Wilderness Weekly 11.24.20

Pindaris: The Pindaris had a great week while hiking the west desert together. They started out by welcoming some new students into the group and did so with warmth and excitement. The group worked hard throughout the week on their busting sets and worked to achieve the fire making goals they set for themselves. On expedition days, the group walked with focus. While such focus brought serenity in the silence of the desert, the Pindaris hiked as a community and were able to stay connected without words. The group continued to grow the culture with several great gatherings around the fire each night as they witnessed one another’s stories. Finally one of the group members received their trail name of Inquisitive Hyena, which he found to be very fitting and the group agreed. The Pindaris had a great week and finished the week by gaining even more new members who were eager and excited to be a part of the group.

Gnowees: After completing a challenging hike this week, the Gnowees took time for some rest and restoration. These rest days were filled with many meaningful gatherings around the fire, ceremonies, and games, as well as plenty of time for creating crafts and practicing fire-making skills. One Gnowee was honored with handmade gifts, heartfelt letters, and a beautiful sacred ceremonial ground for her birthday, and another Gnowee received the trail name Sparkling Ladybug. The group also held space for several students to share about their parent visit experiences and for one student to share their life story. In addition, three gnowees were honored with the “truthspeaker” token, the “strong cord” token, and the “solid ground” token. The Gnowees enjoyed some delicious homemade cinnamon rolls, which were cooked over the open fire while enjoying a breathtaking sunset. The week came to a close with a goodbye ceremony, where the Gnowees had the opportunity to share their appreciation for one another, memorable moments together, and their hopes for the future. Overall it was a week of practicing gratitude and getting to know one another on a deeper level.

Goannas: The Goannas had a great time together this week. This week, they worked on conflict resolution skills as well as finding the joy in playing and having fun together. The group got to play some fun games such as Frank Sinatra, Contact, and Werewolf! The Goannas went on an awesome day hike this week as they explored the surrounding area, harvested mahogany for whittling and carving, and climbed a rocky outcrop near their site. A student and a staff got their trail names this week; Genuine Galaxy and Monstrous Teddy Bear. A couple of the students spearheaded honoring their fellow Goannas with tokens; recognizing their wonderful qualities and how they are developing and progressing while at outBACK. Overall, this week the Goannas were “vibing”.

Ulurus: It was an eventful week for the Ulurus. The group acclimated to the expeditions during a time of year in desert living that brings us shorter windows of daylight hours to accomplish all we set out to do throughout the day. This brings on the need for adjusting the amount of time to pack up and depart a campsite as well as the time it takes to set up at the next campsite during the expedition portion of the week. The Ulurus did all of this well whilst making space to honor each other with sacred ceremonies. One Uluru received his trail name, Whole-Hearted Stingray, while another received the Peace Walker token. New members were able to complete their time in first camp and begin the journey as fully integrated members of the Ulurus group.

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

This week, students at first camp were diligent in their mindfulness practices through creating and working on projects that amplify the “maker” in them. Students worked on such things as making a spoon and functional backpack from nearby Juniper trees. They also worked on personal reflections and began to learn the art of bow drilling to make fire. We went on daily walks to move our bodies and it gave way to taking in the beauty of the surrounding area. Each student who came through first camp this week adjusted well to the desert temperatures and enjoyed playing word games at night in the group shelter. 

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