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Josh Buckner, BS

Senior Guide

Throughout his college career, Josh led experiential education trips throughout West Virginia mostly for incoming freshmen. They discussed topics such as diversity and inclusion, healthy decision making, and resources provided by the university to support students. He also gained experience as a skiing instructor at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia.

The idea of a therapy program based in the wilderness was extremely attractive to Josh, as much of his own therapeutic work has been done backpacking through canyons, forests, and summits. Open Sky provides a holistic approach that he could not turn away from. He values the consistent integration of yoga, meditation, and organic foods, as well as the inspirational Open Sky community.

Josh values his role as someone who can hold space for others—to sit with a student and let them cry, yell, and process emotions that never came out until the moment in the wilderness, where it is unavoidable. Being with others in their therapeutic process, seeing them grow, and encouraging the blossoms that begin to form is a deeply meaningful experience for Josh.

Josh fosters creativity within structure. He spreads enthusiasm and excitement of being in the wilderness and with individuals doing therapeutic work. He also nurtures a deep connection and understanding within the guide team.

In his time off, Josh plays the saxophone, reads novels and religious texts ranging from the Bible to the Bhagavad Gita, rock climbs around this region, and writes poetry. He loves to experience the outdoors through whitewater kayaking, hiking, sitting in hot springs, and skiing. He enjoys cooking, having dinner with his roommates, and creating a home atmosphere between shifts in the wilderness.

About Open Sky

Since 2006, Open Sky Wilderness Therapy has been providing the premier family-centered wilderness therapy experience. The Open Sky approach transcends traditional wilderness therapy by emphasizing treatment for the whole family not just the adolescent or young adult, and the application of evidence-based clinical modalities with innovative, well-researched holistic healing practices such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness.