“Open Sky has changed my life forever and I will cherish all the times I have spent here.”
– Jeanette K., Young Adult, 2016.
“I valued the education we received to better parent our child. I valued the kindness and care given to me my son.” – Tony P., Alumni Parent, 2016.
“We believe that Open Sky can truly help teens in crisis and profoundly and positively impact their lives and the lives of their families. We feel strongly about the organization and how it changed our son’s life. After Open Sky, our son entered school in the middle of his junior year semester. He caught up and completed the semester with a 4.2 GPA. The first half of this present semester he has earned straight A’s as well. Although it has not been easy at times, his growth has been quite remarkable. We feel so strongly about Open Sky’s program and its success that we have supported and directed another family to Open Sky. We believe that Open Sky saved our son’s life. The Open Sky team involved in our son’s process from start to finish were nothing short of amazing.” – Sadie, Parent of Adolescent Student, 2016.
“Initially, I made a leap of faith by sending my child to Open Sky at such a critical time. Open Sky exceeded my expectations. The emotional vocabulary and growth I see in my child boarders on the remarkable. The encouragement I felt to examine my thoughts and beliefs continues to be tremendously valuable.” – Lynn L., Alumni Parent, 2015
“I entered Open Sky as an adult student in March of 2014. I want to express gratitude as going through Open Sky was the best thing I have done. When I came in at the age of 23, I was at the peak of my second nervous breakdown. Today, I am a small business owner, financially independent, and more content and relaxed than I have ever been. I will never forget the meditations Norman taught me. I use them regularly when I realize I have been having feelings I have not been acknowledging, training myself to separate thoughts, judgements and emotions could not be more valuable. Partaking in yoga has kick started my journey into fitness and I am confident that I will live a much longer, fuller life because of it. My anxiety no longer consumes my entire being and does define me anymore. Every moment of my time at Open Sky helped me grow. A person who is starting to learn what self-esteem feels like, a person who can reach out for support well before reaching his breaking point, a person who advocates for his needs, a person who has hope for the future. From the deepest parts of my heart, I want to thank every single member of the staff for all the growth I went through in my time at Open Sky and for helping me kick start my life as an adult.” – Alex, Young Adult Student, 2016.
“When I read about Open Sky I was like, ‘This is it, this is what I’ve been searching for,’ and it was. Open Sky found my daughter. The guides were amazing and were so impactful to my daughter.” – Julia K., Alumni Parent, 2016
“I value how there’s no hiding from your emotions and your true self at Open Sky. I value how much more I enjoy life and all that I’ve learned about myself. I also value the brotherhood, emotional safety, and feedback that I received.” – Jeff S., Young Adult Client, 2016
“The Open Sky family systems approach and family programming distinguish this program from the others we researched. From our personal experience, I think that this is what made Open Sky so effective.” – Eve M., Alumni Parent, 2014
“Dad, I was so mad at you for sending me here but now I can’t thank you enough…best experience of my life.” – Nicole J., Adolescent Student, 2016.
“Before Open Sky, I had no idea how to interact with or have a relationship with our son.”
– Gregory S., Alumni Parent, 2017.
“On April 14 of 2015, I came to Open Sky. I was extremely sick physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually from years of alcohol and drug abuse. Prior to attending Open Sky, I could not hold down a job, pass college classes or maintain healthy relationships with my friends and family. My life was in shambles and completely unmanageable. I spent three months at Open Sky backpacking, working through my addictions and healing broken relationships. In the wilderness, I was able to find joy and serenity from within that I didn’t know was possible. I learned how to live within a community. Most importantly, I learned that I had the ability to exist sober and happy. Because Open Sky is a mindfulness based program, I could cultivate a strong meditation and yoga practice. This was integral for me. Today, my life looks totally different than it once did. I have maintained sobriety since arriving at Open Sky, I am a straight A student, valued family member and reliable friend. I work at two different treatment centers in Arizona, and I am a certified yoga instructor. In addition, I consistently venture into nature. I truly believe that Open Sky Wilderness Therapy was the only way for me to heal. I am forever grateful to everyone who I worked with at Open Sky.” – Emily, Young Adult 24, 2016.
