Dedicated to change
The founders and leadership team of Legacy Outdoor Adventures bring together accomplishments and experience across the full spectrum of wilderness therapy. Members of the team, led by Gil Hallows, Executive Director, and including Troy Faddis, Clinical Director, Ray Barlow, Admissions Director, and Larry Bray, Operations Director, have had a profound impact in defining the field of wilderness therapy. Team members have played major roles developing effective wilderness programming, establishing risk management and clinical best practices, refining substance abuse treatment in the wilderness, and setting the standard for training professional field instructors and wilderness therapists.
"I am not sure what would have happened if my son, my family, and I had not recieved the help that we needed." - A grateful parent
Gil Hallows - Executive Director
Gil’s career in wilderness therapy brings together his passions for working with young people and connecting with the healing power of the outdoors. He moved back to his hometown of Loa and the beloved mountains and deserts he wandered during his formative years to work for Aspen Achievement Academy in 1995. Aspen Achievement Academy, with Gil as the Executive Director since 1996, became the most influential wilderness therapy program in the country. Gil served on the committee appointed by the Utah State Office of Licensing in 1997 to review and update the licensure standards for Outdoor Youth Programs. In 2000, he assembled and led the team that conceptualized and founded Passages To Recovery, the pioneer in wilderness therapy substance abuse treatment for young adults. Gil heavily influenced the development of comprehensive best practices for managing risk in the outdoors for the Aspen Education Group outdoor programs.
He was a founding member of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Industry Council (OBHIC) in 1996, and has served as its president and Research Committee Chair. He helped found the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Research Cooperative (OBHRC) and support it in becoming the leader in outcomes research. Gil has been on the board of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) from 2002 to 2011, and has served as Ethics Committee Chair and board liaison to the Research Committee. Gil was recognized by NATSAP in 2009 as the recipient of the National Leadership Award.
Gil and his wife Flora are the parents of five children and have six grandchildren. The Hallows family spends its free time outdoors in all seasons hiking, camping, skiing, exploring, bonding, and enjoying the calming beauty of nature.
Troy has been working in wilderness therapy since 2001. His clinical experience includes working with adults and adolescents with substance abuse and dual diagnosis. Troy also works with difficult family systems including impacted by divorce and easily frustrated and chronically inflexible children. He excels in helping clients develop resiliency and self-efficacy skills, and working with clients who have gifted intelligence.
Troy has worked many years as a field therapist and clinical director for Aspen Achievement Academy. One of his duties at Aspen was to take parents out to the wilderness to see their children and do family therapy. Troy began his studies at Brigham Young University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in family sciences. He received his Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from Seattle Pacific University . Troy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an AAMFT supervisor.
Troy has been a board member for The Utah Association for Marriage and Family Therapy from 2005 to 2011. Troy was raised in Seattle, WA and Utah. Troy spent much of his time growing up outdoors hiking and playing in the mountains of Utah and the Pacific Northwest. Troy is the oldest of seven siblings, three of whom are adopted. Troy is married and has five children, including three teens. This experience as a father to teens gives him perspective when doing therapy with families. Troy was raised on Celtic music and likes to play the bagpipes.
Ray’s passion for this work comes from his personal life-changing experiences in the wilderness and a strong belief in the power of mentoring. Through his own remarkable journey, he has gained the experience, insight and passion to help others find their vision for the future and make the successful transition to manhood. For Ray, this work is much more than a job; it is a life calling. Ray has over 20 years’ experience working in the wilderness and has helped countless people overcome the obstacles standing in the way of their success. Ray is a Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor and has personal experience with the heartache of addiction and the joy of recovery. Ray is a certified Wilderness First Responder and a certified Positive Control Systems instructor, and has had extensive training and experience in the area of wilderness risk management, Motivational Interviewing, 12 Step Recovery, the Gorski Relapse Prevention Model, the Stages of Change Model, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and wilderness survival.
Ray has a wife and four children who love to spend time in wilderness with him fly-fishing, skiing, camping, hiking and exploring wild things and wild places.
