Lessons from the C4 Ranch
New Year, New Lessons
By Dr. Glenn Fox, PhD
C4 Foundation Chief Science Officer
Since this column is titled, “Lessons from the Ranch,” I thought this year’s January column would focus specifically on some of the greatest lessons we’ve learned, thanks to our families and our own team. Often times we forget that the C4 Foundation is a functioning charity, service organization, hospitality crew, and operational 560-acre ranch, and adventure ensues pretty much everyday at the Ranch. This month, as we open the book on a new year, I want to highlight some of how our operation came together in the past year, share a few anecdotes from the year, and a note of gratitude.

So what have we learned?
  • Families visited the Ranch in droves in 2021. We operated at near full capacity, with families, as well as teams, veterans, and gold-star groups taking advantage of the open space just about every week, while maintaining COVID safety protocols. Our “other” Ranch family grew as well, we added 2 goats, 50 chickens, and 2 sheep, but we are however now with one fewer pig. We started our tradition of an annual pig roast, with great thanks to Orlando who built a beautiful roasting pit, and thanks to the pig itself for providing fuel and nutrition to all. 

  • Resilience: We’ve been digging trenches for water and sewer lines for all of our new housing for overnight visitors, and connecting them all together to build our capacity. The labor shortage has affected us as well, and getting crews and materials up a 30 minute drive up a dirt road has posed more than a few challenges. We’ve had stuck tractors, lost crews, drought, the whole gamut, but we are making great progress!

  • Optimism: This thing called COVID-19, if you haven’t heard of it, has been a speed bump, but we carry on, just like the SEAL teams. We kept our sense of humor, which is a major boost for optimism. Humor can be an effective coping mechanism, and our families and the C4 team shared many laughs.

  • Gratitude: Every day at the ranch is a beautiful day. We’ve shared many sunsets at Orlando point, and we’ve installed “appreciation stations” throughout the ranch, where visitors can journal and share what they’re grateful for. We as a team are immensely grateful to each other. The C4 team is lean, but we count on our network of supporters and board members, volunteers, and each of the families that visit the ranch to inspire us. We’re grateful to have hit major milestones in 2021, and we’re not slowing down anytime soon. We’re adding to the family, planning more events and programs, and are grateful to count on you for your support.

Speaking of, 2022 has a nice ring to it. We’ll make it great and see you all soon!

Written by Glenn R. Fox, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, The C4 Foundation

Positive Change in the New Year

By Jennifer Cooper, MS
C4 Foundation Director of Programs
Here we are again. The beginning of a new year. With all its promise and possibility. This is the time of year when a good portion of us begin to analyze what is going well in our lives and what is not. Often, we are looking to change things for the better, but have you ever noticed that change usually entails taking something away? Taking away habits, taking away pounds, even taking away whole food groups! It usually involves some sort of punishment for us, a restriction from something we think we are doing wrong. Let’s face it, resolutions tend to be inherently self-critical. Now I know that this can include a change for the better, but maybe we are approaching it with the wrong method.
 
When we approach the change of unwanted behaviors with punishment, we are making the process of change a negative experience. It can be counterproductive to place this stress and pressure on ourselves. The focus on the negative, or what is wrong, could be exactly what is inhibiting the change in the first place. Perhaps the right approach entails adding a little something positive into our lives, and those habits and vices that we are trying to restrict will just take a back seat. Find something we love to do outdoors, and maybe that extra weight will come off naturally, no special diet required. Replace the evening social media scrolling with family dinner and the evening conversation and reconnection will be something that you look forward to every day, with the added bonus of decreased screen time. Add that cooking class and nutrition instruction to the calendar and becoming healthier in the new year becomes second nature.
 
Releasing some of the self-criticism and restriction and adopting a little self-compassion may be all that we need for a successful and healthy year ahead. With a solid portion of self-compassion, we are far less likely to fear failure and much more likely to seek out new experiences. Research shows that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by mid-February. Maybe if we approach resolutions as an opportunity to add something to our lives instead of taking something away, our aspirations will survive well into the next year and beyond!
 
Written By: Jennifer Cooper, MS Psychology, C4 Foundation Director of Programs
Upcoming Events
Scottsdale Airpark Event 2022

January 26, 2022

Join us for a live auction with unique items and one-of-a-kind experiences!

This Event is Invite Only - Please contact info@c4foundation.org for more information!
We are so excited for our first annual event in New Orlean's on Saturday, March 26th at the World War 2 Museum.
SEAL Family Testimonial
Below is a Testimonial From One of Our SEAL Families
Being here in this beautiful place surrounded by photos and memories of C4 is truly humbling. It has been an amazing experience to share with my kids and wife. My daughter may never want to leave! Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts for this experience, we will never forget it.

SEAL Family
Foundation News
The C4 Foundation Welcomes Our New
Director of Development & Former SEAL
Greg Sisa
After spending 10 years in the SEAL Teams, Greg Sisa and his family transitioned out of the military in October of 2016 and moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as an asset manager for Kennedy Wilson real estate investment group. Greg earned his MBA from the University of Southern California in 2017 and eventually worked for USC as he launched With Your Shield, a program in the Marshall School of Business that focuses on strengthening and preparing the entire NSW veteran family for the process of transitioning from military to civilian life. Having been roommates during the first phase of BUD/S and teammates at SEAL Team 3 with Charlie Keating IV, Greg’s connection to the C4 Foundation truly runs deep. Greg’s experience in working with the NSW community combined with his passion to create opportunities for his fellow SEAL families makes him a wonderful addition to the C4 Team.
January Chuck Heavy Giveaway!
Eberlestock "Bandit" Backpack
This month's Chuck Heavy Subscriber Giveaway is an Eberlestock "Bandit" Backpack!

Rules to Play:

  • Must be a CHUCK HEAVY Subscriber (Click HERE to join)
  • Must like our Instagram post and tag a friend in the comments. Each tag counts as an extra entry!
  • Must have a US based mailing address
  • Must comment on this post on Instagram
  • Must follow our Instagram account
Happenings at The C4 Ranch
There's a lot going on at the C4 Ranch with our F.R.O.G. programs. We host families for private retreats, spouses for a mid-deployment retreat, several command offsites, and coming this quarter, our Warrior Reset program and the Women's Gratitude & Wellness weekend. Enjoy some pictures from our latest programs!
We were so happy to host SEAL Team wives and children for a mid-deployment retreat at the C4 Ranch. Kids had fun writing letters to their fathers, petting animals, participating in scavenger hunts, and fishing!
Our Women's Gratitude & Wellness Program emphasizes physical fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness and gratitude.
Thank You
Park Blvd Productions is Producing Our Latest C4 Foundation Video Showcasing Our Impact
Former SEALs, Justin Garza and Ray Mendoza directed and produced our latest C4 Foundation video that highlights our programming impact on SEALs and their families. We are so excited to share how the C4 Foundation provides valuable resources through our F.R.O.G. (Families Resilience through Optimism & Gratitude) programs for these amazing families that sacrifice so much for their fellow Americans. For more information about the C4 Foundation, please reach out by calling 619-909-6033 or emailing us at info@C4foundation.org.
Thank You Nick Betts for Capturing Some Epic Photographs at
The C4 Ranch!
C4 Foundation Leadership
The C4 Foundation is a 501C3 national non-profit charitable organization. Tax-ID: 82-2075362.
It is a non-federal entity and is not party of the Department of Defense or any of its components.