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Field Guides

Who Are Open Sky Field Guides?

Open Sky field guides are teachers, mentors, and healthy role models. They spend each day and night outside supporting the program experience of Open Sky students.

Our field guides encompass a diverse range of individuals who are experienced in the outdoors and have a sincere interest in the growth and development of our students. They are outdoor professionals with experience working with young people in therapeutic, educational, and outdoor settings.

Guide Responsibilities

While at base camp, guides support students as they meet with their therapists, complete chores, write letters, work on personal assignments, practice yoga and meditation, and occasionally participate in community projects such as trail maintenance, site clean-up, or seasonal preparations.

During expedition, Open Sky field guides lead students through the canyon country and mountains while providing ongoing facilitation and supervision and compassionate role modeling and leadership.

Orientation and Training

Open Sky ensures field guides receive comprehensive training to provide support, structure, and leadership to our students. Upon joining Open Sky, field guides undergo an intensive 10-day orientation, which includes seven days in the wilderness. Orientation covers wilderness skills, student supervision, de-escalation techniques, emotional safety, medication administration, weather-related challenges, communication systems, and medical protocols.

Education and Development

After the initial orientation, field guides receive ongoing professional development each week for the duration of their employment. Topics for professional development include safety and risk management, appropriate consequences, therapeutic program tools, small group leadership skills, emergency response, assertive communication, and medical protocols. Field guides continuously receive feedback from their peers and are supported in setting and pursuing professional goals to further their development.

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