What is the Outdoor Therapeutic Program (OTP)?
The Outdoor Therapeutic Program is a program specifically for girls who would benefit from being separated from the activity and stimulation of the Project Patch campus. Girls are taken by Patch staff to a secluded area on the Project Patch property and given the opportunity to have uninterrupted time to think and to process their progress. They also have one-on-one counseling with staff and counselors on a regular basis, and journaling and written counseling assignments are required.
What happens during the OTP?
At the outdoor site, girls are given shelter and bedding materials, and each sets up a living area. They are outfitted with clothing and camping gear appropriate for the season and taught skills necessary for camp living. During the day they cook their own breakfast over a camp stove, clean up, and have personal hygiene time. Then they will have a short inspirational time followed by a work project, time for contemplation and/or counseling, and possibly a short hike followed by lunch. The afternoon is generally the same as the morning, followed by dinner, more time for counseling or journaling, another inspirational time, possibly including a general discussion time, and then residents turn in for the night.
Who goes with the girls and how long are they out there?
The number of girls at an outdoor program ranges from two to four, with a minimum of two staff members supervising at all times. Boys’ and girls’ program outdoor program experiences are always held at different times. The length of stay depends on the reasons for being there and the progress made. A multi-disciplinary team from counseling, dormitory staff, and administration considers the situation of each girl. The girls are then told why they are going and what the expectations and goals are for them. Their parents are also notified.
The girls returns to the Ranch facility when staff feels that the maximum benefit has been achieved and the she would benefit more from being on the main campus interacting with peers and staff. When girls return to the main campus, they process their experience with staff and peers in a group counseling session.
What is the typical outcome of this program?
The pristine nature of the site and the simplicity of camp life gives the opportunity for girls to have uninterrupted quiet time to think and process. The outdoor experience is often a highlight in her journey towards spiritual, mental, and emotional health.
The Outdoor Therapeutic Program is accredited by the Joint Commission and supplements the therapeutic residential behavior program, which is the girls’main therapeutic focus. Accreditation means that the staff working at the ranch are found to adhere to meet the requirements for the Behavioral Health Care Accreditation Program.