Pindaris: The Pindari had a challenging and rewarding week. On Wednesday, the group played multiple games and enjoyed a meaningful goodbye gathering for exiting Pindari members. Throughout the week, the group hiked over 9 miles through difficult terrain and supported each other emotionally and physically, making great time. On one hike, the group was able to approach two wild horses, and saw a herd of pronghorns run across the road.
The group was also able to hike up Raul Canyon on a snowy day and harvest some willow to make new backpacks, a bow and arrow, chopsticks, and spoons. The Pindari held multiple powerful gatherings, they successfully supported one another and practiced emotional vulnerability together. The group ended the week with a token ceremony, giving out Journey Keeper, two Solid Ground, Brightness, Seeker, and Openness. Overall, the Pindari were able to grow together this week and continued to build an incredibly strong and supportive group culture.
Lorikeets: The Lorikeets began the week adjusting to some new members of the group joining. At the end of the week, the Lorikeets were able to hold a welcoming ceremony for one of the new members. While hiking, the group provided support to the varying needs of each member. When facing group conflict, the Lorikeets were able to utilize gatherings as a safe place for healthy conflict resolution, and were able to increase group cohesion by the end of the week. The group came together to honor a group member with their trail name; Spirited Wolf. In regards to bow-drilling, Spirited wolf was proud to provide the group with fire- and all of the Lorikeets were able to complete their busting sets this week by harvesting spindles, boards, and bows! In order to balance work with play the group played contact, werewolf, and sang together as a group.
Goannas: The week started off with celebration of some members of incoming Goannas. Other group members left this week, and were sent off with meaningful tokens and goodbye gatherings. The group hiked well, and made it to every site with time for games of homemade can-jam and makeshift baseball. Multiple ceremonies were held, one about what each member would say to their younger self if they got the chance, one about internal and external conflict, and one about meaningful relationships and connections. The week ended with the group culture in a good spot and with each member establishing boundaries and triggers with each other.
Ulurus: Perseverance was the name of the game for the Uluru group this week. The students endured precipitation and long adventurous hikes. The group explored the concept of vulnerability and really opened up to each other during intentional gatherings and meaningful morning meetings. Even during harsh weather and physically demanding hikes, the Uluru stayed positive and enthusiastic. Many jokes were shared and laughs were echoed through the desert. An Uluru got their trail name, Majestic Salmon. Two Uluru were honored with tokens: Brightness and Peace Walker. All in all, the Uluru really got to know each other this week and worked on becoming a more cohesive unit.
Brumbies: The group continued to grow in a week full of transitions. After two key leaders of the group left, the remaining members rallied together to learn new group dynamics. Everyone grew in their abilities with busting, as two members took to a tandem busting method in order to build confidence. The group pushed through tough hikes in order to move deeper into the field with mountain vistas and sandy terrain. As the weather changed from snow to sunny, the Brumbies passed extra time playing games and honoring two members with tokens: Gentle Fox with Vital Fire and a new member with Seeker. The week was marked with laughter and growth as everyone worked on their therapeutic assignments, living in a group, and adapting to the desert.
Check Out What’s Happening in 1st Camp @ outBACK
The students of the first camp were introduced to a new perspective of camping in the outdoors. They learned what it was to primitive camp, why we practice “Leave No Trace”, why outBACK was developed the way it was, and what it means to us as staff and students. The students were taught about the terrain that surrounded them, names of mountains, and star constellations. Each student made a wooden spoon from the juniper trees, finding a new appreciation for how nature and the wilderness benefit help us in our everyday lives. Lots of games were played, emotions were shared, and students made sure to support each other during their transition into a new living experience.
Peak Week: Adventure Therapy @outBACK
The students on peak started the week with a silent car ride challenge where they rose to the occasion and took the time to reflect in silence. Next they were led on a hike through the beautiful red cliffs of Southern Utah to a small desert waterfall where each student took time to ponder on their next step after Outback. Later that night, they discussed their thoughts on their future and were able to speak to their fears and excitements.
Over the next two days, the students were given the opportunity to test themselves by rock climbing. This presented different challenges to the students such as overcoming fear, not being able to complete climbs, and problem solving to navigate the climbing routes. They finished up the week with a final hike through a canyon to a remote waterfall, a sand stone alcove, and an overlook. This final hike used both the hiking and climbing skills practiced earlier in the week and ended with a beautiful view looking down into the canyon from above. The group ended the week with a gathering centered around knowing oneself, where they each received the peak patch solidifying the solid work and effort they put forth.