Wilderness Weekly 1.7.22

Photo Credit: Rosalie - Clinical Support Therapist @ outBACK

Goannas:

Between stellar starry nights, snow covered landscapes, pastel shaded sunrises, and watercolor sunsets, the group got to experience a variety of nature’s beautiful moments as they changed in time. Though these moments were enough to stop you in your tracks, they did come with challenging temperatures and weather. There were ups and downs but the group more than anything were able to provide support, compassion, and understanding to one another. Even when motivation was at its lowest, group members buckled down and did the work that needed to be done to stay safe and warm in the winter environment.  

The group also honored the passing of the old year and arrival of the new in a heartfelt gathering. In three rounds, each student wrote on a piece of paper: what they were grateful for in their life over the last year, what they want to let go of and release from their life, and what would they like to bring into their life in the upcoming year. Then they shared their thoughts and feelings, burning their papers in the campfire. 

This week we also honored one student with his trail name, Golden Season and welcomed a new student to the group.  Altogether, despite the challenges the group faced, the students were resilient and rose above adversity to support one another.

Pindaris:

It was one of the best weeks yet for the Pindaris. They spent the days working on their skills, making backpacks and spoons, and finding ways to have fun out in the desert. On a snowy and windy day, they took shelter behind a wind tarp and played social games, then on the very next day when the sun was out they set up a huge game of capture the flag among the snowy junipers.

The group welcomed the new year loudly with a big bonfire, making resolutions together and throwing sage into the fire to represent the things they were leaving behind. With the new year here the Pindaris started off on their first hike of the week. The snow was deep and beautiful at the new site and dinner around the fire and sleeping in our heated canvas wall tent helped keep us warm against the chilly night. The next day after a short hike, we arrived at a new site and began making it our new home. Students had time to work on their busting, ngarnas, making new spoons, and more.

We had a special day where we held a huge ceremony where students honored other students. The ceremony circle situated between Indian Peak–Red Pine saw five tokens exchanged and a trail name given. The tokens were given to students who recently have embodied the values behind each one– they were Strong Cord, Solid Ground, Peacewalker, Truth Speaker, and Brightness. The week ended with a gathering talking about home and how we are able to make and find new homes. From the Pindaris current home in the Utah desert to their past homes we wish you a Happy New Year.

Ulurus:

It was a chilly week out in the desert yet we had the chance to gather wood to keep us warm and bundled up in heated canvas wall tent throughout the night. The students had time to work on their skills this week and complete their poss bag. They had a wonderful time bonding throughout the week,  understanding each other’s boundaries and a new perspective on balance and respect. The students also had a beautiful trail name ceremony for a student and a staff in the middle of the week–they got the chance to express how they felt and show compassion for one another. We spent New Year’s Eve hiking to a new campsite. In the evening they shared what they are grateful for this past year and lit candles while sending off wishes for 2022. Towards the end of the week, everyone was looking forward to seeing how 2022 would look like for them. Happy New Year!

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