All Kinds of News for October 04, 2017
In Durango, snow-capped mountains are visible in the distance and the aspen leaves are turning varying shades of red and yellow. These elements not only signify a change in season but also serve to remind us that the move to our winter course area in Utah is drawing near.
Our southeastern Utah location boasts a dry and temperate climate, a welcomed alternative to the more harsh and snowy landscapes of Colorado winters. Our Operations team has been hard at work in our Utah base camp constructing a variety of new structures, designed to enhance the base camp experience for our students.
One significant change to base camp is the creation of gravel pathways to/from and within each group’s camp. Why does this matter? Historically, one of the biggest challenges in winter is the clay and mud build-up inherent to the land. “Putting gravel down on trails and in the camps will vastly improve the student experience,” said Greg Ooley, Operations Director. “When students return to base camp each week, they’ll spend less time cleaning and drying themselves and their gear. This allows for more time to engage in therapeutic assignments, letter writing, therapy and skill-building.”
Camp shelters are also a welcome addition to each group site. “Camp shelters give students and guides an organized, permanent, and sheltered structure to prepare food, organize cookware and utensils as well as group and personal gear ” Ooley noted. “Typically students cook over campfires or inside tipis during inclement weather. But the new shelters will provide countertops to prep and serve food and clean dishes, which in turn, will improve the experience.”
Also new this year, all group sites will have canvas wall tents furnished with potbelly stoves. The canvas tents will be used for sleeping, drying gear after expedition, and for group yoga during inclement weather. When the stove is utilized, it will provide enough warmth for students to be comfortable in T-shirts while inside the tent even if temperatures are much colder outside.
Finally, each group site will include permanent shower stall structures. The new individual shower structures will allow for warm showers throughout the week.
As always, tipis (a defining feature of Open Sky’s winter base camp) will continue to provide shelter in times of inclement weather. Tipis are a great place to gather around the fire, hold group sessions, and eat meals. Tipis are also used to host graduation ceremonies for our families and students.
Open Sky is constantly pursuing excellence in order to provide the safest and most effective programming for our students and families. The addition of gravel pathways, camp structures, individual shower stalls, and heated canvas wall tents serve to further enhance the therapeutic wilderness experience for adolescents and young adults.
About Open SKy Wilderness Therapy
Since 2006, Open Sky Wilderness Therapy has been providing the premier family-centered wilderness therapy experience through its programs in the mountains of Southwest Colorado and the Canyonlands of Southeast Utah. The Open Sky approach transcends traditional wilderness therapy by emphasizing treatment for the whole family in addition to the individual, and the application of evidence-based modalities with innovative, proven, 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 acquire a range of tools that promote lasting success.