Wilderness Weekly 3.5.21

Pindaris: The Pindari started off their week with a day hike on Thursday in search of willow, where we encountered enough snow to use snowshoes! The group completed three other strong hikes, encouraging one another and honoring two of the group members with their trail names. Team building and finding ways to make challenging things fun was the focus for the group this week. They took time each day to work on their busting skills, cheering each other on as they got coals and attempted to blow into flames. After their hard work hiking and getting camp set up each day, the group enjoyed ending the day sitting around the fire sharing their favorite recipes. 

Lorikeets: The Lorikeets were able to start the week with a welcoming ceremony to enter the newest members into the group. The Lorikeets also honored a staff with a true speaker token, a group member with a birthday token, and two other group members with strong cord and journey keeper tokens. When hiking this week, the Lorikeets were able to persevere, offering love and support to their newer members throughout the challenge. The Lorikeets were also challenged with some group conflict from which they were able to process and grow, now feeling more cohesive than ever. Creativity and games throughout the week also helped morale and cohesion. They painted trail signs with natural minerals, drew masks that represent who they are, and conducted an identity talent show portraying their talents. The Lorikeets were then able to wrap up the week by harvesting boards and spindles, completing all of their busting sets.

Goannas: This week started with a challenge from Trevor to have every student bust a coal and blow into flames at least once during the week. The group ran into obstacles  at first, but by the end of the week, they were all busting and helping each other find pieces of their sets. The group had multiple gatherings led by students, one of which was regarding self-love and the qualities we admire in our role models as well as ourselves.They also gave a student the space to re-tell his life story in a way that was more vulnerable and truthful than his first opportunity. The students pushed well on hikes and encouraged each other to take breaks when needed. The week ended with everyone working on busting on their own busting sets and giving out the winged heart, maker, and brightness tokens. 

Ulurus: The Uluru remained a small group that worked toward learning the rhythms of living nomadically in the desert this week. Two new members joined the group and a shifting of leadership welcomed the young Ulurus into the small group. A general air of support permeated the group as old members taught the new members how to bow drill, set up darts, and get the camp set up. Two Uluru received their trail names, Vibrant Compass and Gentle Tide, and another received a token “Openness” for his vulnerability and self expression in the group. The Uluru enjoyed the warmer temperatures and sunshine by working on skills and enjoying a day hike with beautiful views of Red Pine and Indian Peaks. The small and young group enjoyed days of supporting each other, learning more about themselves and each other, and creating new recipes on the open fire.

Brumbies: The Brumbies had a fantastic week developing a solid culture for their group and deciding how they want things to run day to day. They worked on team work and peer collaboration for group activities and responsibilities. The hikes were gorgeous and filled with fresh new scenery for all the students. At the latter part of our week together, the Brumbies did a day hike and peaked multiple mountains, and a couple even peaked the highest mountains in the area with smiles on their faces. Multiple tokens were presented to different Brumbies that consisted of: Letting Go, Openness, Vital Fire, and two custom tokens created by one of the students. A Brumby was honored with their trail name, Creative Canyon, on top of a mountain peak with a beautiful view of the landscape surrounding the area. Overall, the Brumbies had a fantastic week filled with laughs, smiles, and memories. 

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

First campers were determined to learn the skills of living in the West Desert, moving out of the initial camp quickly to join their groups with excitement. Students learned the basics of knife safety and creating a spoon out of materials around us. Attention went toward building fires: how to dig a fire pit, start a fire, and maintain them with firewood that students collected around the campsite. During some free time, we moved the site in order to give the old site some rest and start fresh in a new location. It was a week of new beginnings and lots of learning.

Peak Week: Adventure Therapy @outBACK

Peak Week featured many memorable moments which encapsulated the end of the students’ stay at Outback. Driving down south provided warmer temperatures and sunny skies, scenic red rock and the opportunity to learn new skills. Each student learned how to trust each other by taking turns belaying and climbing various rock climbing routes. Other days featured hiking the backcountry trails in Pioneer and Snow Canyon State Park.

Each night, we came together and had powerful gatherings about self confidence, self love, goals for the future, how wilderness has changed the students, skills they have learned here at outBACK, and what the future looks like for each student. Upon completion of the week, we returned to the West Desert, engaged in a few fire building competitions with bow drilling and hand drilling together.  We ended our week with a sunsetting ceremony in which Luminous Polaris and Firey Wolf both received the Peak Patch. 

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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.