Wilderness Weekly 2.26.21

Pindaris:  Early on in the week we played lots of games! We spent hours playing capture the flag, jackpot, contact, and rabbit or wrench. We hiked cross country through new terrain and overcame many physical and mental obstacles. The students were very excited to honor one another; as soon as we got to our therapy site they built a beautiful Bora Ground and wrote out characteristics they wanted to honor in each other with tokens. Some of the students also received a challenge token: this was given to honor the progress made thus far and challenge them to continue working in this area. We held the students to very high standards this week and they definitely rose to the occasion.  

Lorikeets: This week in the Lorikeets started off on a bittersweet note as the group said goodbye to a Lorikeet who is moving on. To honor her and celebrate the occasion, the group dressed up in makeshift skirts and dresses composed of Outback gear and relived meaningful moments. As the week continued, the Lorikeets pushed through a challenging eight miles of hiking and some snowfall and high winds. On Friday, the group rested, played games,and explored the surrounding mountains. This week was also full of ceremonies; four Lorikeets were honored with tokens, and one Lorikeet received the trail name Selfless Supernova. By Sunday night, the group was settled at the therapy site and enjoying some long-awaited warmth and sunshine. Amidst sightings of wild horses and pronghorn, this week the Lorikeets took time to reflect on the subtle beauty of the desert and appreciate the simple pleasures of life in the wilderness. Overall it was a challenging but reflective week where group members took advantage of the opportunity to work through their differences and express gratitude for the sense of community they have co-created. 

Goannas: The Goannas had a wonderful week. The group dynamic is very strong with the students currently in the group: they have been forging a strong, supportive brotherhood and growing together. The group had some very intentional discussions about their culture, and created some foundational pillars by which to live as a Goanna at Outback: Support, Empathy, Respect, and Environment. The group enjoyed learning how to make fire using a hand drill set, and worked hard to improve their skills using a bow drill set. They had a stellar day hike to the top of a mountain that had an amazing view of the West Desert, and then they had a ceremony to honor one student with a new trail name: Seeking Mountain Lion, and several students with tokens. The field received good weather this week, and students used the opportunity to play games and make crafts. 

Ulurus: The Uluru faced an exciting change this week as the group split into two smaller groups. The students spent a few group sessions saying goodbye and reflecting on their experience thus far. After the split the days were quieter and less hectic. Students had more one-on -one time with the field therapist and spent the days working on therapy assignments and trying different fire making methods such as the fire plow method and capturing reflected light through water in a zip loc bag. No luck yet but the group remains persistent!

Brumbies: This marked the first week of a new group: the Brumbies. The group was formed by members of an existing group (the Ulurus) and welcomed a new student, fresh from first camp! Much time and effort was put into discussing and establishing a new group culture which brought in new ideas and borrowed from those of the previous group. Students showed great perseverance through a few difficult hikes and were eventually able to get ahead of schedule. Much of the group put effort into completing Ngarnas and showed much better progress than previous weeks. Busting hour was filled with enthusiasm and effort. The group spent skills time working on gifts for family members such as bracelets, necklaces, and digging sticks. They were also stunned to see a lot of planes, including a biplane which came very close overhead. Overall, it was an amazing first week for the Brumbies with a lot of support and understanding.

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

This week at first camp we had a mixture of students who were just entering the program and students who were leaving the program. So the new students enjoyed the leadership and mentorship the elders provided. The main focus for the first campers was to work on their intake surveys and first camp books. The students also worked on making their spoons and backpacks so that they would be ready to join their groups. The first campers learned how to maintain fires and went on daily wood runs to keep their fires alive. The students also went on a day hike to a ravine where they collected rocks and wood that could be used for their fire making sets. 

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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.