as she struggled, then maneuvered her pregnant body through the opening. Inside, warmth filled the heated barn, and Bekah breathed a sigh of sweet relief. The door slid back into place easily now that she was on the right side of it, and she rubbed her hands together. Inside, there were no big windows to let sunlight in, the barn lit from above. Someone had hung lanterns for the season, then followed them up with twinkling Christmas lights. Most would find it hard not to smile, but Bekah trailed her eyes along the ceiling and let out a deep sigh. Simon had his work cut out for him if he wanted to get her into the holiday spirit. Seven of the eight tables in the barn were empty, as Bekah had expected they would be. One boy sat at the seventh, a wheelchair behind the seat in which he sat. As she turned to him, he stood, and Bekah raised the hand not carrying the bags. "Sit down Will. Seriously. I'm not an invalid." The supplies she'd gathered for him weighed little anyway, and it was no trouble to bring them to him. When they'd made arrangements for "Make the Magic," none of them had expected students to put in special requests, but they'd come in by the droves. Someone had even suggested accepting letters to Santa and then replying to them for children in town. Another student had volunteered that they should focus their efforts on foster children (though there was no way for them to direct only letters coming from foster care without ruining the surprise). She crossed the concrete floor to the table where Will sat and set the bags with his things down on it. "Leave it." When she was sure he got the message, she turned to push his chair back against the wall. "Now when you need it, you'll have to walk to get it. Or ask for help." Will could be stubborn, relying on himself or hoping for his brother to arrive and give him the help that he needed. It was time for him to start to reach out to other people for the assistance that he required -- or to get on his feet again. Dr. Novak said that it could take time for him to learn how to cope with the pain, and he had stressed that it might never happen. They would have to play it by ear and watch how he went. Their eyes met across the floor, and though it took a moment, Bekah smiled. "Come on, let's see what I managed to get for you." The supplies cost money, and of course for those students who had the talent to play Santa's Elves, the ranch had been pressed to apply for resources. Between Mr. Vanderbilt, Mr. Faulkner, and Mr. Bennett, they had managed to get what they needed. Beside which, the clay wasn't particularly expensive, and it was hand-made toys that would bring real magic to foster kids on Christmas morning. "You have a plan ready to go, right?" She settled into the seat next to him and pulled open the plastic carrier bags containing his tools. "I had to order in the clay and the sculpting tools. The foil I got from the kitchen and we had the wire in one of the tack rooms. If any of this doesn't work for you, you'll need to let Mr. Faulkner know." Simon wasn't a scrooge by any means, but they didn't have the personal resources to supply all of the county's foster kids with presents for the holiday season. Although she would have liked to offer herself as a resource, she preferred not to be the liaison. After all, the kids were meant to learn how to communicate for themselves. "When it's time to harden everything, you can find me and we'll put it in the oven together." She wanted to supervise to make sure that the settings were right and nothing got forgotten to burn in the oven. With a deep breath, Bekah straightened in the chair, leaning her left arm on its back and facing Will. "You mind if I stay?" They were meant to have someone supervising the students in this barn anyway, and although Will had been the first in, no doubt others would arrive at some point to pick up the activity as well!
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