For many, summer may be a slow-moving, lazy, idyllic time of year. At Ranch Ehrlo, it’s anything but! We spoke to Buckland campus Youth Care Leader Sean Bader who summed up summer in the residential portion of the agency in this way: The difference between the school year and the summer is similar to the difference between a book and a movie based off that same book.
But what do we mean by that exactly?
Well – the summer is like the school year in terms of programming, but instead of having ten months to stretch the programming out into, things are condensed into two very busy, but amazing, months! All the same things – craft night, IT group, goals group – are done, but there’s far less time to do it in and a lot of pressure to not repeat activities to keep things fresh and interesting for everyone.
Routines are disrupted as well, with camp trips and the prep that goes along with them, and youth going on home visits.
But summer is also a time of relationship building and growth, even more so than the school year. Without most of a youth’s awake time being taken up by school, there’s much more opportunity for face-to-face interaction with the YCLs and YCWs that staff our group homes. Camp trips allow for a change of scenery that brings the relationship to new levels. And when our youth have time to focus entirely on personal growth and goal attainment as opposed to dividing their time with the more structured academic world of school, new opportunities for personal growth can happen almost every day.
Education is an incredibly important area of our treatment plans, and while it may look different in the summer, each of our clients is continuously learning and our staff are striving to help them become the best they can be, no matter the time of year.