Dingoes: The dingoes crushed their hikes this week! We pushed hard through a 3.5 mile hike, and even though we arrived at camp later than expected, the group was motivated to set up camp quickly. We also did a 2 mile day hike to find some willow to make new backpacks and work on other skills, and then spent the next day working with the willow that was harvested. Day hikes were abundant and the group did awesome! We left camp earlier than most days and were able to set up quickly and have a nice relaxing dinner around the fire pit; all of which made for a good night’s sleep. We hiked another 2 miles, with a little bit of cross-country involved. The Dingoes did amazingly pushing through some difficult challenges this day.
Early in the week we had the opportunity to give a student their trail name of Unstoppable Tide. Everyone was really excited to give him that name and we all felt it was very fitting for what he brings to the Dingoes. This week also provided us with the opportunity to celebrate Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, and the group looked forward to celebrating Christmas and New Years with each other in the desert.
Gnowees: The Gnowees had another great week, and demonstrated lots of care and support for one another. We hiked three times, and for one of the hikes the group decided to go “cross country” for 2.5 miles to cut some mileage off their hike. We celebrated Hanukkah by making and lighting candles and were fortunate enough to have two students share what Hanukkah means to them and their families. We had a fun gathering on superheros and talked about what sorts of positive characteristics we see in ourselves and each other. We did a solstice gathering and shared how we bring brightness to the world, and we are very grateful the days will be getting longer over the next few months! Jessica Jo, primary therapist for the Gnowees, gave everyone crystal coyotes for Christmas/Hanukkah, and we discussed the traits of coyotes and the importance of being open to making new memories.
Brumbies: This week the Brumbies enjoyed beautiful weather, lots of laughter, and meaningful token ceremonies. The week started off with several enjoyable hikes with nice views. It gave way for us to give a meaningful goodbye to an old member of the group as well as welcome in a new student. The group crushed the hikes and found lots of cool rocks and bones along the way. The group spent a lot of time getting to know the new student and focused on group culture. We talked about our visions of ourselves and what each individual hopes for their future.
The group grew a lot this week, focusing on group dynamic and individual strengths, as well as areas for improvement. The week ended with a couple of beautiful ceremonies. One was a sunset ceremony with an incredible view, including several wild brumbies in the distance! The final ceremony concluded the week with a 360 degree view on a mountaintop and a fire in the center of the ceremony. The group honored many members of the group this week, creating a feeling of warmth and brotherhood.