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    August 20, 2013 Lynchburg, Va. RSS |

    Brent Boschman, who graduated from Liberty University this past spring with a degree in Sport Management, first attended Teen Ranch Canada with his father, former NHL player Laurie Boschman.

    "They have a Father-Son Camp and I came with my dad as a younger kid," Brent Boschman said, noting Laurie's involvement in the camp, founded in 1967, began at the formative age of 19. That was when he started his professional playing career that included 14 seasons in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, New Jersey Devils, and Ottawa Senators. "He met the Teen Ranch founder and he was a big influence on him in his Christian life. His first year of his NHL career, he became a Christian."

    Now, rather than pursuing a professional career of his own, Boschman, the Flames' second-leading scorer in team history, has taken over as hockey director for Teen Ranch Canada, replacing another former Liberty forward, 2008 graduate Jay Pagett.

    "It's very exciting to get a job so quick out of school and have it be hockey-related in a Christian environment," said Boschman, who spent the summer as one of the camp's five assistant hockey instructors, fulfilling his internship requirement at Liberty and leading to his full-time position. "It's almost a perfect fit, and I'm only about five hours from home in Ottawa."

    Teen Ranch Canada, the only camp of its kind in North America, is based in Caledon, Ontario. Started in Australia as a Christian sports camp, Teen Ranch has other international camps in Scotland and Indonesia.

    Boschman said his degree in Sport Management has helped him incorporate marketing and advertising skills to promote Teen Ranch Canada's hockey program.

     "They market it as a sports, hockey, and horse camp," he said, noting in the summer sessions, campers compete in three-on-three leagues and receive instruction on the Olympic-size ice rink three times per day. "It's good to get on the ice and teach kids and there's a lot of free ice time, too. I can use it to train people and give private lessons and get on the ice and work out myself."

    Besides developing their offensive and defensive tactics and body checking techniques, sharpening their stick handling, skating, shooting, and passing skills, receiving nutritional counseling, and doing strength training, campers enjoy a range of outdoors activities including horseback riding; swimming in a lake that features a giant swing and waterslide; using a jousting pond, shooting range, and rock climbing wall; rollerblading; and playing basketball, soccer, tennis, and beach volleyball.

    There is a powerful ministry aspect to the camp as well, with daily "Timeouts" around the campfire allowing campers the chance to examine life's values and counselors to instill biblical principles.

    In the offseason, aside from the youth camps, Teen Ranch Canada serves as a retreat center for hockey teams.

    "Professional teams from all over the world come to use the facilities because it's kind of a team bonding place," Boschman said, noting the camp has hosted professional teams from Russia, Ukraine, New Zealand, and South Africa as well as the Australian men's and Canadian women's national team, NHL teams, including the Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadians, and Florida Panthers, and NHL Rookie Camps. "They can get on the ice and there are so many things to do off it."

    Though he has no plans to pursue a professional hockey career, Boschman may have time to play for Ontario's Senior "A" team, which is the most competitive non-professional men's league in Ontario. He also plans to continue to follow the career of his younger brother, Jeff, a forward on Liberty's ACHA Division II team.


    By Ted Allen/Staff Writer