Devon Nanton, SUDC - Counselor
Devon has spent the last fifteen years engaged in recovery work with young men, modeling a healthy recovery lifestyle and guiding them in finding their way back to themselves. Devon worked many years at Passages To Recovery, serving in positions ranging from wilderness guide to residential director. Most recently, Devon was the executive director at San Cristobal Treatment Center. “I found that I missed direct contact working with young men in recovery utilizing the 12 steps in a wilderness setting, so I returned to Loa to join the Legacy team as a substance abuse counselor. “ Devon has extensive experience teaching and coaching a range of outdoor and recreational activities including soccer, track, and skiing. Devon’s credentials include a license as a substance abuse counselor, First Aid and CPR instructor, Wilderness First Aid instructor, and Wilderness First Responder.
Steve Kern LCSW - Therapist
Steve has provided behavioral health services and therapy for over 20 years. As Program Director of the children’s department at a community mental health center in Kansas, he developed and implemented therapeutic group programming for children and adolescents who experienced behavioral and emotional challenges. He instituted a highly structured treatment group for children in need of extra support, developed adventure based programming using natural or environmental features, and founded a backcountry program to provide therapeutic outdoor experiences for children and adolescents with behavioral and emotional disturbances. Through these programs, Steve witnessed the power of nature in promoting the behavioral and emotional health of individuals. It became clear that a connection with the earth is an integral part of an individual’s wellbeing and ability to thrive. In search of an opportunity to further experience connections between the earth and individuals, Steve moved to Utah in 2006 and began work as a therapist for young adults receiving treatment in wilderness programs. Drawing on his work experiences in Kansas, Steve also implemented a highly structured wilderness intervention program for youth in a residential treatment center, and developed a program for the youth to experience adventure based activities in the Utah mountains, canyons, and waterways. In addition, he formulated and led a wellness program integrating physical fitness activities with mental and emotional health therapies. In 2015, Steve joined the Legacy clinical team where he enjoys working with a program that taps in to all the wilderness can offer in the way of healing and self actualization.
Steve earned a Bachelor of Arts from Southwest Baptist University and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Kansas. His treatment modalities include Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Experiential Therapy. For group therapy sessions, Steve often uses initiatives, games, and other activities that promote engagement and reflection. A longtime therapist, supervisor, and youth worker, Steve has broad experience helping young males grow and develop as responsible men with positive futures.
Steve enjoys outdoor activities year round, and
also enjoys sports as a competitor and fan. He likes bicycle riding,
hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, ice climbing, and canyoneering. As
a fan, Steve likes to see wins by the Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas City
Chiefs, and the Kansas City Royals. Derek has spent much
of the last decade working with
individuals to create sustainable life changes. He began
personal growth experiences as a head instructor with Red Cliff Assent
In 2004, as a senior field guide for Aspen Achievement Academy, he
an education resource manual designed to help guides understand and
program curriculum. Derek was a key member in the start up
development of Open Sky Wilderness Therapy. In 2006, he
sky’s first student into the program and during the next 5 years served
roles as Assistant Field Director, Guide Trainer and Field Manager.
played a key role in the medical and emergency response teams and is
experienced in field based incident command, medical first response and
medication administration. During Derek’s
time spent working in the wilds of the West, he has witnessed
influencing power of nature many times. Derek seeks to harness and
innate power of nature. Derek’s philosophy is
based on the belief that within
each person lies undiscovered strengths and the capacity to live a
rewarding life. He is passionate about his work and deeply committed to
people who are in need of help and are interested in the process of
self-discovery. Born and raised in
Utah, Derek is
now raising a family of his own. His love and
appreciation of family
and community serve as the foundation of his work.
Derek has spent much of the last decade working with individuals to create sustainable life changes. He began facilitating personal growth experiences as a head instructor with Red Cliff Assent in 2001. In 2004, as a senior field guide for Aspen Achievement Academy, he co-created an education resource manual designed to help guides understand and teach program curriculum. Derek was a key member in the start up and program development of Open Sky Wilderness Therapy. In 2006, he welcomed Open sky’s first student into the program and during the next 5 years served in such roles as Assistant Field Director, Guide Trainer and Field Manager. Derek played a key role in the medical and emergency response teams and is experienced in field based incident command, medical first response and medication administration. During Derek’s time spent working in the wilds of the West, he has witnessed the influencing power of nature many times. Derek seeks to harness and share that innate power of nature.
