Wilderness Weekly 1.29.21

Pindaris: This week, the Pindaris had the great fortune of arriving at their therapy site before three consecutive days of snow near Mt. Davis. They spent their hiking days heading toward the hills in unusually warm weather and finished setting up their shelter just before the first snow began to fall. While at the therapy site, they enjoyed sledding, snow statues and playing king of the hill with snowball wars. The Pindaris enjoyed the snow each day, trekking through the desert searching for fire wood.  Their evenings were spent staying warm by the fire as the snow fell all around, and the group shared each others’ placement letters.  This allowed for a vulnerable space of sharing what brought each member of the group to their journey with Outback.  

Lorikeets: This week the Lorikeets pushed through a number of challenges to grow together and bond with one another. The week was marked by some heavy snowfall: almost ten full miles of hiking through a winter wonderland of juniper trees and snow, learning to bust a coal on wet bow drill sets, and welcoming a new Lorikeet to the group. On Saturday, the Lorikeets hunkered down in shelter all day in order to stay dry and warm. The day was spent gathering firewood, working on therapy assignments, playing charades and word games, and spending quality time with one another. Near the end of the week, several Lorikeets had calls with their parents, and the Lorikeets prepared to say goodbye to a graduating group member known as Interstellar Geode.This week’s gatherings included a discussion of values and value-based goal-setting, processing of parent visits, and an exploration of the relationship between boundaries, empathy, and self-love. Overall, it was a difficult but rewarding week for the Lorikeets. The group came together to support one another and find new sources of resilience and strength.

Goannas: The Goannas had a challenging yet rewarding week this week. At the beginning of the week, the Goannas’ therapist brought a guitar, and the students enjoyed sitting around the fire and having some jam sessions. Students in the group have developed a strong culture around “busting” – using the primitive bow drill method to “bust” out a coal and then blow on the coal within a tinder nest to create a flame and eventually start a fire. Students enjoyed having challenges where they competed to see who could make fire the fastest. 

In the middle of the week, the weather started creating many challenges. At the end of the second hike, it started raining. This created challenges in setting up camp and getting a fire going. Students persevered, however, and worked together effectively to keep each other warm and safe and happy. The next morning, the group woke up to 3 inches of snow on the ground. They worked together to pack up camp, and then hiked through ever deepening snow to their next camp. Although the hike was very challenging for many, they shared a sense of deep pride and accomplishment for pushing themselves to do something very difficult and keep a positive attitude throughout. 

Towards the end of the week, students worked on practicing the concepts of the Anatomy of Peace – practicing the path of two ways and relating to each other with a heart at peace. They worked on various skills such as spoons, rings, new backpacks, wooden boxes, walking sticks, and bow drill sets. Overall, the Goannas grew a lot and supported each other throughout the week

Ulurus: It was a challenging week for the Ulurus. The group was faced with the change of weather and snowy days but showed a lot of resilience on the hikes and throughout the week, when setting up camp, busting with a wet set or dealing with the cold while doing chores. They realized how important it is to come together as a group when weather conditions are tough and expressed their feelings and frustrations in very meaningful gatherings. To lighten up the mood, we tried to facilitate fun as much as possible, playing in the snow and making snowmen, having snowball fights and using a hacky sack for morning meds. We saw a lot of support from the students with each other, talking to each other through emotional times. The group is really engaged in therapy assignments, skills time and gatherings. We honored some of the members with tokens and trail names this week. The Ulurus are getting better at functioning as a unit on a daily basis.

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

Everyone new to Outback did a great job being part of the first camp. Everyone was excited to start working on their packs. They were excited to move around in the many inches of snow, and decided to create snow people for each one of the personal sites in 1st camp.  We went on some walks and experienced some beautiful snowy mountain views that some of the students have never experienced before. Overall, the group was happy to learn primitive skills and eager to get to their groups. 


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