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Family Services

Open Sky’s vision is to be the premier family-centered wilderness program, and we provide multiple opportunities for the family’s involvement over the duration of the program. Our hope is for all parents to take advantage of the many ways to participate in the Open Sky experience.

Family Communication, Education, and Support

Family involvement is vital as parents work along with the student in learning, growing, and communicating. There are weekly phone calls with the therapist, weekly treatment planning sessions, weekly written correspondence, weekly parent support group teleconference, written therapy assignments, Parent Wellness Weekend, and the Graduation and Family Reunion, as well as optional Family Quest outings.

Secure Parent Portal

Open Sky provides enrolled families with access to a private and secure Parent Portal. The Parent Portal provides valuable resources and support throughout the student’s stay. The Parent Portal provides access to:

  • Photos of the student in the field, updated weekly
  • An archive of parent-student correspondence
  • A vast resource library to facilitate continued learning and growth
  • Detailed information and registration instructions for all Family Services events, retreats and additional program offerings
  • All documents including treatment plans, discharge summaries, enrollment application, Family and Student Pathways, and financial statements in one place

The Family Pathway

The Family Pathway is a workbook designed to support each family’s involvement in the treatment process. It includes weekly assignments, home therapy objectives, letter writing guidelines, wellness practices, and therapeutic assignments.

Research has found that a young person’s ability to make changes in wilderness treatment (and to maintain those changes after treatment) is partly dependent on the extent to which the family was involved in the treatment process. By participating in the Family Pathway curriculum, parents model a willingness to engage in a parallel process with their child.

Parent Wellness Weekend

At Open Sky, we believe that all individuals have the capacity to thrive. Recognizing the impact a child’s behavior can have on the family system, we also provide opportunities for parents to develop that capacity. Parent Wellness Weekends help parents to appropriately re-prioritize, reconnect to the things that bring joy, and re-establish balance in their lives. Parent Wellness Weekends are a unique opportunity to come together in a non-judgmental space and share experiences with others who can relate.

Family Quest

Family Quests address family dynamics that are contributing to a student’s current struggle. These might include parent-child relational issues, blended families, unresolved family grief, or needing to strengthen the individuation process for young adults. Families meet for three days and two nights in a remote and relaxed wilderness environment, guided by a therapist, to re-establish healthy bonds. Family members participate in Open Sky’s daily routines of meditation, yoga, organic meal preparation, and hiking. Each Family Quest is customized to the family’s needs and can accommodate factors such as age, physical ability, and schedules. Additional fees may apply.

Graduation and Family Reunion

At the conclusion of the Open Sky experience, each student is honored in a graduation that includes a reunion with family at the Open Sky base camp. Families stay for two days and one night and reconnect, with the support of Open Sky’s graduation team and therapists. In process groups and the ceremony, students and their families share safely and openly with one another, strengthen bonds, and enjoy being in nature together.