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an actual wilderness experience

About Us

A Passion for Changing Lives

Truth! The reason you are here today is because you are uncertain about your child's future. You have come to a fork in the road, and you feel deep down that if something doesn't change, your child's livelihood could be in jeopardy. Will they find their path? Will they discover their abilities and become emotionally equipped to make good choices? These are the questions you are wrestling with. We know because we have helped parents and guardians just like you for the past 30 years.

We believe WinGate will give your teen or young adult the greatest chance at living a healthy, fulfilled life. I promise they will be loved and guided during their stay here… it is our mission and purpose to help them.
– Shayne GallagherFounder/Executive Director, WinGate
shayne playing games with student

Our Story

shayne playing games with student

Since he started his very own “self-help group” in high school 35 years ago, Wingate Co-Founder Shayne Gallagher has been creating programs centered on relational therapy that have revolutionized the adolescent industry. Having coached thousands of teens over the course of his career, his understanding of what is necessary to evoke real change and the truth behind what the heart needs to heal is the foundation for WinGate Wilderness.

After working for several “wilderness” programs and seeing which therapeutic models worked best, Shayne was challenged to take his knowledge of the industry and build a program that would provide struggling adolescents the greatest chance for success. It was this challenge that led him to create Wingate Wilderness, his answer to the growing problem of teen anxiety, depression, addiction and relational instability.

As he contemplated the setting of where this program needed to be, the Wilderness was the only medium that met all the criteria necessary to effect change.

About us video

Why Wilderness?

About us video

At WinGate, we provide an Actual Wilderness Experience (A.W.E.), in which the natural environment is utilized as an integral part of the healing process. The wilderness inherently presents challenging situations and forces each student to discover their own abilities and strengths in order to overcome them. Free from all outside stimuli, your child will come face to face with themselves in a very unique and revealing way—one that places them squarely in front of the mirror of life and allows them to see things as they really are.

Immersed in the beautiful wilderness of Southern Utah, your child will be exposed to a “way of being” that is deeply personal. They will learn valuable communication and relationship skills and be taught to identify and overcome the mal-adaptive coping behaviors that have been holding them back. Through the process of being stripped of their routines and patterns, they will learn to rely on themselves and work to achieve the things they want, without force or rewards to move them along. This is the path to increasing confidence and self-esteem, and to creating a pattern for long lasting change.

Along with the growth that comes from the challenges of wilderness living, our dynamic, caring and multi-disciplinary therapeutic team is also on site to support you and your child as you deepen family relationship and heal.

Our Incredible Crew

Our Incredible Crew

Our Incredible Crew

With over 75 years of combined Wilderness experience, our team is a mix of therapists, clinicians, field staff, logistics personnel, equipment coordinators, and caregivers. But regardless of the job, we all have one thing in common—we love what we do!

Meet The Team