Pindaris: The Pindari were able to complete several hikes during the expedition portion of the week as well as a day hike up Indian Peak. The group was proud to accomplish the peak and were able to honor two peers with a brightness token and a receptivity token. This week the Pindaris also honored a peer with the trail name, Stoic Eagle, and a staff with the name Gnarly Sun. During gatherings this week the group showed immense support for each other, especially during a time in which some peers shared the news of their next steps beyond outBACK with the group. The group also showed resilience in resolving conflict in a healthy manner this week. By the end of the week the Pindaris all had complete busting sets after harvesting bows and spindles and the group worked to gain 11 coals as a collective.
Gnowees: The Gnowees had a week of rising to meet challenges as they presented themselves. They started the week strong by honoring one group member with their first token (Seeker token) for their effort in the therapeutic journey to find themself and grow. The group hiked to a spring where there was willow to harvest and large cottonwood trees had supplied enough dry leaves to create leaf piles in which to jump. One Gnowee received their trail name, Glowing Tigerlily. The group grew closer throughout the week, particularly through the powerful gatherings in which they all participated. During one of these gatherings the group built nests and talked about the effort and intention that is needed to form a useful nest for lighting a fire. They then discussed how this same intention and effort must also be put into each of them in order to burn brightly as individuals. The group spent a lot of down time during hikes or around camp singing and playing games. All in all, the Gnowees had a wonderful week in the west desert!
Goannas: The Goannas had a successful and challenging week. The group successfully completed several long hikes in very good time, encouraging and motivating each other emotionally and physically throughout. The group held multiple, meaningful ceremonies and gatherings; supporting each other’s therapeutic and emotional goals through vulnerable conversations and engaging one on ones. The Goannas played games almost every day this week, and enjoyed skills time together. The group honored one another by giving out five tokens this week, as well as presenting a student with his trail name, Determines Arrowhead. The tokens were Giver (2), Brightness, Strongcord and Seeker. Overall, the Goannas did an excellent job at challenging one another and supporting each other’s growth this week.
Ulurus: Ulurus had an amazing week! Hiking during the expedition portion of the week is going really well. They crushed all of their hikes and would have done more if possible. The group is supporting each other, especially the new first campers. Leadership roles switched throughout the week to give new students an opportunity to take charge of emotional and logistical needs of the group. We had a productive vulnerability gathering and also learned about the path of two ways. There was a trail name given out, Luminous Crow, as well as many tokens: Brightness, Letting go, Seeker, Winged Heart, Solid ground, and Openness.
Check Out What’s Happening In 1st Camp @ outBACK
The students in first camp were introduced to the ins and outs of the program this first week. They learned how to create fire with bow drill sets, made their backpacks, and learned how to make delicious food. The students were struggling with the adjustments of living in the wilderness and the tools and skills they would be learning about to support them on their path at outBACK, and they are quite optimistic and excited about the primitive skills. We had the opportunity to have a student mentor this week in first camp, and he introduced the rest of the group to how far you can go with the outBACK skills when he made his own pants from scratch out of leather. We also had some really great wildlife encounters, and had a few little gray birds that were hanging around camp and keeping an eye on us for most of the week!
Peak Week – Adventure Therapy @ outBACK
This week on Peak was filled with insights gained through challenging moments, spontaneous change of plans, and intentional therapeutic gatherings. Over the week, we got to spend time in the Valley of the Goblins playing games/initiatives, moving through to the other side of fear, as well as experience a vulnerable gathering. One of our treks lead us south to St. George, where we were able to take in some incredible views of Snow Canyon. The highlight of our adventures came during the rock climbing portion of the week. With a previously injured foot prior to the peak experience, we worked to gain additional medical clearance for high adventure activities a student. We also checked in them to assess whether they wished to climb or participate in another form of adventure. With resounding excitement and determination to climb by Glorious Tiger, we made our way and climbed Black Rocks. Although there was initial struggle, there was also room for sweet celebration during our climbing portion on Peak Week. Glorious Tiger, a student from our Gnowee Group, set her mind to give a challenging route one last try to reach the top of the climb. There were moments filled with fear, exhaustion, and frustration yet Glorious Tiger was able to reach the top. These experiences throughout the week gave way to great personal insight through the opportunity of doing a therapeutic reflective solo; a time in which one journals, completes therapeutic assignments, and sifting. We concluded our adventurous week with a firelit ceremony honoring one of our staff with the Brightness token and a student with the Peak Patch!