Los Angeles Times

Reagan's mountain ranch is now a training ground for the next generation of Republicans

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - One by one, chatty teenagers in jeans walked across the stone patio that Ronald Reagan built by hand to ring the bell at the former president's coastal mountain ranch. Nancy Reagan tugged on that same rope decades ago to call her husband home for lunch when he was out horseback riding or working in the stable.

On a bright fall day, the Virginia-based Young America's Foundation shuttled in nearly 100 teenagers from 46 different states for a three-day conference at Rancho del Cielo, hoping to summon Reagan's spirit.

They were not there for a history lesson.

Instead, YAF leaders gave the high school students gathered at the late president's properties modern-day pointers on what it means to be a Republican, and tips for fending off what the group views as the other side's indoctrination.

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