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Category: Operations & Field

 
October 24th, 2018

Experience Matters: Leadership Spotlight on 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

An Interview with Operations Director, Greg Ooley 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 team flourishes under the leadership of Operations Director, Greg Ooley. Prior to joining Open Sky in 2013, Greg managed outdoor expedition companies in Alaska […]

September 14th, 2018

Courage, Compassion, and Competence: The Role of an Open Sky Field Guide

    It’s Wednesday morning. My eyes snap open and a feeling of confusion passes through me. I stare at the ceiling, trying to figure out why I’m awake while the sun is still sleeping behind the horizon. I realize it’s Wednesday. My alarm is telling me to gear up because in a few hours I’ll be […]

August 28th, 2018

Alex Molo’s Open Sky Journey: from Student to Field Guide to Jumping Mouse Award Recipient!

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 they work. This year, Open Sky selected […]

August 17th, 2018

Open Sky Co-Sponsors Diversity Education Series at Upcoming 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 […]

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, maintaining the physical and emotional […]

January 12th, 2018

Open Sky’s Dedicated Medical Team: Building the Foundation for Student Wellness

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. Open Sky’s Medical Team is trained to prioritize our students’ safety, keep them healthy, and encourage a lifestyle that is based on not only mental […]

January 5th, 2018

Fire Busting: A Daily Challenge with Lifelong Rewards

The sun sets, the sky glows orange and the last signs of daylight disappear behind the juniper trees. Camp is set up and our team begins to make a fire with their bow drill sets. I feel excited as I see the team dedicated and working hard. As the sweet smell of burning sage lofts […]

December 18th, 2017

Winter Safety: Best Practices Promote Opportunities for Empowerment and Resilience

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

December 12th, 2017

Renewal of OBH Accreditation Symbolizes our Commitment to Quality

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

A Day of Gratitude: 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, […]

October 10th, 2017

Open Sky Announces Significant Site Enhancements to Winter Course Area

In Durango, snow-capped mountains are visible in the distance and the aspen leaves are turning varying shades of red and yellow. These elements not only signify a change in season but also serve to remind us that the move to our winter course area in Utah is drawing near. Our southeastern Utah location boasts a dry […]

September 28th, 2017

From Flickering Ember to Roaring Fire: Sam’s Journey of Transformation

Week 1-4: Old Patterns and New Options When I first met Sam, an adolescent boy in Team Avatar, his eyes were heavy and downcast. He was sarcastic, apathetic and sluggish. He argued for the sake of arguing. One day, I was working with him on fire busting (the term we use for starting a fire […]

August 30th, 2017

Open Sky Attends Wilderness Therapy Symposium to Learn, Grow, and Honor Excellence

Last week, Open Sky staff members had the opportunity to attend the 2017 Wilderness Therapy Symposium (WTS) in Park City, Utah. The WTS provides 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 (OBH). 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.

April 25th, 2017

Annual Senior Guide Retreat Provides Training, Appreciation, and Team Building Opportunities

In many ways, Open Sky’s wilderness field guides are the heart and soul of our program. They live in the field with students 24/7, including holidays. Guides not only ensure the safety of our students; they also serve as mentors, role models, teachers, and friends. Our guides are passionate about our mission and encompass a […]

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 […]

November 25th, 2016

Thanksgiving in the Field: A day of Community, Connection and Fun!

Every year, millions of families partake in a gloriously gluttonous gathering to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday and life’s many blessings. For many, Thanksgiving takes place around a table in the comfort of a warm home. For Open Sky students, Thanksgiving is celebrated outdoors, under the warm desert sun.  In many ways, Thanksgiving in the field […]

October 5th, 2016

The Great Tree

Graduation from Open Sky is usually a bittersweet process. As much as a student and their family can reflect on their successes and be proud of their progress, there is still the task of saying goodbye to all those individuals who shared in this transformative experience. Simply put, it’s often a very emotional moment. Recently, one […]

September 2nd, 2016

OBH Chair, Danny Frazer, Reflects 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 […]

August 27th, 2016

The 2016 Wilderness Therapy Symposium: Presentations, Representation and Awards

The Wilderness Therapy Symposium (WTS), held annually by the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council (OBH), is the premier conference within the wilderness therapy community.  Open Sky has a close and active relationship with the OBH, with one of our company’s founders, Danny Frazer, serving as the Chair Officer of the OBH and our CEO, Aaron Fernandes, […]

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 […]