Spring Lake Ranch Therapeutic Community: Working Torward Wellness
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Engage in the lives of others and the life of the land — share your skills, talents & warmth with a diverse community of people trying to lead more fulfilling lives.

Located on 600 acres in Vermont's Green Mountains, Spring Lake Ranch Therapeutic Community is a residential community for people recovering from mental illness and substance abuse issues. The program focuses on work, particularly outdoor work close to the land, using one's own hands to accomplish goals, and remembering the value of a job well done. As an alternative to hospitals, clinical settings and other cookie cutter programs, Spring Lake Ranch is a place apart, where every resident is treated as a person, not as a consumer or a case. The Ranch is a community, first and foremost. Staff and residents alike are here for a common purpose: to engage in the lives of others and the life of the land and, in so doing, to engage more meaningfully in our own lives.

The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it. —John Ruskin

What You'll Be Doing

House Advisors work actively with residents on crew, leading or participating in a wide variety of tasks that keep the Ranch running through every season of the year.

House Advisors/Crew Leaders live and work alongside residents, leading the wide variety of tasks that keep the Ranch running through every season of the year: care of the farm animals, working in the garden, bringing in hay, shoveling snow, chopping wood, pressing apple cider, cutting ice from the lake, building furniture, producing maple syrup, clearing trails, and helping with the ongoing tasks of cooking, cleaning, sewing, and repairing. They plan and participate in a variety of fun activities and trips which continually enrich community life. House Advisors also serve as mentors to residents in their recovery of esteem, direction, and well-being. In general, there are twelve House Advisors working in seven cottages, supervising from two to nine residents.

Most people who have worked in the Ranch community have found the experience both physically and emotionally demanding. Unlike many institutions for the chronically ill, the Ranch program has little structure or job description and demands flexibility and spontaneity from its staff. But, more importantly, Ranch life is intensely rewarding. Helping people work through the debilitating problems that have interrupted the normal progress of their lives, learning new skills every day, and being a member of a caring community are what make the Ranch experience as deeply fulfilling as it is unique.

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The heart of the community experience is people sharing their lives, struggles, achievements, hopes and dreams with each other in authentic, non-judgmental, and deeply respectful ways.

Location

The Main House at Spring Lake Ranch

The Ranch is situated on 600 acres of farm, forest, and pastureland in Vermont's Green Mountains. The woods are crisscrossed by various hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail, which crosses the property near Spring Lake, one of the quietest and most pristine lakes in Vermont. The Ranch is convenient to Rutland, and to several downhill ski resorts (including Killington and Okemo mountains) and Burlington is an easy day trip away.

Perks & Rewards

Canoeing with Residents at Spring Lake

Benefits include $297/week, private accommodation within a Ranch residence, all meals, full health and dental insurance, three weeks' paid vacation (first year), 10 days paid sick time yearly, educational opportunities, and use of all Ranch facilities including: laundry, linen service, woodshop, auto shop, pottery studio, computers, hiking/ski trails, and lake front with private dock and canoes.

There are also the many less tangible benefits that come from living and working in a close-knit community.

The Essentials

A Crew Leader holding down the fort at the Farmer's Market, where you can find Spring Lake Ranch pillows and pottery, T-shirts and Adirondack chairs, and sample home fresh granola & pesto. And of course, you can purchase some of their pure Vermont maple syrup!

Applicants must be 20 years of age or older, and show a willingness to share life with a community of diverse people. Patience, creativity, flexibility, and an eagerness to teach and to learn are key. A basic knowledge of and experience in farming, gardening, carpentry, cooking, sewing, auto mechanics, landscaping, and recreational skills are not necessary but can be very helpful.

A minimum six-month commitment is required, though many House Advisors opt to stay longer.

Your First Move & Connections

Playing with snakes at staff training.

To begin the application process, email your resume and cover letter to Human Resources. A 48-hour visit to the Ranch is usually required. The Ranch offers a rolling application and interview process, and often hires several months in advance.

Human Resources
Spring Lake Ranch
1169 Spring Lake Rd.
Cuttingsville, VT 05738

(802) 492-3322, ext. 227
(802) 492-3331 fax
[email protected]
www.springlakeranch.org

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