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We will be starting at 6pm – See you soon! WELCOME TO THE OPEN SKY WEBINAR.

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Presentation on theme: "We will be starting at 6pm – See you soon! WELCOME TO THE OPEN SKY WEBINAR."— Presentation transcript:

1 We will be starting at 6pm – See you soon! WELCOME TO THE OPEN SKY WEBINAR

2 Presented by:  Michael Gay, Master Senior Field Guide & Family Services Counselor Michael has been working as a wilderness therapy guide for 5 years, and has worked extensively with adolescent boys, girls, and young adults.  Dr. Joanna Bettmann Schaefer, Ph.D, LCSW Open Sky's research director, associate professor of Social Work, and director of the Masters of Social Work program at the University of Utah WHAT HAPPENS IN WILDERNESS THERAPY: AN INSIDE LOOK AT DAY-TO-DAY

3  Typical weekly schedule  Typical daily schedule, morning to night  Expedition Days  Base camp days  Additional activities: groups, ceremonies, initiatives, solos, and games  Questions AGENDA

4  Thursday  Expedition  Friday  Expedition  Saturday  Expedition or layover  Sunday  Expedition  Monday  Return to base camp TYPICAL WEEKLY SCHEDULE: EXPEDITION DAYS

5  Wake up, “first check” ~8 am  Staff wakes students and they bring the necessary gear to the “kitchen”, or common area  Morning Practice  Yoga and meditation practice led by staff or senior student  Breakfast  Hygiene  Students floss and brush teeth and apply sunscreen. Staff examine students’ feet for health and capillary re-fill (indication of hydration).  Camp Chores / Pack up ~10:30 am – Noon  Usually a timed activity to encourage efficiency, students take down their shelters, clean fire rings, fill in the latrine, and divide group gear and food. Students pack their belongings and examine the camp area to be sure they have followed the practices of “Leave no trace”.  Hiking  The group begins hiking to their next destination, led by either a staff or senior student. Groups take a short break every 20 minutes and a longer break every hour. Often times, groups harvest natural materials as they hike. TYPICAL DAILY SCHEDULE: EXPEDITION DAYS, THURSDAY-SUNDAY

6  Lunch ~ 1 pm  Usually 30 min, students and staff eat personal food for lunch. Often times, a therapeutic group takes place after lunch.  Continued Hiking  Arrive at Camp / Chores / Set up ~4 pm  When a group has reached their destination, the “kitchen” is determined and students set up shelters. Group chores begin, including digging the latrine, collecting firewood, “busting” (bow drilling, or making) a fire, and prepping dinner. When chores are finished, students usually have personal time to work on assignments or letters, read, and meet with their guide mentors  while those on dinner-duty cook. TYPICAL DAILY SCHEDULE: EXPEDITION DAYS, THURSDAY-SUNDAY

7  Dinner  Several students work together on a rotating basis to cook dinner. A gratitude circle usually takes place before the meal and clean up chores follow.  Group  Staff facilitates a therapeutic group based on a particular student’s assignment (i.e. sharing a responsibility letter) or something the Clinical Therapist has assigned for the week.  Hygiene  Floss and brush teeth, foot check  Bear Hang  In Colorado, all food, toothpaste, and soap is hung from several tall trees far outside of camp at night. This discourages bears (or other animals) from entering camp.  Sleep time  Students go to their individual shelters to sleep. If they have a headlamp, they are welcome to use it to read or write. In the adolescent groups, staff collect shoes, boots, and pants to ensure students remain safe in camp. TYPICAL DAILY SCHEDULE: EXPEDITION DAYS, THURSDAY-SUNDAY

8 TANDEM BOW DRILL, HIKING IN COLORADO, AND COOKING ON A STOVE

9  “Four line feelings checks”  Students and guides will initiate “four line feelings checks” throughout the course of the day. These can take place at any time and encourage students to become mindful with what they are experiencing mentally, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.  “I feel” statements  Often part of students’ therapeutic assignments, “I feel” statements can be initiated by staff or students and require students to communicate how they are feeling. All statements are reflected by someone else in the group.  “Teachable moments”  Throughout the day, the behaviors or patterns that have brought a student to Open Sky will often present themselves. Be it impulsive behavior, self-depreciating thoughts, or poor communication, staff and students are encouraged to bring such patterns to the awareness of the individual and the group. These “on the spot” therapeutic interventions are extremely powerful. THROUGHOUT THE DAY

10  Monday  Groups arrive back to base camp  Medical teams visits (Every student every other week)  Psychiatrist visits  Showers, laundry  Mail arrives from home  Graduation Council (If a student is graduating)  Tuesday  Therapists arrive, 1:1 sessions  Group meditation  Weekly deep cleaning  Food and supplies for next week arrive  Staff exchange (Staff meets with Clinical Therapist, group discussion of the week)  Group therapy session with Clinical Therapist  Wednesday  Continued 1:1 therapy sessions  Student mail goes out with Clinical Therapist  Leave for expedition; either by vehicle or by foot TYPICAL WEEKLY SCHEDULE: BASE CAMP DAYS

