Marquee Image

Experiential Engagement

At Gateway, we offer a wide range of activities and outdoor adventures that cater to a variety of interests and talents. As a result, we increase the likelihood of each student widening their primary focus on screens to newly sparked interest and passion in something they enjoy - Something to help them thrive long after they leave Gateway . 


Overall, Gateway activities are not about “athletics.” There is no emphasis on competition, winning or superior sports skill. Nature is an equal opportunity playground. And our programs are designed to allow our youth to set their own goals, achieve their own successes, and tap into undiscovered interests, skills, and strengths.

Many students arrive at Gateway having lost interest in meaningful activities and hobbies. We often hear parents talk about their children wanting nothing more than to hang out in their rooms playing video games and spending most of their time behind screens. Our students have often become quite isolated, disengaged, and some even addicted. At Gateway, we offer a wide range of activities and adventures that cater to a variety of interests and talents. This could include getting outside in nature, actively engaging in creative arts, coding workshops, music and film classes, fitness and outdoor activities, animal care programs, yoga sessions, service clubs, etc.

By providing diverse opportunities in nature, the community, cultural and recreation centers, skill building in creative and expressive arts, music, and service, we increase the likelihood that student will widen their focus from screens to interests and passion in something else they enjoy - Something to help them thrive long after they leave Gateway.

Gateway provides a supportive environment for students to share their passions, exchange ideas, and motivate each other to pursue their goals. Students with similar interests can connect and collaborate. We recognize and celebrate students' achievements in their chosen activities. This could include hosting showcases, award ceremonies, live performances, publishing student work in newsletters, displaying art pieces on our walls, etc. Positive reinforcement boosts confidence and motivation to continue pursuing their passions.


Physically and metaphorically, we believe in getting outside. Getting outside to experience sports and nature. Getting outside of the limits we set on ourselves.

There’s nothing like skiing down a mountain, cycling, or paddle boarding for teaching our adolescents how to think quickly, work together and even overcome fear. Outdoors, in nature, our youth become aware of what they’re capable of and how they belong. They discover new depths of resilience and confidence and take their interests and passion to new heights.

Each adventure is carefully designed, offering a mix of personal therapeutic opportunities and activities that build connection and cooperation.


Gateway's outdoor experiential interventions extend beyond just recreation. It is a critical element of our therapeutic approach. The discoveries our youth make about themselves in therapy – lessons of self-confidence and capability — are reinforced in adventures and activities on evenings and weekends.

For some teens, outdoor experiences are key to unlocking the door to their resistance and self-doubt. Often, physical outdoor challenges free youth up to admit fears more readily. Most experiences also hold lessons that can readily be extended to “real life.” Climbing at the gym, for instance, is a great metaphor: It can be scary. You can grab the next hand hold on the wall – but be caught. It involves teamwork, trust, communication, and problem-solving. And when you succeed, you have other people cheering for you at the top.

Gateway experiential activities require both physical and social risk taking. Learning to ask for support from one’s peers – and accept it – is an important and valuable skill. At the same time, each youth can see firsthand how individual choices and behavior influence the goals of the group, and how their support might be just the thing that helps a peer succeed.


Our weekly adventures change with the seasons and we are fortunate to have the whole of Utah as our big backyard. Winter adventures find our youth skiing or snowboarding through a glade of aspens on a powder day. Hiking is great for learning about self-reliance and one’s "place" in the astonishing scale and beauty of the wilderness. Summer cycling and playing in the water at a lake are all about dynamic, ever-changing environments, complete with adventure, decision-making, and fun.