Wilderness Weekly 10.29.21

Photo Credit: Scott Jones, Primary Therapist


This week for the Goannas were a test of strength and perseverance. The group split to create another group called the Pindaris. This restructure meant that a senior leader from the Goannas made his way to the Pindaris to support a smooth transition for the newly formed group. A student was given his trail name through a ceremony, Fierce Alchemist. Hiking this week was exceptional as we were able to get out of camp early each day. This was possible thanks to the group working together as a team and the more seasoned students stepping up and helping the less experienced members of the group. Towards the end of the week there were also some great new additions to the group. Coming together and forming a new group can be a challenge, yet with great attitudes and open hearts, the group made it a breeze. As a group, we experienced a wind storm with high gusts of winds and a night full of rain and snow. We bounced back working as a team to keep the shelter snug and persevered, giving us time to enjoy our time around the fire sharing stories and recipes.


Check out the write up on PEAK WEEK below to hear what the Cassowaries were up to this past week!


This week was started as the Goannas but finished as the Pindaris. It was a week filled with transitions,  building up a culture, new leadership roles, and some tough hikes. The start of the week in the Goannas was filled with laughs, skills time, and goodbye gatherings as the group was made aware of the splitting of groups. Once split, we started the Pindaries week off with a hike that they smashed. We rolled into camp that night, and held a gathering to go over the new culture of the newly formed group. The students had tons of input on what they liked and what they wished to change from the previous Pindaris group as this was more of a resurrection of an old group with some new upgrades. The following day consisted of a long hike to another campsite. The students came together and endured a tough time helping carry each other’s pack. We worked on a lot of busting, some skills time, LOTS of laughs, and delegated a healthy amount of personal time throughout the week for the students to reflect. Forging Thunder received his trail name and a winged heart Token, Enduring Moose received vital fire and brightness, another student recevied openness, and students honored a guide with winged heart. Therapy site was full of great therapy sessions, crucial conversations, and adequate internal reflections. All in all, the Pindaris had a solid week filled with healthy emotional processing. Had a strong transition into their new roles in the Pindaris. 


The Brumbies had an amazing week. The first half of the week we played a lot of games as a group and shared stories of our journey. Half way through the week we had a goodbye ceremony to send off a fellow Brumby. We spent the rest of the week with strong hikes, and lots of skill and Ngarna time. Brave Roots received his trail name along with a custom patch from another student, another student received strong cord, a guide received a seeker token, and another guide received their trail name, Unstoppable Mountain. We had a Brumby bust his first coal on his own set and blow into flame, make his backpack and transition out of first camp. We had strong hikes with challenging moments, but amazing teamwork to get through. We had challenging weather but found ways to still have fun. We had a goodbye ceremony in a tent we made and even got to make our first snowman! The Brumbies had a week filled with gratitude and personal effort on their goals and finished it feeling proud!


This week the group got to experience camping in the scrub oak forests in the foothills of Red Pine Mountain. They said goodby to some of their members, and greeted a new one. The group, comprised mostly of newer members worked on some hiking skills this week including making pack frames out of juniper wood and knot tying. Many of them were able to develop and sharpen their carving skills as they carved spoons, and pack and fire set components. Several of the group members also succeeded in making fire with their bow drill sets! Towards the end of the week, the group also experienced camping in various weather conditions, from wind and rain to snow.  Overall it was a wonderful October week. 

This peak week was full of dance parties and conquering fears. We started out the week by heading to Goblin Valley State Park, where we hiked through “goblins” made of mudstone. The students were in awe of the unique landscape and did not stop smiling the whole day. We made our way to St. George for climbing and repelling. The first day of our climbing progression was full of excitement and most definitely nerves. Even though there was a lot of anxiety surrounding climbing, every single student got on the wall and faced those anxieties. Some students expressed that their greatest fear was of heights, and despite this obstacle, the students tried their hardest and got as far as they could. The next day we went repelling which was more fear inducing than climbing. Repelling brought up many emotions in each and every student. There was a fear of letting go and trusting the gear, and the staff. We processed this with the students afterwards and we discussed what something each student wanted to let go emotionally. That night we had a huge dance party at our campsite and played some of the students favorite music. This was a huge highlight of the week, seeing the students have some genuine, wholesome fun. Being able to utilize high adventure programming to help highlight how what each student has discovered and uncovered within the wilderness setting are transferrable skill sets that move with them beyond wilderness is what Peak Week is all about. This week’s Peak crew were not only able to recognize their own readiness for what lies ahead for them, they were also able to have an immense amount of fun whilst doing so!

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