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Stories from the Field: Mental Health and the Outdoors

Nov 11, 2019

Emily (Jonesie) Jones spent every summer of her childhood living at a summer camp that her parents worked at.  After college, she worked at a farm and traveled all over, including South America. Jonesie shares the fascinating story of being in Peru and participating in a ceremony that changed the course of her life. She followed her path of service to Open Sky, where she has been a field guide for 2 1/2 years. Jonsie how she takes care of herself as a guide and why she "loves" being in the field.

Jonesie's bio from the Open Sky Website: 

Jonesie grew up spending every summer at a residential summer camp in Northern Wisconsin, where her family lived and worked. It was there that she developed her love of nature. Later she worked as a guide at the camp, in college, and in the U.S. Virgin Islands, leading backpacking, rafting, kayaking, and snorkeling. She came to Open Sky in January 2017 with prior experience as a wilderness therapy guide.

Many arrows pointed Jonesie toward the field of wilderness therapy, rooted in the idea of mindfulness and intentional communities outside. Everything about Open Sky aligned with her personal values of authenticity, nonjudgement, mindfulness, and the belief of innate goodness within every person. She most values the mindfulness and intentionality that comes with being a field guide. She loves to witness the shift in students’ hearts when these practices open them up to deeper levels of themselves. Creativity and humor are Jonesie’s biggest strengths within the Guide Team. She is very perceptive and can create spaces with meaning and metaphor that are attuned to the individual.

During her free time, Jonesie likes to connect to the Durango community through volunteer work with gardens, painting murals, farmers markets, and visiting nursing homes with her therapy dog. It is important to her to live with intentionality in all aspects of her life. She is also an aspiring trapeze artist and can currently walk on her hands for 21 seconds!