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What We Do

Open Sky assists teens, young adults and families struggling with difficult challenges and life circumstances. We provide a life-changing opportunity to discover and create a healthy life that is an intelligent and authentic expression of one’s true nature as capable, worthy, honorable people.

Highlights

Admissions

  • Adolescents (males and females), ages 13 to 17
  • Transition-age young adults (males and females), ages 18-20
  • Young adults (males and females), ages 21 to 30

Integrative Care and Whole Person Wellness

  • Interdisciplinary team of therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, medical doctors, field guides, and family counselors
  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Mindfulness techniques encompassing basic breathing and meditation techniques, yoga, and other anxiety-reduction practices
  • Wellness-based curriculum with emphasis on daily exercise, hiking, healthy food, self-care, and quality sleep

Family-Centered

  • A fully integrated Family Services Department exclusively dedicated to supporting parents
  • Weekly conference calls with therapists to discuss student progress and provide support and education
  • Wellness Weekend for parents to participate in a parallel, enriching experience that complements the student’s program
  • Family Quests, which provide intensive, 3-day interventions facilitated by therapists and wilderness guides
  • Parent Portal for access to parenting resources, curriculum, assignments, pictures, letters, and webinars
  • Graduation transition ceremony and family reunion
  • Dedicated Transition Mentors who support families through the post-graduation period

Academic Credit

  • Four (4) readily transferable academic credit hours available for Health, English, Social Studies, and PE

Why Wilderness Works

  • Separation from technology creates space to form authentic relationships
  • Patterns seen at home emerge in the field; through these insights, therapists help students move through the stages of change
  • Living with the basics requires a self-reliance to build confidence that lasts a lifetime
  • Living under the open sky develops resiliency, resourcefulness, and accountability
  • Experiential lessons involve students in the therapeutic process and assist them in developing appropriate tools to cope with stress

Industry-Leading, Outcomes-Based Research 

  • Open Sky is the only wilderness therapy program that conducts outcome research on every student
  • Research uses the well-accepted Youth Outcome Questionnaire (Y-OQ)
  • Our data show that students (1) make behavioral, interpersonal, and mental health gains while at Open Sky and (2) maintain gains after graduating
  • Students arrive with mental health scores equivalent to those in psychiatric and residential treatment facilities, depart with scores equivalent to the general functioning population in same age group