Wilderness Weekly 12.21.18

Dingoes:  It was a beautiful week of being honored and seen within the Dingoes. This week the group peaked Chicken Rock, where two students were honored with the tokens “vital fire” and “making amends”. Another student was honored with “The Dingo” token while another one was given “Maker”. Two students had their parent visits, both of which went very well. The students and staff enjoyed a week of physical growth and learned how to cope and thrive in a challenging environment.

Gnowees:  We had a wonderful week in the Gnowees. Both students on peak week and students that stayed back had visible, personal growth evident in their levels of sharing and emotional identification. They had a great time sharing positive experiences from the week with each other upon their reunification after Peak Week. The Gnowees continue to support each other and are very willing to broaden their insights and thinking patterns. A few students received their first tokens and trail names. The ceremonies in the Bora Ground were very enjoyable and a great opportunity to celebrate the hard work students have so continuously done! We had fun playing in the snow. Leadership changes amongst the students occurred with new logistics and emotional leadership roles handed off to others.

Ulurus: This week in Group Uluru, the focus was communication within the community. Students took it upon themselves to make themselves heard and to exhibit healthier versions of themselves. Hikes were challenging.  Knee-deep in mud and emotions, the students made it through and on the other side found a wealth of emotional and physical growth.  Once the group reached therapy site for the week, many members went out on solo to discover what they earned from the experience. The group also spent quite a bit of time slowing things down and honing in on their focus while practicing mindfulness skills as they created drums, bull roars, spoon, possibility bags, etc. One of the highlights of the week would definitely be playing glow-stick capture the flag as well as celebrating a birthday of one of the Uluru field guides.

Goannas: The Goannas enjoyed a sunny and relatively warm week in the desert. We welcomed a new student, and staff were particularly proud of how warm and inviting the group was to him. Group culture continues to be a major focus for the Goannas because the group is still very young by Outback standards. Important developments in group culture included an increased emphasis on leadership within the group and focusing more on the present. Overall, the tremendous progress being made on these fronts by the group members have not gone unnoticed.

Hikes continue to be a challenging but ultimately therapeutic experience for the kids. We went on several longer hikes that tested the endurance and teamwork of the group. On a couple of occasions we reached our destination later than planned, but the students managed to maintain a positive demeanor.


Peak Week – Adventure Therapy @ outBACK

Our Peak Week students enjoyed unseasonably good weather this week as we traveled to the Southwest reaches of Utah. We all climbed to the point of exhaustion, and several students expressed their plans to climb in the future. Two students were honored by their peers with tokens. Students experienced a sweat lodge ceremony, during which they bonded over sharing stories about experiences that changed their lives and gave them new direction. We closed the week with large milkshakes from a local diner.


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