Wilderness Weekly 4.11.20

Wild Horses (a.k.a. Brumbies)
Photo Credit: Daniel Hazen

Program Director @ outBACK

Dingoes: The Dingoes had a fantastic week. The group made an attempt at summiting Indian peak and despite falling a bit short, they were still able to experience some incredible views of the high desert. They caught their first glimpse of the deserts’ wild horses during a hike and after arriving at their new site, a Dingo was honored by the group with a trail name–Courageous Compass. It was a week where the Dingoes were pushed to develop their primitive skills and all faced the challenge and rose to it. The Dingo group frolicked in the foothills of Indian Peak, bonding over fun games, beautiful nature and the amazing life that exists in the desert. 

Gnowees: Although some of the Gnowees struggled on the hikes this week, the group recognized the importance of hiking as a group who supported one another and successfully arrived to their sites to set up camp. One day this week, the girls enjoyed a day hike along a peaceful creek and the Gnowee group dog (Ophelia) had a blast. The staff are definitely witnessing just how strong these young ladies are getting each day. The Gnowees also did a great job this week at communicating with staff, advocating for themselves, and asking for help on assignments. Each member has their own busting set and all have been working hard to bust and make fire. 

Our group hit a “storming” stage of group development midway this week. It is a critical step towards forming and performing and one of the ways in which the group decided to move forward was to create space for personal reflections through solos. The crew came together upon completion of their solos to honor the departure of their most senior member. 

We also have the chance to celebrate and honor each other through ceremonies. One member joined us from first camp, so we had a ceremony to honor her with a Gnowee crown and the students shared what it means to them to be a Gnowee. One student was honored with the trail name Peaceful Sunflower and later with the token Truth Speaker with four other students receiving tokens as well. 

Brumbies: The Brumbies had an awesome week taking initiative leading gatherings every night. They were also very welcoming of a new student who arrived into the group this week. One day we came across a herd of actual brumbies and they experienced the magic of being out in the wild. Seeing the wild and free brumbies during our hike was a much needed sighting and timely metaphor for our crew to witness. Stepping into a vulnerable spaces and being free to show up fully in a group setting had occasionally been met with hesitation, yet the students appreciated the time and space once we were in it and engaged. Currently, the challenge for the members of the group is to expand their personal comfort zones of being vulnerable during one on one conversations with staff to being comfortable sharing within the group of their peers. The Brumbies enjoyed a day-hike together and romped in the desert under a blue sky. The beautiful, bronze sunsets in the desert were enjoyed by a unified and content group of Brumbies, and three tokens were given to various students in a beautiful ceremony under the watchful eyes of Indian Mountain. 


Check Out What’s Happening in 1st camp @ outBACK

This week the students formed strong bonds with one another and were able to create and nurture connections in this evolving group. The students were sad to see some of their fellow first campers transition onto their home groups, however, they were also welcoming and empathetic towards the new students that arrived. During the week we played games, shared bread recipes and went on sunset hikes. The first camp crew also decided to honor a staff with a token, Peacewalker. Although our current design of first camp is one that creates an evolving group, we are witnessing how the students create sincere bonds and are willing to help each other out. Through all the newness in this group it is exciting to see the students buckling down and working towards a common goal and enjoying a new portion of their journey together.  


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Outback Therapeutic Expeditions is continuing to support families through this unprecedented time. We are closely monitoring information related to COVID-19, adhering to recommendations set forth by CDC, and have implemented additional safety precautions to mitigate risks. To learn more, contact us at 800-817-1899.