11  Monday  Groups arrive back to base camp in AM (Groups may also return Sunday evening)  Set up shelters, collect wood and water for duration of base camp stay  Medical teams visits  A member of our medical team visits each student every other week. They conduct general check-ins and address any ongoing issues, often consulting with staff.  Psychiatrist visits  Students that meet with our Psychiatrist do so on a bi-weekly or weekly basis on Mondays.  Laundry  Clean clothes that were laundered during the week arrive  Showers  Students bathe in the wilderness, away from the group, with water heated in a solar shower or on a stove. They use soap, shampoo, and conditioner, which are stored at base.  Mail arrives from home  Students are given time to read their letters from home  Assignments, letters, and personal time  Students usually have free time on Mondays to work on therapeutic assignments, respond to letters from family members, and work on personal projects, such as arts and crafts, reading books, or playing music. (Every group in the field has a guitar that lives at base camp.) TYPICAL DAILY SCHEDULE: BASE CAMP DAYS, MONDAY

12  Tuesday  Group Meditation  All Open Sky groups come together at the Graduation site for group meditation which involves a guided mediation, discussion, and a Q & A session.  Therapists arrive, 1:1 sessions  Every student meets individually with their Clinical Therapist for at least an hour. They discuss therapeutic assignments and goals, family phone calls, and the previous week.  Weekly deep cleaning  All group cooking utensils, pots, pans, and personal food cups are washed with hot, soapy water, rinsed, and disinfected with a water/bleach solution. Students and staff assess food supplies from the previous week.  Staff exchange  Outgoing staff meets with the Clinical Therapist and discusses each students’ treatment plan  Outgoing and incoming staff, the Clinical Therapist, and students participate in a group sharing what the week was like: challenges, successes, progress, and feedback  Dirty laundry is sent out with outgoing staff to be washed  Food and supplies for next week arrive  Food is divided per person and per meal  Groups often cook an elaborate meal on Tuesdays evenings, using a bread kit, dutch oven, and fresh meat  Group therapy session with Clinical Therapist  In the evening, the Clinical Therapist facilitates a group therapy session with students and new staff. Topics vary depending on pertinent issues in the group or growth areas. TYPICAL DAILY SCHEDULE: BASE CAMP DAYS, TUESDAY

13  Wednesday  Continued 1:1 therapy sessions  All students meet with their Clinical Therapist  Student mail goes out with Clinical Therapist  Any students written to loved ones at home leave the field with the Clinical Therapist, who delivers them to the office, where they are scanned and uploaded to each student’s portal.  Leave for expedition, either by vehicle or by foot  Students and staff determine what food, gear, and supplies they will need for expedition. They pack up and secure base camp for while they are gone.  Each week, the field management team and guides plan an expedition based on the therapeutic goals, physical ability, and needs of the group. Some weeks, the group will drive in vehicles to a more removed course area, other times the group will hike from base camp. TYPICAL DAILY SCHEDULE: BASE CAMP DAYS, WEDNESDAY

14  Groups  Ceremonies  Ceremonies mark special times and transitions at Open Sky. These could include a student moving to a new direction in the pathway or achieving a particular therapeutic goal ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES Addiction/chemical dependency Inner critic Family systems Self love Life story Fears and insecurities Grief and loss Anger Communication Thinking patterns Impact letters Body image Priorities and goals Wounds Mature man / woman Parent Relationships Manipulation Entitlement Letters Group focus on individual student Feedback What’s on your heart and mind Bow-drill clinic and metaphor

15  Initiatives  Initiatives are used as powerful interventions when students are working on something specific. Examples include initiatives that challenge students to lead the group, silently observe the team for a day to better understand how they interact with people, only communicating in “I feel” statements to challenge a student to communicate their feelings, and so on.  Games  Laughter and play is an important part of Open Sky! Students and guides play word games and riddles, physical games, and intellectual games.  Culture  Every group of students and guides in the field invariably develops a group culture based on their particular personalities. Some groups love to sing, create inside jokes, or discuss certain topics. ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES

16  Contacts for the presenters: Joanna Bettmann Schaefer, PhD, LCSW Open Sky Research Director joanna@openskywilderness.com 801-587-7600 www.openskywilderness.com Michael Gay staffo.mg@gmail.com THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING! PLEASE KEEP THIS WINDOW OPEN, IT WILL TAKE YOU TO A SHORT SURVEY AT THE END OF THE WEBINAR


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