So our field of operations is located on the
western side of the Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument, in the middle of the southwest, where western movies were filmed
back in the 30s and 40s. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. So there’s been a lot of wilderness
programs started in this country. And the decisions that are made in terms
of location have often been, in my experience talking with other people and
being involved in a few start-ups, that the priorities have been where do people already live,
and can they find a place to build up a wilderness program, and get permits
near where they live. Or where’s the nearest airport?
Is it convenient for people to get to for travel? Or where would people like to live?
Is this a fun city to live in? You know, things like that. So all of these are sort of
logistical or even marketing decisions. We decided that our first priority was going to be the child or
the young adult, the client’s personal experiences was going to be priority one. So we looked at it at a few
different areas, and since our priority was the
individual’s experience from their heart that they had while they were in the wilderness was our top priority. Those other priorities took
second, third, and fourth place. Not only that, it’s pretty remote. It’s a place in the world where the vistas, the distance away from lights, and even little ranches and homes is far enough, where a young man or young woman
can feel silence. I say ‘feel silence’ because I believe that that’s one of the
most important pieces of a wilderness therapy experience. So i think part of the WinGate difference was
how we went about starting in the first place.