Prior to joining Open Sky in October 2017, Matt accumulated a wide range of outdoor guiding experience. Over the past eight years, he has worked as a kayak instructor, a raft guide, and a backpacking guide with students of all ages. He also spent time teaching social and emotional skills to elementary school students.
Matt was first attracted to wilderness therapy because it seemed to combine his passions and personal strengths. Open Sky’s holistic approach caught Matt’s eye when he was first applying for jobs at wilderness programs. He believes the program’s commitment to the health of the “whole student” – not only through wilderness – but also through nutritious food, yoga, meditation and empowering students to learn leadership, is what sets Open Sky apart.
As a Senior Field Guide, Matt values the connections he is able to make with students and guides alike. He appreciates the fact that vulnerability and honesty is the baseline standard of communication at Open Sky, because he believes it fosters authentic, long-lasting relationships.
In addition, Matt loves the shared experience of working through various challenges (wilderness-based or otherwise) within a team setting. Matt works with his guide teams to model healthy and assertive communication so that each member of the team is constantly improving and working to become the best version of themselves. He also brings humor and joy to his work – emphasizing the importance of play and fun within the therapeutic environment.
In his time off, Matt loves to mountain bike, play ultimate Frisbee, rock climb, ski, cook big meals for friends and get in touch with his creative side by writing poetry or making music. Matt is well-known in the Open Sky community for his singing voice, which he occasionally uses to sing songs to the students before bed (much to the team’s delight). A lesser known fact about Matt’s singing is that he would also describe himself as an “above average” freestyle rapper.