I’m particularly fond of the Spring Lake Ranch Mission Statement adopted in 1990. It’s not our current missions statement, and I understand why we went to something more concise, but I feel the earlier version has a richness and detail which embodies much of what we strive to do every day. In case you don’t know it, I include it here:
The mission of Spring Lake Ranch is to offer caring, support, and a positive practical program for troubled people to enable them to find a place within society. Our ongoing task is to maintain a community where people, who are mentally and emotionally in need, as well as staff and their families, live and work together in an atmosphere of trust, respect, and enjoyment.
In support of this effort:
-we honor the value of each day’s work—it’s mix of chores, projects, and personal encounters—as an expression of each member’s contribution to the community;
-we preserve the land on which the ranch is based, acknowledging the natural and spiritual resources it provides;
-we recognize the potential of our community as a model for healing, and our responsibility to share this experience with others;
-we make every effort to open the community to those who would benefit, regardless of their ability to pay;
-we offer access to professional treatment, and assist people in the difficult choices concerning its use.
Because we recognize that life is open-ended and unpredictable, we accept vulnerability and live in hope.
At the Cuttingsville Program staff meeting this past week I led a discussion on ‘why are we here?’, beginning the discussion with both the 1990 mission statement and the current version. Not intended as an existential question for us personally, but rather as a focus on who we serve and how we go about it, the discussion both revealed staff’s earnestness to provide authentic relationships and commitment to resident / client recovery AND spoke to the pressures many have experienced in a changing climate, often due to external pressures, to be more distant and professional. It was a good discussion for us all and for me in particular to realize the tensions staff sometimes experience in carrying out their responsibilities. I hope I conveyed what I think is important, namely, that we use every encounter and opportunity we’re provided to uplift, be present to, and support the recovery of the Rancher we’re with.
I continue to be inspired by the commitment of those who come to work in our community and by the stories of how transformative the Ranch can be for the people we serve. I’ve now added a section to our Cuttingsville staff meeting agenda entitled: ‘Ranchers we’ve heard from / stories of success’ so that we can celebrate and be inspired by the positive impact we’ve made in the lives of so many who’ve come to us. It is my hope that Spring Lake Ranch continues to be a place where, as stated in 1990, we accept vulnerability and live in hope.
Signing off for now….I’m away for two weeks camping along the shores of the Bay of Fundy and Cape Breton.
See you in September!
All the best,