This offers the chance for residents to find challenge and support. As residents and staff work together to care for our land and animals while providing for the needs of the community, they find meaning and gain important skills.
The core of day-to-day life at the Ranch is meaningful work.
Our work here meets the real needs of our community: we eat the food we raise and produce, we heat our campus with the wood we split, and we create buildings and furniture with wood we harvest. Our farm-to-table and woods-to-heat endeavors not only have a positive impact on the people involved, but also a positive impact on the planet. We add depth of meaning to our work because we produce what we need in a sustainable way, nurturing our land and resources.
The program offers residents opportunities for growth through our individual approach; focusing on each person’s experience by allowing individuals to take appropriate risks, become leaders, and work together as members of a group. The work reveals and responds to a person’s evolving strengths, confidence, and creativity. Work reminds us of the power in seeing things change and participating in that change – in the sap becoming syrup, the seeds becoming plants, chicks becoming egg-laying hens, or the wood becoming furniture.
Work Program Central Objectives
Build Self Esteem and Empowerment
We believe that self-esteem and confidence grow out of concrete accomplishment, facing challenges, and individual contribution. Acquiring new skills puts people in touch with their own power and rediscovering old interests helps people feel whole.
Develop Reciprocal Relationships and Communication
One of the important elements of our work is the opportunity to develop relationships based on trust and respect. Roles are fluid; residents and staff problem solve together. Working in a group facilitates social interaction and empathy. Together, we prioritize and organize, collaborate and communicate.
Foster Problem Solving and Life Skills
Problem solving is the method we use to accomplish goals on work crew and in life. Opportunities arise to set and follow through on goals. These goals can respond to the needs of the crew and the community, or they can be personal, self-improvement goals. We find ways to practice flexibility, patience, and coping skills. We are asked to be reliable, on time, and respectful – life and work skills that resonate beyond the Ranch.
Connect with Community and the Natural World
Our program takes place in a beautiful setting. As we work in the woods, interact with animals, and harvest food, we build connections to people, places, and systems outside of ourselves. Physical work promotes wellness and gives the feeling of accomplishment. We see our work contributing to the needs of the community.