Pindaris: This week, the Pindaris experienced a lot of culture building. They participated in a series of gatherings surrounding relationships and vulnerability which they took to with open hearts and minds. They invited the spirit of change and openness with each other through intentional discussions. We had a few students leave this week and the group enjoyed a goodbye gathering that involved many warm memories with the departing students as well as great hopes for the future. The cold weather tested the student’s abilities to adapt and be comfortable and they responded to the challenge in a positive way resulting in some students even busting a coal in the falling snow. We had an intentional conversation where the students created a safe environment for each other to be heard by listening and not impulsively reacting, which resulted in a strong understanding of one another and a brotherly bond. Although challenging at times the week resulted in growth by all members of the group.
Gnowees: The Gnowees had a challenging and successful week. The group successfully welcomed several new members, completing a meaningful Gnowee ceremony to honor the newest members. The Gnowees did an excellent job motivating each other physically and emotionally on hikes, hiking a total of eleven miles throughout the week. The group supported one another as the culture shifted – each Gnowee did their part in honoring one another, remaining open, and cultivating respect and trust within the group. The Gnowees gave out three tokens this week and one trail name, and ultimately did an excellent job at appreciating and recognizing each other’s successes. Overall, the group had a rewarding week – supporting and challenging one another to grow emotionally and therapeutically.
Ulurus: The students entered this week ready to tackle anything and dive deeply into therapy. At the beginning of the week, one student busted his first coal with a fire set and successfully moved out of first camp to join the group. The group bonded as they shared their favorite Outback recipes with the newest two students, and they were surprised to learn that the newest two members had their own recipes up their sleeves. As the weather changed with a cold snap, the group was unphased and continued to charge forward in their hiking. After one student left a meaningful piece of his fire set at a site, the group voted unanimously to hike back and look for it even though they woke up to snow falling. A couple of students were bewildered by the snow and cold, since they didn’t have a lot of experience with colder climates, and the group was supportive and excited as well. The group experienced a few hiccups in the social sphere as they worked through logistics in a new colder temperature, but the Ulurus were committed to growing a supportive group culture and worked through their qualms with determination toward friendship. Throughout the week the students reflected on the theme of resiliency: how to practice self care when it is difficult, focusing on what grounds us, and pushing forward when knocked down. Overall, it was a positive week for the Ulurus as they practiced resilience and brotherhood each day.
Goannas: This week started with a goodbye gathering for some of the students. We honored the new elders with the passing of the elder staff and logistics and emotional leaders to the new elders. We hiked 8 miles through the Simpson Mountains. On our journey we saw pictographs from the Goshutes tribe. We ended our hiking journey with a day hike to a creek where we honored a student with a trail name (Epic Gorilla). For our therapeutic journey we developed pillars for the group. We also created strong group culture through persistent busting, deep gatherings, and trying to be the best Goannas we can be. Trevor helped us develop this culture by presenting us with a busting challenge. Multiple tokens were given out at the beginning and end of the week. We ended the week with a trail name for (Peaceful Human).
Check Out What’s Happening in 1st Camp @ outBACK
Throughout the week, we had several students come through first camp and they crushed the week! One student was able to get a spoon and her straps and pads for her pack done well before heading on to join her group. The other students came in and were ready to start their stay at outBACK. They were focused and diligent in all that they were taking in and were able to begin practicing the art of mindfulness by slowing down and creating with their hands; beginning their journey as a maker. We saw a lot of sunsets on small walks and were able to appreciate the desert when snow greeted us one morning. All in all, the student did awesome and were able to laugh and have fun while navigating the array of emotions that arise in times of transition.
Intentional Time – Intentional Reflection
This week we had the opportunity to take a student out for focused time. We were able to create an intentional space that allowed him to gain a new perspective on his time at outBACK. He discovered the satisfaction that comes from giving your all and pushing yourself to accomplish tasks through busting fires, hiking, and setting up camp. He rose to the occasion and crushed a ghost challenge where he ran the day without the help of staff. He was honored with the Truth Speaker token given as a reminder to continue to live and speak the new truth he had found, and to remember all he had learned on this intentional time in his journey.