Contact Us| Careers Parent Portal

Creating Community with Matthew Krugh: Get to Know Open Sky’s Outreach Director and Admissions Counselor

The Open Sky Team

Matthew Krugh, MSW joined Open Sky in 2013 and has been a valued member of our community ever since. For 10 years he led our Family Services team in providing unparalleled programming for students and families. Now, as Outreach Director and Admissions Counselor, Matthew draws upon his decade of experience to cultivate meaningful connections in the field of wilderness therapy and ensure families have the resources they need to thrive.  

How and why did you get into wilderness therapy?

Some of my prior experience includes being a Clinical Research Coordinator in the emergency room at a children’s hospital, serving for three years in the Peace Corps in Southern Africa, and earning my Master of Social Work in graduate school. 

I became interested in wilderness therapy when I heard about it from a friend while in the Peace Corps. Before that, I knew I wanted to pursue counseling but didn’t realize I could combine my vocation with my love for the outdoors. From there, the seeds were planted. Wilderness therapy became something I wanted to further investigate and nurture.  

I’m passionate about wilderness therapy because I believe in: 

  • the healing potential of humans reconnecting with nature and re-discovering their selves and self-efficacy,
  • the value of personal growth work via the combination of therapeutic insight and rites of passage experiences for our youth, and
  • family members reuniting, re-finding, and forgiving each other in the spaciousness of nature.  

What different roles have you held at Open Sky?

I started as a therapist in Family Services in 2013 and served in that role for 10 years, facilitating Family Quests, Wellness Weekends, graduations, and parent coaching services. In 2016, I moved into the role of Assistant Family Services Director and became the Family Services Director in 2018. In 2023, I transitioned to the role I am in now, which is Outreach Director and Admissions Counselor.  I find a lot of reward and satisfaction in ensuring people who don’t know about Open Sky find out about us, and when they have questions, I can provide answers that help them understand whether we are a good fit for them.  

When I was in the Family Services department, I saw my role as one of sitting in the living room of the Open Sky experience. Now, my task is to answer the door when anyone knocks and assure them, “We have support for you. Let me tell you about it.” 

What are you enjoying most about your new role?

I most enjoy that this role is all about people and what’s important in relationships. I get to connect with people in new places and spaces and direct them to the resources they need. I love learning from the myriad of dedicated and devoted helping professionals who have been in this field for decades. It’s a gift to bear witness to the compassionate, positive adult role models who give themselves to this work out of sincere care, concern, and belief in our youth. Finally, I love supporting parents with practical hope and direction in navigating the admissions process and getting their children to a safe place at Open Sky. 

So much of this work is ensuring people are aware of the tools and skills they can resource themselves with so they can be as effective in life as possible. The referral partners, educational consultants, outside professionals, Open Sky therapists, and Open Sky parents—we’re all in this together for the young people in our care.   

What do you think differentiates Open Sky?

I think there are five main things that differentiate Open Sky.  

  1. Our exceptionally trained field guides and top-notch therapists. I truly think we have the best around.
  2. Our impressive container and culture of emotional safety. The way we support students is unlike anything most of them have ever experienced before. 
  3. Our hybrid base camp model, in which students regularly return to the consistency of a home base after challenging themselves on adventure expeditions.
  4. Our strong emphasis on mindfulness practices, cultivation of self-regulation skills, and intelligent communication. 
  5. Our unparalleled family programming, encompassing a myriad of services.  

What has been keeping you busy?

 Plenty! Some of my primary projects include: 

  • planning and hosting educational consultant visits to Open Sky, 
  • coordinating marketing trips to visit educational consultants in various cities around the United States, 
  • attending and representing Open Sky at critical conferences, 
  • supporting families through the admissions process, and 
  • promoting awareness of Open Sky and what we do so well!  

January 11th, 2024

The Open Sky Team