Wilderness Weekly 1.22.21

Pindaris: The Pindari had a productive and fun filled week centering around building group culture. They completed four strong hikes as well as a day hike throughout the week, supporting newer members through their challenges. Two members received tokens during a ceremony. One received Brightness for his positive attitude, and the other received Openness for his ability to be open with their struggles and challenges in life. Every member in the group, as well as staff, claimed to have laughed this week more than they had in a very long time. Many games were played and enjoyed by the members during down time. 

Lorikeets: This week, the Lorikeets thrived in all aspects of functioning. They began the week by supporting each other during the departure of some of their beloved group members. Logistically, this week the Lorikeets were able to work as a team to be fast and efficient setting up and taking down camp. Then, while hiking, the Lorikeets took no more than one break per hike. In regards to gatherings and emotional processing, the Lorikeets were able to be open and vulnerable with each other due to the safe and supportive environment they provided for each other. In order to honor two members of their group, the Lorikeets conducted two trail naming ceremonies. One of the ceremonies was given in celebration of a Lorikeet’s birthday. Their birthday was also celebrated by the group dressing up silly and doing a dance for them, as well as gifting them a flower crown to wear for the day.

Goannas: The week started off on a challenging note, but as the week progressed the group really started to mesh well. Group members began to hold each other accountable and redirect conversations in a constructive way. Group members also began supporting others with hard skills as well as soft skills. During one of the days, the group hiked up to an abandoned cabin and opened up to one another in a gathering centered on group cohesiveness. One student took a leadership role within the group with relentless positivity. Other members began picking up on this and followed suit. Life stories, capture the flag, and easy hikes helped pull everyone together. Even though there were a few hiccups, the group as a whole is a completely different group than the beginning of the week and have started to see themselves as a brotherhood. Each student received a token this week honoring the skills and growth they possessed.

Ulurus: The group started this week off by sending the three eldest members to Peak Week with a special ceremony. Leadership positions were passed on to Resolute Kodiak and Scientific Puppy, who exceeded expectations in guiding the group culture forward. Everyone worked hard on packing up camp and enjoyed the company of group members while working on improving their wilderness skills. They welcomed two new members and were inviting to them while supporting their fellow Uluru in the process. On Saturday night, the group took a hike up a small hill to watch the sunset over the desert mountains and reflect on their personal journeys. One Uluru received his trail name, and three members were honored with tokens: Peacewalker, Vital Fire, and Letting Go. The week was marked by moments of personal triumph, collective support, and singing Rick Atchley’s greatest hits.

Peak Week @ Outback

During this week’s Peak Adventure, our big group experienced great weather, intense rock climbing, hikes with awe-striking views, and many vulnerable and therapeutic gatherings. This group of Peakers was made up of many different personalties from several different groups. This made for hilarious and meaningful conversations, as well as deep connections throughout the week. We did some really fun and challenging rock climbs in St. George. Everyone in the group attempted every single climb we set up! Although some of us didn’t make it to the top of every climb, the support and encouragement shown by everyone for their fellow group members was something to marvel at. There were even a few students who mentioned that they could see rock climbing becoming a very therapeutic hobby of theirs in the future! Our non-climbing days were spent doing some relaxing hikes in beautiful south Utah. On each of these hikes, we took intentional time to stop and talk and journal about our transition from outback to boarding school, home, or wherever we were going next. Some tough realizations were made during these days and acceptance of our next steps became much easier. At the end of our adventures down south, the peak tribe spent one last night in the west desert where we reminisced on memories and growth during the last few months. On our last day together each student was honored with a peak patch and a goodbye ceremony representing all of the incredible work they have done here and will continue to do.

Check Out What’s Happening in 1st Camp @ outBACK

First Camp had a successful and challenging week. Each student did an excellent job processing their new surroundings with staff as they arrived in the desert. The students enjoyed beautiful weather and participated in multiple day hikes, soaking up the warmth and sun. One student successfully completed his entire pack, spoon, and first camp book before going to the group, while the other three finished their spoons and the majority of their first camp books. The group played a lot of games with staff and ultimately had a very good first couple of days at Outback.


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COVID-19 Update

Outback Therapeutic Expeditions is continuing to support families through this unprecedented time. We are closely monitoring information related to COVID-19, adhering to recommendations set forth by CDC, and have implemented additional safety precautions to mitigate risks. To learn more, contact us at 800-817-1899.