Living at Boys Town
We take the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” literally at Boys Town. Once a student joins our campus, it is every adult’s mission to work with that child to help them fulfill their greatest potential. From dinner in their Family Home to Friday night’s basketball game, our goal is to provide individual treatment in a safe, structured and supportive environment for a child to grow and learn.
The Village of Boys Town
- Police Department
- Fire and Rescue Department
- State-Approved Schools
- Churches (one Catholic and one Protestant)
- Palrang Memorial Field House
- Boys Town National Research Hospital® and Medical Clinics
- U.S. Post Office
- Career Center
- Boys Town Lake
Once you get here, find your way around Boys Town with our printable campus map.
Having children live in a family-style residential home that is part of a beautiful community is only part of Boys Town’s approach to helping boys and girls get a fresh start in life.
The Boys Town Family Home Program℠ is at the heart of our efforts to guide children toward success in school, with their families and in life. With a focus on teaching social and independent-living skills and building healthy relationships, our program gives youth a solid behavioral, emotional, social, educational and spiritual foundation that helps them grow and thrive.
Each child lives in a family-style home and receives structured guidance and care from professionally trained, live-in married couples called Family-Teachers, who are the primary caregivers. Six to eight boys or girls, ages 10 to 18, live in each home. The Family-Teaching couple and a full-time Assistant Family-Teacher are responsible for providing structured 24-hour supervision for youth in their daily living and care activities.
On a typical day at Boys Town, your child will attend year-round school, participate in school-based activities, eat meals with the Family-Teachers and other youth and complete chores and homework. Family-Teachers monitor the behaviors of all their youth and communicate with teachers and parents on school progress and behaviors.
As children get used to living in a Family Home, they develop a sense of belonging and pride in being a member of the Boys Town community. While Boys Town is only their temporary home until their care needs are met, this close connection with their Boys Town “family” contributes to their care plan and is another important family-oriented factor that sets Boys Town apart from other residential programs. Rather than saying “I live in Building 3,” our youth say, “I live in the Smith home” and “I’m a Boys Town Cowboy.”
Boys Town youth enjoy hundreds of experiences that are part of just being a kid. From summertime fishing in the lake to riding a bike across campus to sledding in the winter to cheering on the Boys Town Cowboy sports teams, boys and girls have fun and develop lifelong friendships. That’s because we believe children need a healthy balance of learning and fun activities in order to grow and thrive.
Opportunities for fun and learning also extend beyond the Village. Boys Town is surrounded by the city of Omaha, where Boys Town families routinely go on outings to shop and attend movies and sports events. Many of our youth work part-time jobs at Omaha area businesses and participate in community service projects.
At Boys Town, children attend year-round academic classes at two state-accredited schools. Our new Boys Town Education Center opened in the fall of 2023 and offers new, innovative learning spaces, modern-day technology and cutting-edge science laboratories to support our students and our educators with the tools and environment they need to be most successful.
Boys Town High School is proud to offer many AP classes in numerous subjects for our students to take advantage of, as well as many courses to help students get career ready. All children receive an academic evaluation when they come to Boys Town to help assess their current educational level and learning needs. Children who leave Boys Town before high school graduation can transfer their academic credits earned to their community high school.
If a student requires special education services, we provide an IDEA-compliant program that includes special education assessments performed by a licensed psychologist and access to occupational, physical and speech/language therapies. Master’s-level certified teachers plan and deliver daily academic and behavioral instruction.
Some of our students come to Boys Town with an Individualized Education Program (IEP). For these students, Boys Town teachers will follow the IEP to ensure that students are able to reach their educational goals.
Teaching youth skills that will help them find a job and thrive as adults after they leave our residential program is nothing new for Boys Town. Throughout our over 100-year history, we have prided ourselves on preparing our students to make their mark in the real world as productive, hard-working citizens.
At the Center, students can find their passion, learn specific workplace skills and build connections with potential employers and mentors while completing their required academic courses for graduation.
- Communications and Media Sciences
- Health Occupations (students can earn their CNA while enrolled at Boys Town)
- Small Engines
- Welding (Registered Apprenticeship)
- Graphic Design
- Culinary Arts
- Auto Mechanics
- HOSA (students can earn a CNA Certificate)
- Key Club (service group)
- … Any many more!
In addition to school activities, all Boys Town youth are required to complete 24 hours of Service Learning each year. The ultimate goal is to teach Boys Town youth the importance of being a good citizen by volunteering. It is our hope that by practicing service, this skill will generalize into adulthood so that someday, Boys Town alums may serve as a volunteer coach, volunteer at their child’s school, shovel for an elderly neighbor, cook meals for a family in need, and, most importantly, treat others with kindness and respect.
There are many all-campus Service Learning opportunities for boys and girls to participate in while at Boys Town:
- Serving at the Sienna Francis House, an Omaha homeless shelter
- Honey Sunday, to raise money for the developmentally disabled
- Operation Christmas Child
- Salvation Army Bell-Ringing
- Jump Rope/Hoops for Heart
- Special Olympics
- And many more!
In the center of the Boys Town campus, the beautiful 138,000-square-foot Palrang Memorial Field House features a newly renovated indoor track and basketball facility, a weight room, a rock climbing wall, an Olympic-size swimming pool and a full gymnasium. This is also where Boys Town’s boys’ and girls’ indoor sports teams (basketball, volleyball, wrestling) play their home games and host meets against other schools from across the state.
The Boys Town Cowboys have what it takes to be true champions. Youth athletes show dedication, sportsmanship, discipline and respect for their coaches, their opponents, the officials, the rules of the game and each other, both on and off the field. All Boys Town teams play against other Nebraska school teams.
The annual Boys Town Boosters Banquet honors Boys Town student-athletes for their outstanding athletic and academic accomplishments throughout the year.
- Basketball (boys and girls)
- Track and Field (boys and girls)
- Cross Country (boys and girls)
- Swimming (boys and girls)
- Soccer (boys and girls)
Boys Town also offers youth a wide variety of other extracurricular opportunities that help teach boys and girls responsibility, the value of teamwork and how to set and achieve goals.
Summer at Boys Town
Every year, our kids and their Family-Teachers travel to our Boys Town camp at Lake Okoboji in Iowa to enjoy four days of fun in the sun. A vacation at Lake Okoboji is a big part of the care our kids receive at Boys Town. Even when they’re having fun, the learning and healing that is so vital to helping them find successful futures continues. It’s also another wonderful activity they can enjoy as part of their Boys Town family, as they continue to understand what a caring family is.
Each day at camp is bursting at the seams with fun-filled activities for the kids to enjoy, including swimming, boating, kayaking, water skiing, tubing, canoeing and playing sand volleyball. Most importantly, many kids are conquering fears. Some of the younger children arrive at camp afraid of the water. By the time they leave, they don’t want to get out of the lake!
Throughout the summer months, our boys’ families and girls’ families take turns going to camp. Just like other summer camps, our youth share living quarters with dozens of other girls or boys during their stay which teaches them to practice compromising and being organized.
Summer vacation gives everyone – the kids and their Family-Teachers – an opportunity to relax, unwind and recharge their batteries.