Wilderness Weekly 4.22.22

Goannas:

The week started off with the group overcoming and powering through a cold winter storm, and pulling together to conquer the bad weather by being helpful and supportive to each other. The students combatted the cold by staying active and playing games together, having tons of fun and laughs throughout, and remaining in amazing spirits the entire time. The next night the group celebrated their accomplishment of conquering Indian Peak in which the group had a bonfire while taking in  the beautiful mountain they had peaked in the background of the flames. The students blasted through each of their pack hikes this week, totaling a little over five miles. The group was extremely supportive of each other during their hikes and had a great time playing games in which they were guessing characters and movies during their hikes.

The group had 2 day hikes in which we all went and explored a canyon and found a river as well as some willow trees to make H-frame backpacks. On the second day hike, the group explored a wash and gathered spindles and bottom boards for fire busting from rabbit sage bushes. Students honored each other throughout the week with 2 ceremony circles, during which Honorable Rhino received the Winged Heart and Strong Cord tokens, Curious Squirrel received the Journey Keeper token, Collected Elk received the Vital Fire token, Intentional Supernova received the True Speaker token, Spirited Panther received the Brightness token–the newest member of our group received the Vital Fire token. With the weekend came even more fun, games, and positive attitudes and support throughout the group. The group played countless games of Imposter in which they attempted to find out who in the group was the Imposter to vote out, games of dogs with the hacky sack, and a game of School Bus in which students had to attempt to rhyme with each other to “stay on the school bus”. Students practiced flinging rocks as far as they could, and exploring which different shaped rocks made cool and funny sounds with their slingshots they had made.

The group also did a fantastic job in transferring and receiving new leadership roles, with Curious Squirrel becoming the new logistical leader, and Honorable Rhino becoming the group’s new Emotional Leader. New Emotional and Logistical Leaders were given this week. Curious Squirrel was made Logistical Leader and Honorable Rhino was made Emotional Leader. The group was so supportive, hardworking, and passionate with their words, actions, and activities they engaged in all week.

Pindaris:

It’s Springtime here in the west desert of Utah and new life is being born all around. The Pindari observed all sorts of flora and fauna sprouting from the surrounding desert oasis from small flowers to wild horses (seen from a safe distance, of course). And just as new life springs from the old, so do the Pindari witness change within the group. This week we said goodbye to Genuine Hyena and welcomed a new student into the group who acclimated quite quickly to the culture.

The Pindari held a ceremony circle to give a trail name to a senior student who is now known as Gnarly Nomad and also gave two students tokens (who are yet to be given trail names) but they received Solid Ground and another student received a challenge token known as Openness in hopes that he’d be more connective with the group, which he did end up doing as the week progressed. Two students exhibited some vulnerability with the team by sharing their placement letters, with another following suit in sharing his life story. 

The Pindari engaged in 3 pack hikes and 2 day hikes, although it is uncommon for us to do more than 4 hikes a week, it was no problem for the Pindari who are avid hikers and strong supporters of one another through thick and thin. Whether it be snowstorms or spring heat, the Pindari have a way of enduring to the end, shaking off the elements like dust in the wind. They came, they saw, and they conquered the week in resilient, blazing glory. Such is the way of the Pindari.

Ulurus:

The Uluru experienced all seasons this week with snow greeting the group on the first day, light rain showers dropping by throughout the week, and a warm, sunny day with a clear, starry night to wrap up another week of adventure and growth. With the change of the seasons, the steadfast sage that adorns the landscape gifted us with its invigorating aroma as the rest of the desert flora begins to come into full bloom. The timeless junipers sprawled out their branches to provide shelter from the wind and sun. We were fortunate enough to spot multiple wild horses galloping in the distance and hear wild turkeys gobbling nearby. The wonders of the desert were best experienced on the three hikes we completed. The members of the group encouraged each other along the way and even made friends with a tiny horned lizard. 

We shared touching moments every evening under the soulful starlight during our nightly gatherings, in which we discussed empathy, family relationships, trust, and personal values. Iron Coyote and Radiant Chipmunk received their trail names through symbolic, dedicated ceremonies held in circles crafted out of elements of the wilderness. In another one of these special ceremonies, four members were honored with tokens that highlighted strengths they exhibit and obstacles they have overcome. After a week of triumph and fun, the spirits of the Uluru shone as brightly as the luminescent embers that give us warmth and light.

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