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Jumping Mouse Award Recipients

The Story of Jumping Mouse

Every year at the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council’s Wilderness Therapy Symposium, a Jumping Mouse Ceremony is held to recognize an exceptional Field Guide from each participating program. Each Open Sky award recipient demonstrates outstanding commitment to the work of field guiding and represents Open Sky’s values of courage, community, and excellence.

The Jumping Mouse award is based on the Native American folk story of the Jumping Mouse, a story that has long been part of the history and lore of wilderness therapy and Open Sky. Jumping Mouse hears a calling—one that is both unusual and challenging—to journey to the Sacred Mountains. He heeds the calling and leaves his comfort zone to do something exceptional. Along his journey to the Sacred Mountains, he must give of himself to help Buffalo and Wolf on their own journeys. It’s a story of spirit and of determination; a story of trust in, and of service to, others.

Each field guide below has demonstrated this type of spirit, determination, trust, and service. Get to know Open Sky’s Jumping Mouse Award recipients and discover more about the outstanding work of our Field Team.

2020 Jumping Mouse Award Recipient: EJ Horrocks

Congratulations to EJ Horrocks, Open Sky's Jumping Mouse 2020!

"You bring so much heart, so much life, and so much laughter into the field," said Field Director Alex Molo. "You resemble the Jumping Moue story in its entirety. The Jumping Mouse was so quick to give of herself along the way; to help others along her path find their path. This is what you bring to this work day in and day out. You bring a level of joy, playfulness, and sophistication into a really complex job. You deserve this award. I'm so proud to call you our Jumping Mouse!"

Emily “Jonesie” Jones

2019 Jumping Mouse Award Recipient

My journey resonates with Jumping Mouse as I have had to face fears, get uncomfortable, receive support, and stick with the challenges whatever they may be. As I’ve done this, I’ve been able to transform into roles I never thought I would be capable of doing: senior guiding, field managing, mentoring others, and leading ceremony and trainings.

I hope to be a positive force in the Open Sky community, an ally, and someone that can be counted on. I hope that by living in my values and by doing my personal work, I can inspire others to do the same. Beyond that, I hope to inspire creativity in guides for celebration and interventions, particularly with the dress code, i.e. colorful scarves, robot helmets, and cat ears. All of which have played a role in my guiding career, with the intention that fun and playfulness are also important aspects of holistic health.

Alex Molo

2018 Jumping Mouse Award Recipient

Alex began field guiding at Open Sky in 2015, but his experience at Open Sky began years earlier: as an Open Sky student in 2010 and in 2011. The fact that he went through the transformative journey that our students begin here is unique and invaluable. He can speak to the struggle, challenge, and reward that our students experience not just in a metaphorical sense, but in a very tangible, direct, and relatable way. He is healthy and grounded. He’s an incredible role model of resilience and grit for so many students and guides that hear his story and see how far he’s come. He demonstrates a desire to learn, he accepts feedback, and he seeks to grow from challenges. He faces challenges head-on and is skilled at handling a variety of situations. He is now able to pass what he knows on to other guides by mentoring them along their guiding journey.

Click here to visit Alex Molo’s bio.

Devyn Lacey

2017 Jumping Mouse Award Recipient

Devyn is warm, personable and relatable, yet she is also able to be assertive and  resolute in relationship with our students. She thrives when working with any population of students: adolescent girls, adolescent boys and young adults. Devyn displays flexibility, creativity, passion and leadership in her work and in collaboration with other guides and therapists. The field guide schedule can be demanding, but Devyn knows how to take care of herself in order to provide the best care for the students and support for her fellow Open Sky staff members.

Mike Kangley

2016 Jumping Mouse Award Recipient

After working in a variety of settings, I see the power of growth and change that occurs in nature, which ultimately keeps me doing this type of work all these years later. More specifically, I believe in what we do at Open Sky. I believe everybody has the capacity to change and when people are out of their comfort zone is when change most readily occurs. This is what wilderness does—pushes people out of their comfort zone and facilitates change. I’m able to make field guiding sustainable because it is my passion. Working with young people, being outdoors, fostering change—these are things I have always wanted. And these are the things I get to do as a guide. Self-care, fun, and gratitude also fuel me and have allowed this work to become a career. 

Click here to visit Mike Kangley’s bio.

Chris Moeller

2015 Jumping Mouse Award Recipient

I have accumulated over 2,250 days in the field in my guiding career so far, 1,850 of which have been at Open Sky Wilderness Therapy. That is 1,850 days of living and walking the experience with Open Sky students! I value the special trust and openness that develop from time spent walking the trails and being in the dirt with students, day in and day out. Through that trust, students begin to grow in new and unique ways. After many years as a senior guide, I stepped into the program mentor role as it allowed me to have a larger impact within the guide community. Instead of just interacting with one group of guides, I could raise the bar for the guides in all the teams, through training, through meaningful experiences and ceremonies, and through elevating staff through mentorship

Click here to visit Chris Moeller’s bio.

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