The Open Sky approach transcends traditional wilderness therapy by emphasizing treatment for the whole family not just the adolescent or young adult through the application of evidence-based clinical modalities and innovative, well-researched holistic healing practices such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness.

Working in the mountains of Colorado and deserts of Utah, Field Guides provide students with a stable, wilderness-based environment to grow & thrive.

The Open Sky approach transcends traditional wilderness therapy by emphasizing treatment for the whole family not just the adolescent or young adult through the application of evidence-based clinical modalities and innovative, well-researched holistic healing practices such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness. When a family partners with Open Sky, they embark on a rewarding adventure of self-discovery, and learn a range of strategies that promote lasting success.

Open Sky Wilderness Therapy inspires people to learn and live in a way that honors values and strengthens relationships. Field Guides at Open Sky work with adolescent and young adult students in a wilderness setting to provide therapeutically rich environments in which students grow and thrive.

The Open Sky Journey

Open Sky Wilderness Therapy inspires people to learn and live in a way that honors values and strengthens relationships.

Open Sky Field Guide Orientation
Orientation is a chance to learn about Open Sky, to develop the basic skills needed, and to demonstrate your strengths and personality. It is also a chance for applicants and Open Sky to mutually assess whether or not Open Sky is the right fit. Field Guides are responsible for the physical and emotional safety of our students. Guides are selected and trained with safety as the highest priority. Potential Guides attend a 10-day orientation prior to employment, which includes 7 days in the wilderness. An additional 2 days of medication administration training is usually necessary for those offered employment after orientation.

After the initial orientation, Guides receive ongoing development each week for the duration of their employment.Ongoing Guide Development
After the initial orientation, Guides receive ongoing development each week for the duration of their employment. Ongoing areas of development include: risk and safety management, appropriate consequences, therapeutic program tools, small group leadership skills, emergency response, assertive communication, and medical protocols. Guides continuously receive feedback from their peers and are expected to set and pursue professional goals to further their own development.

More to explore at Open Sky!We are called Open Sky because we believe in the potential of human beings.  We believe we are all like the open sky: beautiful, infinite, and ever changing.  No matter what may enter the sky, be it the sun or the stars, rain or clouds, everything passes.  There is always a new day for infinite possibilities.

Work Schedule

Guides facilitate and supervise throughout, while providing stable, compassionate role-modeling and leadership.

Field Guide Work Schedule
Guides typically work 8 days on, 6 days off, and work 160-176 field days in a year’s time. Staff are encouraged to enjoy several shifts off per year, which allows for an abundance of time to travel and explore the surrounding vicinity, reconnect with family and friends, or go to more exotic locales throughout the world.

Summer Season Guide Option
More to explore at Open Sky!Although most Guides must make a 1-year commitment, a handful of Guides are hired as seasonal support for the summer months. These Guides maintain the same 8-on, 6-off schedule for the duration of the summer. Typically, orientation for these positions will happen in May.

What You'll Be Doing

Groups participate in yoga and meditation, maintain daily self-care practices, and engage in therapeutic groups.

A Typical Field Week
Each week Open Sky students spend four or five days out on expedition, and the other days in our outdoor basecamp. While on expedition, students hike through the canyon country of Utah (in winter) or the mountains and plateaus of Colorado (in summer).

Groups participate in yoga and meditation, maintain daily self-care practices, and engage in therapeutic groups. Guides and students alike utilize simple gear and methods, including bow-drilling to create fire. Guides facilitate and supervise throughout, while providing stable, compassionate role-modeling and leadership.

More to explore at Open Sky!The skills obtained from the wilderness are unbounded. When we break free from our sources of comfort, we are able to discover who we truly are. If we seek to understand, the ability to learn is endless.

Base Camp

Open Sky maintains two base camps: one in southwestern Colorado and one in southeastern Utah — both offering a simple, outdoor living environment.

