Prior to joining Open Sky in 2017, Ben was an Orientation Leader (helping incoming freshman acclimate to college) as well as a Teacher’s Assistant, for which he created lesson plans and held small study groups to support students in their learning. I volunteered at a Crisis Text Hotline and at a psychology research lab studying Social Perception and Attitudes. He has backpacked and explored the outdoors extensively on his own. All of the skills and experience of his past have prepared him for the senior guide role at Open Sky.
Ben was attracted to Open Sky because of the ways in which he has grown in the wilderness. For example, he has gained significant confidence in his own abilities after planning and completing week-long backpacking trips in Rocky Mountain National Park and in the Wind River Mountain Range. Additionally, he was drawn to Open Sky by its holistic approach to treating anxiety, depression and addiction, issues that have affected many of those close to him.
As a field guide, Ben deeply values living in a way that strengthens his connection with the natural world, as well as being a part of a community in which people are encouraged to speak their truths and are taught to communicate effectively. He values that both guides and students are always encouraged to step out of their comfort zones as a means to grow. Ben values that the staff live intentionally, promoting holistic well-being during their time in the woods.
Ben’s strengths within a guide team include showing up authentically, mentoring newer guides and creating a space in which students and guides alike feel comfortable sharing their truths.
Whenever possible on his off-shifts, Ben likes to travel, cook, and explore the outdoor world. He has traveled to more than 25 countries and lived in Sydney, Australia during his adolescence. He also likes to read books in cafes and connect with others in meaningful ways.