Wilderness Weekly 10.2.21


This week we started out on a forested hill with a beautiful view. The group said farewell to one member of the group at the beginning of the week but gave a warm welcome to two new members. The expedition portion of our week brought us two amazing hikes and plenty of time to work on skills and other assignments. The students really opened up during several gatherings and furthered the group’s goal of establishing an emotionally safe culture. Games were played and the group was challenged with a jump rope initiative aimed at team building and willing to be vulnerable and make mistakes in front of others. With new faces and old, the group is actively forming and navigating how to manage as an ever evolving and growing group.


This week in the Cassowaries, the theme was resilience. From overcoming physical adversities, we peaked Red Pine Mountain with an elevation of 8,516 ft and hiked over 8 miles! Along with the physical challenges this week, the group had a lot of down time to work on hard skills such as making spoons, possibilities bags, quivers, working on their busting sets, along with making jewelry. The students recognized that there are a lot of talented voices within the group and enjoyed harmonizing together. We also held a ceremony circle during the week where students were recognized with tokens that highlighted individual strengths. The students have grown together here at outBACK and have been able to lean on each other when tough emotions come up.  


The Brumbies had some amazing times this week and also some tougher ones. We held a gathering about resilience and setting intentions throughout the week. The Brumbies were really receptive and spent time thinking about the intention they set all week. Some of the themes were centered around treatment of others, contentment, optimism and emotional intelligence. We hiked all throughout the expedition portion of the week and they were all very challenging and provided students with so many opportunities to support one another and grow as individuals. Our hikes brought our group to some of the most beautiful spots in the field overlooking canyons, mountains, and a wide variety of trees for skills!


The Ulurus had an amazing week this go around. The group worked together to accomplish pack ups for the week without much staff prompting, which was highly impressive. The expedition portion of our week brought us three successful pack hikes, which were fairly challenging, yet they progressed through it. We were also able to enjoy one day hike where we peaked Red Pine. There were some minor challenges along the way, but the group pushed through and succeeded. They continued to show positive feedback towards one another and pushed each other to go the extra mile. In addition, a token ceremony was held at the top of Red Pine where four tokens were awarded: strong cord, openness, brightness, and peace walker. Also we shared in the sacred space of honoring a member of the group with the trail name with Luminescent Willow. Overall, this week was successful and uplifting for not only the students, but also the guides who worked alongside them. 

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