Open Sky maintains two base camps: one in southwestern Colorado and one in southeastern Utah — both offering a simple, outdoor living environment. There are no permanent cabins or structures for students or Guides. In the winter months, groups have teepees available for additional shelter. In the summer, groups sleep under large group tarps.

While at base camp, students meet with their Therapists, complete group chores, write letters, work on personal assignments, take backcountry showers, and occasionally participate in community projects such as trail maintenance, site clean-up, or seasonal preparations. There is also a sweat lodge at the Utah basecamp, and groups are able to periodically participate in sweats.

More to explore at Open Sky!Open Sky is the first nationally accredited wilderness therapy program through the Association for Experiential Education and the only mindfulness-based wilderness therapy company.

Perks, Rewards & Life in Durango, Colorado

Many staff live in Durango, which offers excellent outdoor recreation fun.

Pay and benefits include a wage of $155–$210/day, professional development funding (e.g. WFR/CPR re-certifications, yoga teacher trainings, etc.), paid trainings and pro-deal purchases with multiple outdoor gear and apparel companies, periodic bonuses and sick leave. Upon one year of full-time employment, you will also receive health, dental & vision insurance, and 401K retirement plan contributions.

Transitioning to Durango
Field Guides will need to arrange their own room and board around the Four Corners region when they are not working in the field. Many staff live in Durango, which offers excellent outdoor recreation fun, including hiking, climbing, skiing, boating, and mountain biking as well as plenty of live music, good restaurants, natural food stores, health spas, and hot springs. Durango is also home to Fort Lewis College, a small, liberal arts college with approximately 4,000 students. For those looking for a quieter location, there is an abundance of small towns in close proximity to Durango and the field operating area.

More to explore at Open Sky!Durango and the surrounding area enjoy an ideal four-season climate with moderate temperatures and over 300 days of sun per year. The expansive course area covers all facets of the regional landscape, from jagged alpine peaks with wildflower-filled meadows to red-rock canyons and cacti.

The Essentials

When a family partners with Open Sky, they embark on a rewarding adventure of self-discovery, and learn a range of strategies that promote lasting success.

At minimum, applicants must be at least 21 years of age, hold a current WFR and CPR certification and have a high school diploma. In the field, you must be able to exercise sound judgment while managing risk and supervising students in a wilderness setting, work as part of a treatment team to fulfill specific needs for each student, able to live and teach comfortably and confidently in a wilderness setting for 8 days at a time, provide effective instruction in therapeutic content and processes, including yoga and meditation, and role-model assertive communication and healthy relationships

Preference is given to those who have demonstrated leadership in outdoor or wilderness settings, experience and/or educational background in therapeutic treatment, youth development, psychology, teaching, and/or other experiences with leadership or mindfulness practices with youth.

More to explore at Open Sky!The Open Sky team includes Field Guides who are in recovery from addiction, have worked as classroom teachers, Peace Corps volunteers, Outward Bound and NOLS instructors, yoga teachers, mediation practitioners or gained experience from other wilderness therapy programs. Come join the family!

Your First Move & Connections

Open Sky typically holds four 10-day Field Guide orientations each year — in January, March, May and September. These orientations are by invitation only after completing a standard interview. Successful candidates who are offered employment after orientation generally begin working in the field within 3 weeks.

A complete application must include a cover letter, resume, three letters of recommendation, a filled out questionnaire form, and copies of current CPR/WFR (or higher) certifications. Send your completed application to the Recruitment Team.

Winter Season Field Guide Orientation Session
More to explore at Open Sky!Apply now for the next 10-day Field Guide orientation beginning in January (dates to be determined).

Open Sky Wilderness Therapy: discover your true nature!

Field Guide Recruiter
Open Sky Wilderness Therapy
P.O. Box 2201
Durango, CO 81302
(970) 382-8181
(970) 382-9494 fax
recruiter@openskywilderness.com
OpenSkyWilderness.com

More to explore at Open Sky!View all employment opportunities »

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