Dingoes: Our first campers transitioned from first camp and joined the rest of the members in main camp. This week brought us a beautiful ceremonial bonfire at oasis. Each member wrote down the false labels others had placed upon us and placed the the pieces of paper into the fire. The students practiced the art of letting go of the narratives prescribed by others and claimed who we truly are. The focus of the week was on family and the staff created gatherings that used the challenges in the group as metaphors for the challenges the students face at home. During one of our hikes this week, a new first camper discovered that if he changed the way he thought about the hike and of his own capacity, that he could excel at hiking. Over the course of the week there were two naming ceremonies in which Wise Sea Turtle and Metamorphic Beluga were named as Dingoes. In addition to the names, many tokens were also given.
Gnowees: The Gnowees had an overall pleasant week. With it came along some challenges that life has to offer as ways to gain insight and growth. This came into fruition when the Gnowees said goodbye to some of their senior members while making way for a new generation of Gnowees to join the crew. The group kept a solid daily routine including morning meditation, journaling, and gatherings and they continued to work on working efficiently during their morning routine. The girls experienced the weather changes, and found methods that worked to keep warm. The Gnowees were great at keeping each other in high spirits by singing and laughing together as well as practiced effective communication skills to resolve small conflicts. There was some time for skills later in the week, so they worked on creating with their hands to practice mindfulness as makers. Everyone worked together well to maintain camp and share responsibilities. The Gnowees ended the week laughing and giggling as they felt the chilly wind coming in at sundown and tokens were given to honor staff and students throughout the week as well.
Brumbies: The Brumbies exhibited flexibility and a healthy willingness to adjust to life’s unexpected circumstances this week. When our plans to remain an extra day at a layover site had to be adjusted at the last minute, the group reacted positively to the situation and packed up in record time by working as a team. The group even used this first day to set a standard for working efficiently to complete group tasks for the rest of the week. With the days getting shorter and the sun rising later, we were able to wake up to stunning sun rises most mornings. We experienced tearful ceremonies in which not only were members honored for their diligent time and effort in the desert, but tokens were given to other members who had been involved with the exiting student’s growth. The week ended on a high note with a beautiful sunset on the horizon and a brisk, refreshing wind blowing in from the West.