Derek’s philosophy is based on the belief that within each person lies undiscovered strengths and the capacity to live a balanced and rewarding life. He is passionate about his work and deeply committed to the people who are in need of help and are interested in the process of self-discovery. Born and raised in Utah, Derek is now raising a family of his own. His love and appreciation of family and community serve as the foundation of his work.
Dr Jeffrey Rush, Ph.D. - Consulting Psychologist
Dr Jeffrey Rush, Ph.D. - Consulting Psychologist
Dr Rush conducts psychological evaluation and assessment utilizing standardized tests and clinical interviewing. Dr Rush consults with the clinical team and milieu. Dr Rush recieved his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Counseling Psychology/Health Psychology at Ball State University and hisMaster of Science (M.S.), Counseling Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapy from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo
Dr Rush ha s been conducting testing in residential treatment centers or wilderness programs with adolescents and young adults since 2002.
Kalon Wright, SUDC - Counselor
Kalon was born and raised in the temperate rainforests of Southeast Alaska. His experience growing up outside and exploring nature as a child instilled a deep respect for the power and importance of wilderness in the human process. This passion for the outdoors, combined with a calling towards helping others, led him to the Aspen Achievement Academy in 2008 to work as a field guide. Inspired by his years as a guide and recognizing his keen ability to connect with others, Kalon returned to school to further his education in the field, receiving a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology and completing his Substance Use Disorder Counselor training at the University of Utah. After time spent working in young adult and adolescent treatment in Salt Lake City, Kalon is grateful and deeply pleased to be back working with the Legacy team in such a beautiful and transformative place.
Chris Davis was raised in Loa, Utah were her family roots run deep. Her father taught her to appreciate nature by taking her and her sisters nearly every weekend to the surrounding mountains to camp, hike and gather wood.
Chris has worked at Legacy Outdoor Adventures since May of 2015 as Office Manager and now has joined the Admissions team. She has a pleasant, positive, and happy personality and forms a lasting relationship with each client. She loves her job and is very organized, thorough and creative in her work. Chris brings love and life to the office staff as well as the families and clients involved in the program.
Chris worked as Operation’s Director for Aspen Ranch for four years, Finance Director for two years and four years in the Finance Department for Aspen Achievement Academy. She has enjoyed working for different wilderness and residential programs for the span of ten years. She thoroughly enjoys observing the progress that each client makes during their time at Legacy.
Chris currently resides in Bicknell, Utah with her husband Shawn and their three kids. She enjoys spending her spare time with her family riding 4-wheelers, exploring the country, reading and watching baseball.ughter, who are the loves of her life. Paige and her husband Nick plan to spend the rest of their lives in Loa.
- Program Director
Larry was born in Salt Lake valley but grew up on a small farm on the north slope of Boulder Mountain near Loa, Utah. The mountains and deserts where Legacy now operates served as the outdoor classroom and playground for him as he grew into adulthood. He served six years active duty in the US Army and taught high school math for fifteen years before transitioning into outdoor treatment. Larry's college degrees are in Computer Science and Mathematics. His interests and curiosity steer towards natural history, and his passion lies in working with others in the outdoor environment that has been so impactful in his life. Larry has four grown children and lives with Mary, his wife of 30 years, on the small farm where he was raised.
Larry served for six years as the Program Director and Risk Management Director of Aspen Achievement Academy. His strengths are in the training and coordination of emergency response personnel, developing risk management policies and procedures, and real-time management of incidents on the ground.
