Awakening Moments: Fire Struggles

Awakening moments” are those pivotal moments that shape a person’s paradigm and changes the direction of their life.  These life changing moments happen every day in the Outback wilderness for staff, students and therapists.  While these moments are often small, they have big impacts on the lives of those experiencing them.  These awakening moments are the foundation of Outback.

Fire struggles –

Wilderness Therapy

“I was in a girls group that had a tendency to put very little effort into their fire making abilities.  One day after we got out of camp late because the girls were bickering all morning, we arrived in our next campsite just before the sun was setting.  The girls were hungry and even though they had plenty of food they could eat cold, they were really motivated to cook over the fire.  As they attempted to make fire, we as staff were right there coaching them and encouraging them but as the sun went down their spirits were low.  They tried to convince the staff to provide them fire, using the logic that because they had worked really hard they deserved it.  We told them that sometimes in life you need to learn that just because you try hard, you still won’t get what you want.  When we told them this, they were furious.  They shouted at us and stomped off to get in their sleeping bags for the night.  The next morning, they had calmed down enough that many of them attempted to make fire again.  After a few hours of hard work and difficulty, they finally made fire!  They were ecstatic!  They were jumping around and laughing about how amazing it was.  They eagerly reached for their food bags and began preparing delicious meals.  Later that day a girl came up to me and thanked me for not giving into her anger by providing them fire.  She apologized for her outburst and then said that she had never felt so good about doing something in her life.  She talked about how the difficulty of the challenge transferred in equal amounts to her confidence once she overcame the challenge.”


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