Planned experiential activities are an integral part of the Camino a Casa program and are often the best way for youth to learn and apply social, problem solving, leisure time, and cognitive skills. Therapeutic activities provide an opportunity for youth to practice the skills they have learned and give staff a chance to shape behavior through coaching and positive reinforcement in more organic interactions. Throughout the week, both on-campus and “in the community” activities promote social and community connections. Staff is trained to identify specific goals and objectives for each activity and to process these goals with the youth in pre-and post-activity meetings.
- On-campus experiential activities are developed and run by Youth Development Specialists. They include the routine activities of the day such as meal preparation and clean-up, laundry, room care, homework, and “huddles”- group meetings that help transitions, set goals, and are used for problem solving. Youth Development Specialists and recreational therapists also run activities such as sports clinics, arts and crafts, healthy cooking, etc.
- Community activities provide youth with an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the community, develop a sense of leisure time resources and provide for an opportunity to have “normal” adolescent experiences off campus. Community resources include, but are not limited to, trips to local museums, a ranch offering equine therapy, art studio, the movies, libraries, bowling etc. Off campus activities are pre-planned and pre-approved. The purpose and goal of the outing will be clearly identified whether for leisure, educational, or therapeutic purposes.