Dr. Chappell grew up on the family farm not far from Loa at the base of Thousand Lake Mountain - a fourth generation Chappell to call Rabbit Valley his home. He learned hard work and responsibility at a young age and leveraged those early life lessons into academic success graduating from Brigham Young University followed by medical school at the University of Utah. After completing a residency in family medicine, he returned to southern Utah where he’s practiced the full range of rural medicine for over 20 years. He practices family medicine in Bicknell, Utah where he is the medical director of the Wayne Community Health Center. He is also on staff at Sevier Valley Hospital in Richfield, Utah where he works part time as an emergency room physician. In addition to his work at the clinic in Bicknell he also serves the community as medical director of the Wayne County Ambulance and is on the local school board. He and his wife, Julia, have four children and enjoy recreating in the rugged mountains and red rock deserts near their home. He enjoys music and regularly performs blue grass folk music solo and with his children - many of the songs his originals reflecting local history and culture. This rugged land is a part of who he is and he knows its power to change individuals for good. He has a passion for helping young people and is excited to be a part of Legacy Outdoor Adventurehristensen has been practicing emergency medicine for over 15 years and is currently a staff physician at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, UT. He joined our team in 2012 when one of his partners and mentors, Dr. Keith Hooker, a pioneer, long-time consultant, and promoter of wilderness therapy programs asked him to assume his role due to terminal illness. He is grateful for that opportunity.
Justin Swensen - Field Director
Justin acquired a love for the outdoors and a passion for adventure at a very young age. Growing up primarily in Utah, the high mountains and desert plateaus provided a perfect setting for adventure and honing his wilderness skills. After graduating high school Justin spent four years on active duty in the United States Navy, worked as a carpenter, and then in the spring of 1997 went to work for a wilderness therapy program; RedCliff Ascent. Over the next seven years, Justin held several positions while at RedCliff but found his true calling as a field guide. He later spent four years working for Wingate Wilderness Therapy program where he also held several positions from Senior Field Staff, Back-up Driver, to Field Director. In 2014 Justin joined the Legacy Outdoor Adventures team and continues to share his love and passion for outdoor adventures with both the clients and staff. He has held several positions while working at Legacy and is currently the Field Director. Justin, his wife, and their two young children all share his same love and passion for the outdoors and adventure. He is finishing up a Bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Use of Adventure Education with an emphasis on psychology and a minor in art through Prescott College. He is also a current Utah EMT-B and Wilderness First Responder. in the wilderness, with the people I get to be with,
“Working out in the wilderness, with the people I get to be with, doing the things we do, and going the places we go has been amazingly good for my soul. I have grown exponentially because of the experiences I have been afforded and the people I have been able to meet working in wilderness therapy. My experience as a field guide and as a field director has shaped me in becoming a better man, brother, husband, and now father. The work, change, and transformation that take place out in the wilderness has been an amazing thing that I have been so lucky to be a part of.
Mike moved to Utah from Indiana 7 years ago to work a summer job as a field guide. The experience he had as a field guide was profound both professionally and personally as a young man in recovery. Mike decided to continue his work as field guide and since then the evolution of his professional career in substance abuse counseling has been an awesome journey. Mike has worked in both wilderness and residential settings. He has specialized in family workshop and loves to be able to help families come together and feel the hope that recovery offers to the family system. He is trained in the Gorski model of relapse prevention and as an interventionist and his own personal recovery is rooted in the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. He is currently attending Utah Valley University and is in the Substance Use Disorder Counselor Licensing program. Mike found a love of canyoneering a few years back and has been exploring technical canyons of southern and central Utah ever since. He is married with two children and loves all things outdoors and sports. Mike is also the Varsity High School Basketball Coach at Wayne High School.
Jack Huther - Assistant Field Director
I grew up in Michigan exploring the woods behind my house with my three older brothers. I am sure this was the start of my desire to find healing in the wilderness began. I attended Indiana University and studied English Education. I worked for AmeriCorps in the Taos, NM school system.
I have been an outdoor educator for 10 years. I worked at Aspen Achievement Academy for almost 5 years where I worked with at risk-youth in south central Utah. I have currently worked at Legacy Outdoor Adventures for the past 4 years as a Mentor field guide. I enjoy teaching, educating, and mentoring young men to change their lives. And there is no better way than to use wilderness adventure therapy. While living in Utah, I have explored many canyons, rivers, mountains, and ancient ruins. I am amazed at the vast beauty and wonderment that Utah has to offer.
