Admissions: 970-759-8324| Contact Us| Careers Parent Portal

Category: Leadership

 
December 6th, 2019

Preparing for the Magic of Winter in Wilderness

Winter is a particularly powerful time to enroll in wilderness therapy. Living amidst the winter elements provides students with unique opportunities to increase competence and resiliency. When students complete a winter stay at Open Sky, they leave with a tremendous sense of pride, empowerment, and confidence – attributes that will serve them well as they […]

November 1st, 2019

Open Sky Presents at NOLS Wilderness Risk Management Conference

Open Sky Family Wellness Counselor Norman Elizondo, Senior Clinical Therapist Mariah Loftin, MA, LPC and Assistant Health Director Coulter Stone, MAT, W-EMT were honored to present at the recent Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC). The WRMC, presented by NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), offers education and training in mitigating the risks inherent to exploring, working […]

October 28th, 2019

Open Sky Founder & CEO Aaron Fernandes Delivers Closing Keynote Presentation at Local Economic Summit

Open Sky Founder & CEO Aaron Fernandes was honored to present at the 2019 Economic Summit of the La Plata County Development Alliance on October 23. The Economic Summit engages our region’s top leaders and decision-makers from the business, government, and academic communities with strategic dialogue related to the current economic impacts and future growth […]

September 30th, 2019

“Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy” Podcast Features Emily Fernandes, Open Sky Co-founder & Executive Director

Open Sky Executive Director & Co-founder Emily Fernandes was recently featured on the podcast, “Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy”.   In this podcast episode, Emily speaks with podcast host Dr. Will White about her early years and her journey to the field of wilderness therapy. Emily shares stories from more than 1000 field days as a field guide at Aspen […]

August 29th, 2019

Activating Potential: A Q&A with Clinical Director & Therapist, Sebastiaan Zuidweg

Q: What are you most passionate about in wilderness therapy and your role as Clinical Director & Therapist? A: One of the most amazing things about wilderness therapy is the way it cultivates community and connection. Within the safe therapeutic environment created in the wilderness, there is space for self-reflection and increased self-awareness. There are […]

August 20th, 2019

Open Sky to Present at 2019 Wilderness Therapy Symposium

This week at the Wilderness Therapy Symposium, catch presentations by Family Wellness Counselor, Norman Elizondo; Program Director, Danny Frazer; and Executive Director, Emily Fernandes! Details on their presentations are below. Open Sky is proud to be a member of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council, committed to collaborating with others in the industry on best practices […]

June 13th, 2019

Open Sky Wilderness Therapy Launches SKYlights Podcast

Open Sky, a wilderness therapy program nestled in the mountains of Colorado and the canyonlands of Utah, is excited to announce the launch of its podcast.

March 7th, 2019

Sebastiaan Zuidweg joins as Clinical Director and Therapist

Open Sky is thrilled to introduce Sebastiaan Zuidweg as Clinical Director and Clinical Therapist! Sebastiaan is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Wilderness Therapy from Naropa University. Prior to Open Sky, Sebastiaan gained years of clinical and managerial experience in wilderness therapy, community mental health, […]

February 5th, 2019

Open Sky Welcomes Dr. Melia Snyder, Clinical Therapist & Education Director

Open Sky is excited to welcome Dr. Melia Snyder as Clinical Therapist and Education Director! As Education Director, Dr. Melia will focus on developing an educational curriculum for Open Sky students. As a Clinical Therapist, she will work primarily with young adults as they overcome challenge, form connection in healthy relationships, and begin to thrive. […]

October 29th, 2018

Competence and Compassion: Open Sky Admissions Team

An interview with Open Sky Admissions & Professional Relations Director, Tere Snodgrass The Open Sky Admissions Team utilizes their extensive experience to support families in crisis. This dynamic team of four is dedicated to assisting prospective parents, students, and professionals with care and compassion as they navigate the admissions process. We recently sat down with Admissions & […]

October 24th, 2018

Experience Matters: Program Director, Danny Frazer

  Danny Frazer always dreamed of a career path that would allow him to help young people become the best version of themselves. Early on, he envisioned being a leader and role model for young people as a college basketball coach. However, after a summer internship with a Montana-based, family-run wilderness therapy program in 1996, […]

October 11th, 2018

Operations: Building the Foundations for a Safe and Meaningful Student Experience

Updated November 2019   Open Sky’s experienced and passionate Operations Team works both behind the scenes and hands-on to develop, construct, and maintain program infrastructure and processes. The Operations Team is responsible for the vehicle fleet, student clothing and gear, the transporting of students, and the maintenance of multiple facilities and base camps. Operations Director […]

August 28th, 2018

From Student to Guide to Jumping Mouse Award Recipient!

Article contributed by Field Director, Evan Meyer. Every year at the OBH Wilderness Therapy Symposium, a Jumping Mouse Ceremony is held to recognize an exceptional Field Guide from each participating program. Award recipients demonstrate outstanding commitment to the work of field guiding and represent the qualities and characteristics most valued by the programs for which […]

August 17th, 2018

Diversity Education Series at Wilderness Therapy Symposium

Open Sky Wilderness Therapy is proud to be a Diversity Education Series sponsor at the upcoming Wilderness Therapy Symposium. The Symposium will take place August 23-25 in Park City, Utah. The Symposium brings together a cross-section of clinicians, field instructors, educators, educational consultants, professors, research specialists, students, and programs to share theories, insights and best […]

