The daily schedule starts early—wake-up time is 6:30. Probably the strongest indicator that a graduate will be successful is their “rise & shine” time. A young man who wakes himself up in time to get to work or school by 8 a.m. is most likely to do very well after treatment, so we help him to learn how to do so while he is at Capstone. The schedule is very full, and there are only a couple of free-time periods in the day. These are 15–30 minutes and supervised. Lights out is at 10 p.m., but about half the time the residents ask for lights out early because they are tired from a busy day. Again, this is a very good pattern for their post-graduation transition back into their lives.
Finally, the weekly schedule is laid out in a way that keeps the pace moving and exciting. Mondays are on-campus Adventure Days on the ropes course, where clients take on high and low elements, initiatives, and problem-solving challenges from 8:30 till 4:30. Monday is very challenging physically, mentally, emotionally, and relationally. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are our heavy therapy days, when we do four hours of individual therapy and several hours of group therapy.
Friday is off-campus Adventure Day, when we do activities that we call “displacement therapy.” We encourage clients, post-graduation, to displace some of their old behaviors with these new activities, such as fishing, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, rappelling, caving, hiking, and trail biking. Saturday is a work day: clients sleep till 8 a.m., take care of their puppies, then do work projects all day, ranging from landscaping to clearing brush. They must do a good job with their work and attitude to earn pizza, Coke, and movies for Saturday night, which is what “real life” expects of them.
Sunday is a slower-paced day. Clients attend Spiritual Groups and have extra time with their puppies, and families can visit. Then Monday morning we start it all over again.
Thanks to a schedule that changes up activities throughout the week, clients never plateau or stagnate in their growth. Exceptions to this schedule are Trauma Week, Family Week, and graduation week, when we conduct sibling intensives.