My passions and interests include: guitar, organic farming, canyoneering, bike touring, fishing, and exploring. I just finished a 3200 mile bike trip last summer from Alaska to Washington. Working out in the wilderness, with the people I get to be with, doing the things we do, and going the places we go has been amazingly good for my soul. I have grown exponentially because of the experience
Finding recovery at a young age, J.P. has found much of himself through his work with young people in the recovery community across the country. On the path of recovery from substances, an extreme weight-loss is also a part of his story. Being pre-diabetic at age 12, weighing 315 pounds at 16, he rolled his path to physical wellness into his mental and spiritual recovery from alcohol and drugs—losing a total of 115 pounds and earning 5 years sober to date.
Moving out west to California for outdoor pursuits, his love for climbing became a center point of his own recovery and sought a career combining his life’s passions. Studying with Earth-Based Institute in Boulder, CO, he became an internationally accredited life coach with emphasis on Nature Connection, and Transformational Wilderness Guiding.
As a career guide with Legacy Outdoor Adventures, he eventually took an opportunity to incorporate his steadfast enthusiasm for cooking whole foods, nutrition education, and mindfulness with role managing the diet, and Logistics for the program. He now enjoys life in Wayne County as a Weekend Warrior learning to catch fish and maintaining his connection to the climbing and guiding community.
brings a wealth of experience in accounting, finance and human
resources to Legacy. She worked for Aspen Education Group from
1997 to 2011 as the finance manager for Aspen Achievement
Academy. Janette was also concurrently the finance manager for
Aspen Ranch and Passages To Recovery for several years.
Janette handles all financial and human resources functions for Legacy. “Being a part of the team at Legacy Outdoor Adventures is much more than making sure the financial end is taken care of; it is gratifying to see the change in the young men from the time they enter until the time they are ready to leave.”
Janette has a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She and her husband Joe have four children who are all married and 5 grandchildren. She enjoys spending as much time as possible time with them, and spending time in the beautiful outdoors that surround Loa.
Cheltsea Swensen - Medical Coordinator/Office
Cheltsea grew up in northern Utah with an adventurous dad who inspired her love for the outdoors. For the past fourteen years her and her husband, Justin, have enjoyed pursuing all kinds of outdoor sports together. Cheltsea’s current favorites are back packing and mtn. biking. The couple brings their two young children with them as much as possible, hoping to inspire the same passion. From her experience as a field staff for Red Cliff Ascent, Cheltsea understands the healing power of the wilderness. She is working on a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at USU. She enjoys her role at Legacy as the medical coordinator. She also produces the Family Workshop slide show and assists with office duties.nette brings a wealth of experience in accounting, finance and human resources to Legacy.
Corinne Jensen - Office
Corinne has spent her whole life in Wayne County. She was raised hiking, cattle driving, horseback riding, and exploring the mountains, and deserts of southwestern Utah. She has raised her three children with her husband Wesley in the same landscape that she grew to know and love as a child. Corinne worked 15 years for Aspen Achievement Academy, a wilderness therapy program, as ‘Back Up,’ Logistic and Emergency Support for the Field Staff and Clients of the program. She served as reserve officer to Wayne County Sheriffs Department for eight years. Going on two years she has held the position of Office Assistant, and Outcome Study Liaison at Legacy Outdoor Adventures.
strengths are recognizing and deescalating high risk situations, active
listening, empathy, assertiveness, time management and emergency
response. She has a natural respect and knowledge to the ways of the
land and a thorough knowledge of survival in the surrounding wilderness.
Her passions in life include serving her community, actively seeking health and wellness for those around her whom need care and support, and love and nurture her children and grandchildren. Corinne spends her spare time in the same landscape that she grew to love as a child and mother, which now serves as the healing grounds for Legacy Outdoor Adventures.
A list of
program components and resources
- Program Overview
- Guiding Principles
- Program Phases
- Adventure Modules
- Substance Abuse
- Family Involvement
- Our Team
- Contact Us