Wilderness Weekly 11.5.21

Photo Credit: Mattia Bericchia; Unsplash


The Goannas welcomed new students to their group this week–it was a new transition for all and everyone became good friends in no time! The new members were fast at passing through their first camp assignments by finishing through their booklet and making their A-frame primitive packs utilized during the expedition portion of our weeks in the desert. The Goannas also had the opportunity to peak Red Pine Mountain this week and they succeeded as a team by utilizing their strengths and tapping into their optimism along the way. Another Parent Visit took place this week and a student was happily reunited with their parents as they took the time to spend the day together. More students are currently preparing themselves to meet with their parents later this week and they have been working on projects for how they are going to set the scene as they excitedly and anxiously awaited their kin to arrive.

Photo Credit: Luka Richardsome; Unsplash


This week in the Cassowaries we began our time together with a handful of exciting things. Some students were even honored with new tokens to honor the attributes and characteristics seen in them by others. The two Tokens given were true speaker and giver. A student got to reunite and visit with their parents, another said good-bye to the group and moved on to their next journey in life, and last but not least, we welcomed a new student. The energy of the Cassowaries was big and mighty. We played lots of games in camp, during our hikes, and had lots of time spent getting to know one another laughing and sharing stories. Everyone had time to work on sewing projects, wood carving, and therapy assignments. The group completed four hikes during the expedition part of our week with one of them being up and over the saddle of a larger mountain. It was very arduous for everyone but the view was stellar. We even had a fun little photo shoot at the top! Things were fun, challenging, and full of bonding moments. Dinging off on another successful week in the Cassowaries.

Photo Credit: Wil Stewart; Unsplash


The Pindaris had a week of transitions and change. The group worked together every day and night to ensure success throughout the week. Newer members worked on transitioning from first camp by continuing to make their A-frame packs and figuring out the science and mechanics to getting a coal and blowing it into flame (still a work in progress for some). Halfway through the week, the group took a rest day to welcome members of the Brumbies as the two groups merged. The two groups held space for one another in a ceremonial ground to go over what they wanted the group culture to be. One member of the new Pindari group experienced a visit with family as another member celebrated his birthday out in the West Desert. The group took it upon themselves to leave staff out of setting up their therapy site camp in order to focus on setting things up entirely by themselves and doing an amazing job of it. Throughout the week, great strides were made as members began to learn the importance of owning their actions and be in control of themselves instead of reacting to what was going on around them. We also had the pleasure of welcoming new students into the Pindaris toward the end of the week. The Pindaris are adjusting nicely to their new, even larger group.

Photo Credit: Danny Burke; Unsplash


We are now deep in the autumn air here in this desert and as the Ulurus have observed the changing of the leaves, so too do they witness the transformation the group has taken as new Ulurus are welcomed into the group and old Ulurus move onto new chapters of their lives. The students took on several impressive hikes this week during expedition time, pushing through the odds and overcoming the anxieties that take place when faced against the elements. Several students went on to build their packs out of the mighty juniper trees that grow here in this desert and carved impressive eating utensils. The senior of the Ulurus went on to adopt a trail name, Mindful Redwood, given to them by their fellow students, symbolizing his ability to be a pillar of confidence and thoughtfulness. Several Ulurus received tokens by the staff, as they have recognized the remarkable qualities the students possess. All in all, it was a week of ups and downs as mountain trails tend to be designed–but it is in the nature of the Ulurus to thrive in all conditions.

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