July 31st, 2018

Pedaling Through the Mountains to Support Courageous Kids

Last week, Open Sky Finance Director, Erin Pinkham pedaled more than 100 miles up and down mountain passes (roughly 7,500 feet of elevation gain) in the Courage Classic bicycle tour to raise money for local families in need. Open Sky was proud to sponsor her team and the Courage Classic event. Learn more about the […]

June 14th, 2018

Summer Safety: Living and Thriving in the High Country

Summer in the high country – from panoramic mountain views to verdant Aspen groves, summer is a particularly vibrant season to experience wilderness therapy at Open Sky. Living in the vast wilderness allows Open Sky students to build skills and face elements, which foster resilience and competence. At Open Sky Wilderness Therapy, maintaining the physical […]

January 12th, 2018

Open Sky’s Dedicated and Competent Medical Team

Updated November 2019   At Open Sky, our belief is that when students’ physical needs are met, they are able to better focus on the deep therapeutic work that brought them to our program. As they are the first responders to any medical and wellness need in the field, every Field Guide is a certified […]

December 12th, 2017

Renewal of Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Accreditation

We are proud to announce that the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) has renewed Open Sky’s Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Accreditation. This accreditation is a symbol of our unending commitment to providing our students, families, and team members with the highest quality practices in the industry. AEE has a long-standing reputation for accreditation of experiential and […]

November 27th, 2017

Reflections from Thanksgiving in the Field

“I’m grateful that we share our ‘gratitudes’ not just on Thanksgiving, but on every day at Open Sky,” shared one student, referencing our daily practice of sharing “gratefuls” before evening meals. On this Thanksgiving, the gratitudes shared were even more potent than usual, for staff and students alike: family, friendship, fresh starts, the desert, food, […]

November 9th, 2017

Together, We Can Make a Difference!

Have you witnessed the healing power of wilderness therapy in your own life or in the life of a family member, friend, colleague or client? We are reaching out to you for help! Open Sky is a proud partner and enthusiastic supporter of Sky’s the Limit Fund (STLF), a non-profit organization dedicated to making wilderness […]

August 30th, 2017

Wilderness Therapy Symposium: Learn, Grow, and Honor

Last week, Open Sky staff members had the opportunity to attend the 2017 Wilderness Therapy Symposium in Park City, Utah. The Wilderness Therapy Symposiumprovides opportunities to explore topics related to wilderness therapy, advance knowledge, build community, and recognize excellence. The event is held bi-annually by the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council (OBHC). Open Sky’s Program Director, […]

August 15th, 2017

Aaron Fernandes and Danny Frazer featured in Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council’s new video

Open Sky Founder & CEO, Aaron Fernandes, and Open Sky Program Director, Danny Frazer, were honored to participate in the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council’s new video, which highlights the council’s flagship event, the Wilderness Therapy Symposium! The Wilderness Therapy Symposium is an annual gathering of wilderness and adventure therapy programs and practitioners. Danny Frazer also […]

August 4th, 2017

Field Guiding and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

If our students acquire the tools necessary to meet their needs for physical safety, emotional safety, love and belonging, and self-esteem, then the realization of their full potential is within reach.

February 15th, 2017

Culture and Community at Open Sky

In 2015, Open Sky’s leadership team unveiled a document which outlines the values of our program. We call this document Open Sky’s “Culture Pathway” in a nod to the Student Pathway and Family Pathway, which are instruments designed to guide students and their families through the program. The Culture Pathway encompasses Open Sky’s mission, our […]

January 24th, 2017

Shahara Davis Joins the Open Sky Admissions Team

Please join us in welcoming Shahara Davis to the Open Sky Admissions Team! During her fifteen-year career in admissions, Shahara has earned the respect of parents, professionals, and colleagues for her compassionate and supportive approach and her unique ability to partner with parents as they navigate the various layers involved in short term placement. Shahara […]

January 13th, 2017

Danny Frazer Named Open Sky Program Director

I am pleased to announce Danny Frazer has been named Open Sky’s new Program Director. As Program Director, Danny is responsible for the overall quality, safety, and delivery of services to our students and families. As one of the organization’s founders, Danny has been with Open Sky since the beginning; helping to craft and foster […]

September 7th, 2016

Tere Snodgrass Joins Open Sky as Director of Admissions & Professional Relations 

Tere’s career in Admissions and Consultant Relations began in 1991. Having held leadership positions in therapeutic wilderness programs, boarding schools, and residential facilities throughout the past twenty-five years, Tere has developed a deep understanding of the practical and emotional challenges parents face as they navigate the admissions process for a struggling child. Highly regarded by […]

September 2nd, 2016

Reflections on Successful Wilderness Therapy Symposium

“The Wilderness Therapy Symposium is a big metaphorical campfire that people love to gather around” – Rob Meltzer, Founder, WTS Under the leadership of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council, The WTS brings a diverse cross-section of clinicians, field guides, rites of passage guides, professors, educational consultants, research specialists, college students and residential program staff under […]

July 14th, 2016

Presentations, Papers and Publications; Open Sky Advances Wilderness Therapy

Committed to advancing the wilderness therapy industry and leading integration of the entire family system into our therapeutic process, Open Sky Wilderness Therapy has been busy this year presenting our expertise and enriching our knowledge at international and national conferences and publishing our work in peer-reviewed journals. Below is a snapshot of what we have […]

June 16th, 2016

Open Sky Wilderness Therapy Celebrates 10 Years of Helping People Thrive

This year Open Sky Wilderness Therapy celebrates its tenth anniversary. The Durango, CO based organization assists teens and young adults struggling with difficult challenges and unmanageable dynamics by providing life-changing experiences and long-term skills enabling them to thrive. Through its success, Open Sky has grown to employ over 150 staff, making it one of the […]