Wilderness Weekly 3.12.21

A Wild horse grazes near camp at Outback Therapeutic Expeditions, a wilderness therapy program for teens

Pindaris:  The Pindari had an exciting week as the group pushed hard on hikes to make it to the opposite side of the Simpson mountain range and entered a new area of the Outback field. Several students took initiative this week and led nightly gatherings where they encouraged other students to open up emotionally to the rest of the group. Newer students worked hard at making fire as the more experienced elders prepared to leave the group and continue their journey elsewhere. Students also found time to honor one another with tokens that recognized individuals for their hard work this week. They even took the time to honor one of our staff with a trail name, Luminous Owl. With some of the groups elders graduating the program soon, we have new students stepping up as leaders with high hopes for the upcoming weeks!  

Lorikeets: The Lorikeets started out this week with some bittersweet moments as they said goodbye to some of their beloved group members. As the week continued, the Lorikeets enjoyed some warm, springlike days and meaningful gatherings around the campfire. They also hiked almost twenty miles this week, pushing through fatigue and frustration to become closer and stronger together.

The week was filled with productive discussions as the Lorikeets learned to distribute their workload evenly and step into becoming leaders. Selfless Supernova was honored with the Vital Fire token, and Soulful Fox received the Openness token. Games this week included Contact, Capture the Flag, and Ducky Lucky. In spite of some individual and group challenges, each Lorikeet was able to take time to laugh, be grateful for one another, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life in the wilderness. Overall it was an inspiring and rewarding week where students worked hard, built memories, and reflected on their progress and visions for the future. 

Goannas: The Goannas had a wonderful week this week. The group hiked 4 days in a row, and was very excited about improving their efficiency in tearing down and setting up camp. As a result, the group covered a lot of ground through the desert, and got to enjoy several different campsites with very warm and dry weather. Although the group has recently shifted with some departures, the Goanna’s group culture is stronger than ever.

The Goannas have been sharing lots of jokes and good vibes, as well as strong therapeutic support for one another. This week, the entire group got very excited about making music, as students shared their passion for guitar with each other and with the whole group. All of the students were participating in creating songs, singing, drumming, and connecting over music. Lastly, Fiery Wolf re-entered the group after going on Peak Week and was awarded the Goanna token, which is a token reserved for those students at Outback who exemplify all of the qualities that the group strives to cultivate. Additionally, Rambunctious Cowboy was awarded the Awakening token, reserved for students who have made a drastic positive change to their attitude and outlook on life.

Ulurus: This week in the Uluru the students enjoyed the warm weather and hiked a total of 13 miles! They even completed a day hike, summiting the Davis mountains. The students and staff enjoyed some warm weather and the promise of spring. We spent our evenings in camp crafting antler rings, and our nights looking at the stars. When approaching one of the sites we stayed at, one of the guides mentioned that he had seen a group of 77 horses at a nearby location. The students spent the hike trying to spot some Brumbies themselves, but were unsuccessful.

However, on a hike the very next day we encountered a group of horses wandering through the desert! The Uluru spent some time playing with a hacky sack while in camp, and filled time on the hikes working through some riddles. The group as a whole had a wonderful week out in the West Desert!

Brumbies: This week, the Brumbies enjoyed a variety of games. The students were also challenged by some difficult hikes but persevered and made the best of the situation. The focus was to work on the rhetoric the Brumbies were using to make the most positive and accepting environment for their fellow students and staff.

Fire-making culture is making a comeback in the group, and more members are participating. The group is moving in a very positive direction and the culture and dynamics of the group are building and solidifying quickly. We ended the week with a Trail Name ceremony, the students honored one student with the name “Gentle Fox”. Another student was honored with the “Winged Heart” token.

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

This week in first camp, the students worked their way towards being prepared to join their respective groups. The students successfully worked towards building their primitive backpacks, spoons, and Pawaka. One experienced student was very passionate in fire making and his fiery energy inspired the others in experimenting and starting their own bow drilling sets. At one point, they even dared to try hand drilling with a yucca spindle and board. Some were even able to get their first coals and blow into flames. In the meantime, each student began to show interest in crafting: creating colorful bracelets, necklaces, and rings made of deer antler and juniper. By the end of the week, all students had joined their new groups and were aptly prepared for their new journey at Outback.


More Posts

Or fill out the form below and we’ll contact you shortly.