Wilderness Weekly 1-9-21

Pindaris: The Pindaris were so proud of what they accomplished during the expedition portion of our time together; especially during the times in which the group hiked in snowy weather. The group showed resilience not only throughout hikes this week, but also through building efficiency as a team to get out of camp early. Throughout our non-expedition days, the Pindaris filled their time playing baseball, a game called Werewolf, and conducting ceremonies. Each student was honored this week with a token. The tokens received were vital fire, strongcord, making amends, and a unique “wise and witty” token. Through the practice of facilitating ceremonies, working together to take down and set up camp, and playign games, great cohesion and strength developed within the Pindaris group this week. 

Lorikeets: Our time together was filled with intention and appreciation for one another. We made candles on New Years Eve to celebrate the coming year and to honor those that have been a light in our lives. We enjoyed breathtaking sunsets and starry nights. Our group had many intentional and powerful conversations by the fire. Our group has been both vulnerable and supportive with each other, inspiring growth. We had a token ceremony for our new emotional leader, who received “journey keeper”, a token that represents their expression and documentation of their growth process. We enjoyed our nightly reading of stories in our warm shelter, as well as waking up to songs on the ukulele to start off our day.  All in all, this week, our group was able to grow closer together and form stronger group bonds that encouraged change. 

Goannas: The group started off strong with a ceremony to honor a Goanna with the Making Amends token and to acknowledge recent conflict resolution between group members. Additionally, two group members received their trail names: Persevering Phoenix and Zealous Mammoth. The group continued to hike strong and adapted to new dynamics with new members joining and some leaders transitioning onto their next adventure beyond outBACK. The first annual Goannas Olympics began halfway through our time together and it all began with a game of “Screaming Vikings”. The Goannas were resilient and reflected on group culture throughout their gatherings.

Ulurus: The Ulurus were motivated and focused on team building and reestablishing their busting culture. We took day hikes to find materials to create strong, functioning busting sets. The group worked together, helping one another out, and giving tips and suggestions to one another. They honored each other during a trail name ceremony as well as four token ceremonies. We also held intentional gatherings around communication and how we can support one another. Hiking remained strong within the group; supporting and advocating for one another along the way. At the end of our time together, some members of the Ulurus busted their first coals, and were celebrated by their peers for their tremendous efforts. 


Check Out What Is Happening in 1st Camp @ outBACK

This week, first campers enjoyed learning new skills, working on their backpacks and whittling their first spoons. We ventured out of camp to collect the wood that we needed to keep ourselves toasty and warm in our heated shelters as well as for our meals over the fire. Time was spent learning recipes to cook from scratch with the food provided (e.g. Mac N Cheese, rice dishes, and bread). In the evenings, we were treated to beautiful sunsets over the snow-capped Indian Peaks, in addition to a few snowfalls. Students also learned the basics of busting a coal to make a fire, finding their first boards and spindles in order to hone their craft, as well as practicing by utilizing the busting sets of the staff. Students were also challenged with sitting with their thoughts and contemplating the beginning of their journey at Outback. 


Peak Week – Adventure Therapy @ outBACK

This peak week, the students enjoyed and persevered through the physical, emotional, and personal challenges that presented themselves during Peak Week. On our first climbing day, all of the peakers struggled with trusting their belayers and having faith in their own strength and climbing abilities. This process, however, gave way for each member of the group to climb challenge their limiting beliefs and fears. It all manifested through their willingness to acknowledge what was coming up for them and then choosing to do something different from what they have done in the past; they began to trust one another as belayers and climbers and was able to reach the top of the routes.

These experiences opened up a wonderful opportunity for the group to hold a meaningful gathering focusing on the parallels between climbing and life; namely, trusting others to take care of you, believing in yourself, and persevering through physical and emotional doubt. The group was also able to bare winess to an impromptu firework show as we made our way back up from out climbing area and we took the time to stop and breath in the symbolism and celebratory nature of what was being displayed in the sky.

Throughout the week the group was able to identify and process their fears about next steps, practicing vulnerability with one another as they shared their concerns about healthy relationships, maintaining the progress they made, and disrupting old, unhealthy patterns when they resurface in the future. The group ended our time together on a long and beautiful hike through Snow Canyon, culminating in a gathering where the students were able to say goodbye to outBACK by sharing their favorite memories, biggest struggles, greatest lessons learned, and reflecting on the people and experiences that made their journey meaningful. Ultimately, the group had a challenging and rewarding Peak Week and it was filled with students supporting and encouraging one another through the challenges while acknowledging and celebrating one another’s successful journeys.


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