Community: The Definition of Alternative Treatment
Along with the opportunities for work and recreation, community is the backbone of the Spring Lake program. Everyone who comes to the Ranch has some essential strength that he or she can contribute to the community, and addressing challenging behavior in the here-and-now offers real-time reality confrontation in a caring milieu. In sharing life together, staff and residents alike open themselves to relationships that are reciprocal, rather than unilateral. Residents have a chance to gain greater responsibility and accountability in an environment where risks can be managed appropriately, and they become active participants in their own recovery. As residents progress and move toward greater independence, their community branches out to include other residents in our transitional living program and the greater Rutland community.
The community aspect at the Ranch is most often visible at meals. Staff children and guests in the dining room add a home-like feel that is not often found in previous settings most residents have experienced. Holidays, birthdays and departures are celebrated with the entire community. The Ranch has many rich traditions associated with major Holidays, and we have created a few unique events including Yule Log Night, May Day, the annual all-Ranch Canoe Trip and our Harvest Festival. The Rutland program gathers its extended community together for holiday meals and special events.