“I was constantly impressed by the quality, depth of knowledge, and kindness of each staff member, from admissions to guides to therapists to office staff. Everyone we dealt with was amazing!” – Lauren B., Wellness Weekend Parent, 2012
“I’m grateful you got to go on this journey!” – Timothy, Brother of Alumni Student, 2012
“When you have a child that goes to wilderness therapy, the parents and the family are so impacted. My guess is that many of the wilderness programs are focusing on the child and that’s what it’s about. For us at Open Sky, not only was our child being attended to but our family was as well. If we had our child in a different program and not at a family centered program, we would have had a different experience. The experience, for us, was tremendous. There are so many emotions that parents and the family experiences. When just the child is being treated, that is an unfortunate situation. It makes absolute sense that the parents are attended to as well. I don’t think that’s happening anywhere else.” – Trish, Parent of Adolescent Student, 2016
“I am grateful for Open Sky and for everyone who participated in the rebirth of our daughter. I am grateful for all who have walked before us, and those who will come after. It’s been quite a journey.” – Christine M., Alumni Parent, 2012
“There is something about the wilderness. Something magical. Something pure. When it rains, the wind blows, your pack is disorganized or you lose something, you cannot blame anyone but yourself for not being prepared. It is not your parents’ fault; it is not your teacher’s fault.
Thank you for sharing the wilderness with my son.” – Dennis H., Alumni Parent, 2013
“We just want to thank every member of the Open Sky team, not only because of what you did for our daughter, but also for our entire family. We heard early on during our family support calls that Open Sky was transformative and we were hopeful, but what we saw from our daughter during Family Quest and Graduation was nothing less than a miracle. Your work is truly magical. From the moment we were reunited with our daughter, until the time we said goodbyes to the team at Open Sky, we were touched by each member’s honesty, compassion, and caring for human beings. We cannot say enough about how this time at Open Sky has impacted us all.” – Sam and Terri, Parents of Adolescent Student, 2017.
“I credit Open Sky with saving my son’s life. Period.” – Henry D., Alumni Parent, 2016
“What you are doing there is so real and so effective.” – Fredrick T., Alumni Parent, 2013
“I love you Open Sky, you have forever changed the person I am and will be. I am and will forever be in your debt.” – Kevin C., Young Adult Client, 2013
“I am so grateful for the opportunity I had at Open Sky to catapult change in my life. Now, a year and a half later I could not be living a more fulfilling life!” – Joni T., Alumni Student, 2012
“I never felt more alive and at peace with myself than I did during my time at Open Sky.”
– Whitney H., Alumni Student, 2012
“I missed Open Sky so much today, I got my busting set out and busted a solo coal and still managed to make it burn in my Utah nesting! Wish I was still there so much!” – Rachel, Alumni Student, 2014
“There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think of Open Sky. It saved and changed my life.”
– Natalie L., Alumni Student 2012
“I think of my time in wilderness as one of the most amazing and important experiences of my life so far.” – Madison M., Alumni Student, 2012
“Open Sky saved my life… I don’t think that my life could possibly have taken a better road.”
– Jessica T., Student, 2014
“I was inspired by all my field guides. The field guides made me feel safe and cared about. They were easy to connect with and understood me while also challenging me.” – Michael K., Alumni Adolescent Student, 2016
“I would say that my child’s experience at Open Sky was tremendous, he grew so much and got so much out of this program. I don’t think there’s another program out there that supports the parents the way we were supported while our child was in the wilderness. To me, that support of the parents is critical for their mental health through this family experience. The benefit is huge. When I first heard about wilderness, the focus was on my son; then I realized there was a lot of work we needed to do. That work was huge, it was a lot of assignments and it was in depth, deep and unconscious, really getting into the meat and heart of old feelings, old anxieties, and old emotions. To have someone focused on us, to support us and hold our hand emotionally, to trust that our doing, our work is going to be helpful to our son, was vital.
To me, the wilderness program was about his mental health. Because he was in the muck and trenches while in the wilderness, so were we. To be emotionally healthy, my husband and I really needed support. We couldn’t have done it alone. It turned out Open Sky wasn’t about our son, it was about our whole family. There was a part of us that was stunned when our child went into Open Sky; there was a part of me that was paralyzed and in shock. Having this gift of a therapist for us, allowed us to come back to who we truly are. Come back to feeling alive, excited, hopeful and grateful. I just feel so incredibly grateful for Open Sky. I am incredibly grateful to the founders for having the vision and the insight to make it all it is today. I think Open Sky is the only program that realizes, consciously, how important it is to support a healthy family system. It’s the best clinicians and equipment, there’s so many wonderful things that go into creating what Open Sky does. We were lucky enough to participate in a Wellness Weekend. It was so luxurious. It makes so much sense, and in a world today that is so busy and money driven it is easy to be unconscious about missing that family piece. But having been through it, it makes so much sense to be supporting the family as well. Of course, the family system needs support! I know Open Sky is a pioneer in offering a family service program. To me, having done it. I can’t imagine not having the support through the program.” Trish, – Parent of Adolescent Student, 2016