THE WINGATE OPERATIONS TEAM
Founder, Executive Director
For more than 22 years, Shayne Gallagher has provided healing wilderness experiences for adolescents, young adults, and families. With his deep understanding of the innate therapeutic effects of a wilderness experience on the healing of young people, Shayne has become a recognized leader in teen and young adult treatment.
"...Shayne is one of the most intuitive and compassionate leaders you will ever meet. He lives what he teaches..."
In 1986, Shayne designed a program to foster principle-centered leadership, improved self-esteem, and a positive peer culture. The success of this program and his passion for the outdoors led him to the next phase of his career—working as a field instructor at a wilderness therapy program.
Since his start in the field of wilderness therapy, Shayne has worked as a trainer, program developer, field director, and program director. In his role as founder and executive director of WinGate Wilderness Therapy, Shayne continues to be one of the most sought-after consultants and presenters in the wilderness-therapy industry. With over 1400 days in the field working directly with adolescents and young adults, Shayne’s passion for and confidence in wilderness therapy only continues to grow.
Shayne is a popular speaker at national conferences including NATSAP, NATWC, and Naropa. His professional talks include: Ethics in Counseling, Intervention without Coercion, Mentorship in Wilderness Settings, Making Primitive Musical Instruments, The Use of Metaphor in Wilderness Therapy, and Inviting Inquiry.
Shayne is dedicated to helping students and families find hope for the future. As one student eloquently put it, “Shayne found a way to impact my life more than any other person I encountered on the trail. He is truly gifted at reaching inside a student’s soul and bringing to light its innate greatness.”
Founder, Director of Operations
Sheri was born in Utah, however, typical of military families, her family moved a lot. The longest she lived in one place was 2½ years, which was in Mississippi. Her favorite places are Queens Fort in Rhode Island, Yuma, Arizona, Kailua, Hawaii and Fallbrook California. In these various environments, she learned to love the outdoors. Turtles, frogs and lizards are dear to her heart. Through these moving experiences, Sheri also learned to develop friendships fast, this skill has served her in her many years of quickly developing relationships of trust with the adolescents and young adults with whom she has worked.
Sheri has a Masters degree in Recreation Administration from Brigham Young University. Throughout her college tenure, she was chosen to lead many and varied recreational programs and trips with a variety of age groups, and in a variety of venues. Sheri has taught courses from canoeing to rappelling, and from beach and desert survival, to winter camping skills.
While in college, Sheri worked several years for the National Indian Youth Leadership Program, for which she was the Outdoor Recreation Specialist, and served on it's board of directors. These efforts were her introduction to a long career of working with at-risk youth.
As part of her masters degree program, Sheri helped design and implement the 1st long-term wilderness therapy program. She has worked at four other wilderness programs, in many cases helping them develop their curriculum and program features. Sheri is one of the most experienced persons in the wilderness therapy industry. Sheri is listed in Who's Who, and 2000 notable women.
Sheri met Shayne Gallagher while both were field staff at one of the original wilderness therapy programs. They have 6 children. (Tay, Phoenix, Teague, Yanni, Arizona, and Crete.) During one Christmas vacation, they took their children on a 35-mile survival trip when the youngest was 9 because that's how they roll!
Assistant Operations Director
With the exception of a two-year period in which Blaine spent performing service in Argentina, Blaine has worked continuously in the Wilderness Therapy industry since 1988. He began as a wilderness therapy field instructor and has more than 1500 "trail days" under his belt. Blaine has been recruited to assist in helping establish new wilderness therapy programs, and to improve upon existing ones. His extensive experience has included holding several positions in multiple wilderness therapy programs across several states. These positions have included; Field Instructor, Senior Field instructor, Assistant Field Director, Field Director, Program Director, and Risk Management Director. Blaine currently has a variety of duties at WinGate including Assistant Operations Director.
Blaine has been a Certified Positive Control Systems (de-escalation techniques) Instructor for the last 10 straight years. He is a contributor to the development of Utah State Code R501-8 state licensing rules for wilderness therapy programs.
With his extreme level of involvement in, and vast understanding of the requisite underpinnings of any wilderness therapy program, Blaine continues to offer his unique insights that can only come from one of the most experienced persons in the entire industry. Very few people can say they have been working in this specific field for nearly 25 years. Blaine is one of those who can.
For information regarding employment at Wingate Wilderness Therapy, please visit Our Employment Page.