Dingoes: The Dingoes had an amazing week! During the latter part of the week, we crushed our hike and set up camp really efficiently. The next day was a super fun day. We had the opportunity to go on a two mile day hike, where three very special Dingoes were able to receive tokens. Passionate Panda received the Giver token, Unabashed Wolf received the Peace Walker token, and Humble Turtle was given Vital Fire as a challenge token. It was an incredible ceremony with a beautiful view surrounded by mountains on either side. We made another trek to a new site and the group crushed this hike as well. Overall the week was filled with lots of jokes, laughs, fun, and an opportunity for everyone to work hard and grow. The Dingoes are doing well in making sure the Dingo pillars are instilled in each and every member, young and old.
Gnowees: The Gnowees had a phenomenal week. They represented their namesake of Fire Goddess well, focusing their efforts on improving their primitive fire-making skills. After creating fire for themselves, they utilized an apache match to carry the flame with them on a breathtaking cross-country hike through the snow-covered desert. One of the Gnowees was inducted into the group with a heartfelt ceremony and then received the Seeker token the next day. Whimsical Songbird also received the Giver token. Many beautiful sunsets were enjoyed, playing fetch with the canine member of the group, Lucky. During one hike, the Gnowees constructed a coal carrier that allowed them to hike the entire hike with a live coal! They did a great job carrying it and using it to start a fire at the next site. The Gnowees also built some fantastic spots to take personal time, and worked hard on completing Ngarnas and writing letters. Overall, the week was full of growth, hard work, and lots of fun.
Brumbies: This week, the Brumbies started out with a goodbye ceremony for a special Brumby, who decided to honor two members of the group with vital fire and giver. The group also honored another Brumby with the trail name Daring Riptide. We powered through our first hike and had an intentional day to work on our packs. We also had the chance to welcome new members to the group. They have worked so hard this week; one transitioned from first camp to main camp and another member is close to making the transition over. In the mornings we enjoyed hot yoga and pushups in the shelter for our morning meditation. The group got to play an intense game of “camo” where everyone was sliding around in the snow looking for hiding spots in the sage. The group also made a custom token for our ERV staff member on his birthday!
Peak Week – Adventure Therapy @ outBACK
This peak week was filled with adventures, some of which have never been done before by Outback students. Our first adventure brought us to Shotgun Climbing area, where students were taught how to climb outdoors and belay. Here, students challenged themselves in many ways. For example, one student, Dynamic Fox, was able to face his fear of heights, as he climbed to the top of both of the climbs that were set up. Another student, Unique Tsunami, was possibly the most skilled and ambitious climber this week, as he not only challenged himself on all of the climbs, but was eager to do more once the day was over. Our third student, Fluorescent Trojan, may not have enjoyed the climbs as much as his fellow peak week members. With that said, he showed great support for the other students by belaying them and providing words of encouragement. We had a gathering pertaining to the climbs from earlier in the day. During the gathering the students talked about what skills were important during the climb, such as: trust, communication, determination, patience, etc., and how those skills can be used in everyday life. Moreover, we talked about some of the metaphors climbing provides that relate to everyday life. We did several hikes though the beautiful deserts of Utah, as well as, snow shoed the mountains of Dixie National Forest. Towards the end of the week, we performed a sweat lodge consisting of three rounds. The first round, students talked about some negative qualities they would like to shed. The second round, the students appreciated the good qualities each of them possesses, and the third round, the students talked about what their biggest struggles will be once they leave Outback and what preventative measure can be taken to avoid said struggles. In addition, they talked about techniques that can be used to get back on track once future struggles arise. Dynamic Fox was honored with the “openness” token, as he showed times in which he opened up to the group throughout the week; a difficulty he navigated through as he worked with his newly formed peak week crew. Fluorescent Trojan did an amazing job at staying present this week. He explained his desire to be a mentor for the newer students in the group. He also shared that he wants to finish strong at Outback, as to make the transition from Outback to home more manageable. In the beginning of our peak week, Unique Tsunami found himself distracted by focusing on the negative side of things. As the week progressed, however, so did his mindset and outlook. He began to understand the benefits and productive sides of varying situations and was extremely insightful during all of our gatherings. Often times, it was Unique Tsunami who served as a catalyst for deeper discussions this week.