Whether it’s been three months or 12 years since graduating, stay connected to the Open Sky community and the power of wilderness therapy. We offer many opportunities for alumni students, alumni parents, and Open Sky staff to convene, share, and inspire one another.
The Alumni Family Quest builds upon the journey alumni families began at Open Sky, empowering them to move forward in their lives with strength and intention. Available to all alumni families, regardless of whether they completed a Family Quest during their initial stay, the Alumni Family Quest experience is customized to each family’s unique goals and needs. It provides a reunion and celebration of time spent together as well as honors each unique family. It is a time for them to reflect on how far they have come, what they’ve been learning along the way, and how they would like to move forward.
A family might consider an Alumni Family Quest for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they would like to experience Family Quest with other family members, such as siblings, who may have been too young or otherwise unable to attend during their initial stay. Maybe they are eager to refresh the mindfulness, communication, and emotional regulation skills they learned at Open Sky so they can carry them forward into the next phase of their lives. Or perhaps they are seeking a powerful way to reintegrate the family as their child is returning home after completing an aftercare program or residential treatment center. Open Sky encourages families to think outside the box as they consider their inspiration for Alumni Family Quest and what they would like to get out of the experience.
Families who are interested in signing up for an Alumni Family Quest complete an initial consultation with Open Sky’s Family Services Director. If the family is eligible for a Quest, they will be matched with a therapist in Family Services based on their specific situation and goals. Leading up to and following the Quest, families will receive ongoing support and communication from Open Sky’s Family Services team so they may make the most of their time in wilderness together.
Open Sky alumni events provide unique and meaningful opportunities to reconnect with Open Sky staff, alumni students, and alumni parents. At these events, alumni can immerse themselves in the Open Sky wilderness therapy community, catch up with Open Sky team members, refresh foundational skills, and connect with others who have shared in the Open Sky experience.
Open Sky alumni events, held throughout the year in locations across the country, are designed to bring together alumni at all stages of their journey post-Open Sky. Whether they have graduated six weeks or 12 years prior, students and families who attend Open Sky alumni reunions consistently come away feeling inspired by the journeys of others. Many feel empowered to share their own stories and bond over the common language and experiences shared by the greater Open Sky alumni community. Likewise, Open Sky staff cherish the opportunity to catch up with former students and families and are motivated to continue carrying out life-changing work at Open Sky.
Open Sky’s monthly reConnect Zoom Call is a resource offered exclusively to Open Sky alumni students. The call takes place on the third Thursday of each month. During the reConnect Call, alumni students reinvigorate the centering and mindfulness skills they learned at Open Sky and have time to share with and hear from other students on the call. This is an opportunity to reconnect with the Open Sky community while building skills, honoring values, and strengthening relationships.
The video conference call is facilitated by a family wellness counselor or primary therapist. The format includes 30 minutes of mindfulness and centering skills practice. This typically includes guided meditation and breathing exercises that bring awareness to thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. Following the mindfulness practice, those on the call have an opportunity to check-in. Alumni typically provide their first name, where they’re from, when they were at Open Sky, their team name, and one word that describes how they are feeling in that moment. Alumni also have the opportunity to return to their Open Sky roots with a 4-line feelings check.
During the second half of the call, the facilitator poses a discussion topic that encourages dialogue and sharing. The engagement by the alumni on the call is supportive and thoughtful. No matter where alumni are in their lives, this call provides a space to access support, comfort, and connection with others.
Open Sky is active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Be sure to follow us! You’ll catch glimpses of our stunning course areas, inside looks at team expeditions, anecdotes from staff and alumni, and insight into foundational components of our programming. We share blog articles, alumni testimonials, staff spotlights, and exciting announcements. Engaging with our social media platforms is an excellent way to stay connected and share the power of wilderness therapy with others.
― Baer, Alumni Student (2019)