Gil Hallows: 2022 Eagle Award Recipient in Outdoor Behavior Healthcare

At the recent annual Symposium held in Park City, Utah, the Outdoor Behavior Healthcare field came together to honor Gil Hallows, co-founder of Legacy and Juniper Canyon, with the prestigious lifetime achievement award, the Eagle Award. This recognition celebrated Gil’s remarkable contributions to Wilderness Therapy and his dedication to improving the field over the last 30 years.

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Gil’s passion for outcomes tracking has been instrumental in advancing the field. Through collaborative efforts with other leaders, he has developed a comprehensive database and initiated research projects that highlight the effectiveness of combining wilderness experiences with strong clinical practices. This valuable research not only showcases the success of the treatment but also identifies areas where the field can continue to grow and improve.

Safety has always been a paramount concern for Gil. He has been a driving force in establishing best practices and regulations that ensure the well-being of clients both within the programs he leads and beyond. Gil’s commitment to setting high standards has influenced accreditation bodies and the state of Utah, shaping their guidelines and raising the bar for treatment quality.

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During his acceptance speech, Gil exhibited the wisdom and grace that have become his trademark in the field. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to honor those who came before him, recognizing influential figures such as Larry Dean Olson, Rob Cooley, and Larry Wells. Their pioneering work paved the way for wilderness therapy and inspired Gil’s own journey.

Furthermore, Gil acknowledged the ongoing dedication of individuals like Ezekiel Sanchez, Mike Gass, Maddy Liebing, and Rob Meltzer, who continue to inspire him with their unwavering passion. Collaboration, embracing challenges, and surrounding himself with talented individuals are the three principles that have guided Gil throughout his career.

Gil finds immense fulfillment in witnessing the transformation of resistant clients who ultimately discover their true potential through wilderness therapy. It is through these personal triumphs that he draws meaning and motivation, continually driving him to advocate for the field and its impact on individuals and families.

To gain deeper insight into Gil Hallows’ journey and the impact he has made in the field, you can watch the full video of his award acceptance speech or read the abbreviated transcripts below.

Abbreviated Transcript: Derek Daley’s Introduction

Gil’s colleague, Derek Daley, had the honor of introducing him during the award ceremony. Derek highlighted Gil’s extensive involvement in the field, his work with numerous individuals on the council, and his profound influence on inspiring others to establish their own programs. Derek emphasized Gil’s unique ability to make everyone feel welcome and the wealth of historical knowledge he possesses about wilderness therapy. He shared a metaphorical story of Gil’s leadership, recounting a memorable climbing experience with a resistant client named Chris, where Gil’s unwavering support led to personal triumph and subsequent empowerment for Chris to inspire others.

Abbreviated Transcript: Gil Hallows’ Speech

In his acceptance speech, Gil expressed his deep respect for the pioneers who shaped wilderness therapy, mentioning Larry Dean Olson, Rob Cooley, Larry Wells, and others. He also recognized contemporary individuals like Ezekiel Sanchez, Mike Gass, Maddy Liebing, and Rob Meltzer, whose dedication and passion continue to inspire him. Gil emphasized the power of collaboration, embracing challenges with confidence, and surrounding himself with intelligent and passionate individuals who share his vision. Witnessing the transformation of clients and their personal growth remain the most meaningful aspects of his work, as well as the opportunity to contribute to a unified team in this remarkable field.

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Gil Hallows’ dedication and contributions have left an indelible mark on Wilderness Therapy. His leadership, research, and commitment to safety have made a significant impact, elevating the field and ensuring that clients receive the highest quality care. The Eagle Award serves as a testament to Gil’s exceptional achievements and the gratitude the Outdoor Behavior Healthcare community holds for his lasting influence.