The Goannas woke up to a fresh 8 inches of snow on Wednesday morning, making it a winter wonderland for the whole week. We hiked 2 days during the expedition phase of our week and were able to have ample skills time. We had one student transition from first camp who was able to bust two coals back to back! We also had a student finish all of his Ngarnas, one student made great progress on his A frame backpack, and another student made his bull roar for his parent visit. We created a sacred ceremonial ground to honor a few students with various tokens: Resilient Monarch received one for Solid Ground, Steady Snowfall received the Journey Keeper, and another student received one for Openness. We had several impactful gatherings with a focus on Vision; vision for their individual futures and visions for what they wanted their group culture to look like moving forward. With a brand new student in the group, everyone had an opportunity to show leadership and teach various skills to him. A couple of students left to go on their Peak adventure therapy week, and were very excited to spend Christmas rock climbing further South. The Goannas have been very supportive of each other and showed a lot of motivation working on their own personal goals throughout the week.
This week our group went through quite a few changes! We gained new Pindaris, some left us to continue their therapeutic journeys elsewhere, and at the end of the week, some of the Pindaris went to experience their Peak adventure therapy week. One of the group members had a parent visit and spent most of the day reconnecting with them at a personal, remote camp site. Feelings were shared and the student came back glowing with satisfaction and joy. This week also included some obstacles that the group needed to overcome but they were more than up for the challenge. Being so close to the solstice we experienced some great starry skies and the students learned how to be more efficient with packing their belongings. They created a group goal to push each other to prepare in time. Every day we left with more than enough time to set up camp, enjoy the rest of our evenings around the fire, and eating hot meals together. The students were also more than willing to encourage each other during the hikes, making more of an effort to stay together physically and emotionally. They made sure to check in with each other emotionally throughout the week as well as preserve the group dynamic while continuing the Pindari legacy of inclusion and comfort for all.
The Ulurus completed several hikes during the expedition portion of our week as well as one day hike to explore this week. One hike specifically pushed the Ulurus to come together as a group and support a fellow student. They relied on each other and the staff to push through and successfully make it to our next site. While exploring, students collected supplies for fire busting sets: spindles, bottom boards, and bows. They were filled with humor and determination as they powered through to navigate the colder weather and the snow. Loads of firewood were collected for the wood burning stove within our big canvas wall tents. Such a collection of firewood allowed us to stay nice and warm during the day and through the night.
The students woke up each morning singing the Donkey Kong theme song. They also created and played their own version of Donkey Kong jeopardy, where an assortment of pens were awarded as prizes. Furthermore, a few students and one staff earned tokens this week: Awakening, Strong chord, Vital fire, and The Uluru Token. The Uluru Token was awarded to a student who encompassed all four pillars of the Uluru: Resilient, Integrity, Spirited, and Empathy (RISE). In addition, one student and staff were given their trail names: Resilient Moon, and Joyful Wildfire. Two students were honored with a goodbye ceremony before they left for peak adventure therapy week. The Ulurus pushed through another week and grew closer together as a group while living and having fun in the snow.