Dingoes: The group’s week started off with some cold weather and snow. We had lots of time to work on skills where some students were able to make their possibilities bags, H-frame backpacks and other miscellaneous skills like baseball mitts with some old fire gloves which were too beat up to use for the fire. The group spent a good portion of the time working on their busting sets and practiced to master the art of fire making. The weather turned for the better midway through the week and were able to crush a couple of hikes. The group enjoyed opening up to one another in some vulnerability gatherings including vision statements for the next six months and one which we analyzed some of our regrets and ways we can resolve them in the future. There was also time for games in which we played some pick up football. One member of the group joined us from first camp, and one member of the group received his trail name, Noble Eagle.
Gnowees: This week the Gnowees were able to hike all four days. Everyday we saw improvements on packing up and setting up camp. Once at camp we journaled every day and read short stories from The Moth, a book of stories that teach life lessons from people who have faced challenges. While at our last site, we moved the group into solos which is a sacred time in which students have a chance to focus on their own personal journey here at Outback. We also worked on everyone’s busting set to assure that everyone had their own personal set. This week went by quickly and was filled with miles traveled and time for personal reflection. An esteemed member of the Gnowees was honored with the Solid Ground token. The beautiful warm days interspersed with bouts of chilly wind was the perfect setting for the Gnowees to enjoy playing games together and learning how to enjoy each other’s company. It brought the group together and paved the way for in depth conversations
Brumbies: This week the group was given the opportunity to do a 48 hour ghost challenge. A ghost challenge is one in which students lead the group and the daily schedule with minimal involvement, other than to ensure safety and guidance. This is when the students work together to lead; a challenge they performed with flying colors. We peaked a mountain for one of our day hikes, and had a blast playing capture the flag. One student received his trail name, Confident Scorpion, while several others were honored with tokens. The group functioned at a very high level. Hard work and vulnerability were in abundance this week as the Brumbies continue to progress, both as individuals and as a group.
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Despite a couple days of less than spectacular weather, the group thoroughly enjoyed day hiking, working on skills, and playing games. Our incoming students continue to practice the additional safety precautions that have been implemented. We are amazed as we witness the students prioritizing the maintenance of social distancing whilst staying beautifully connected through therapeutic conversations, groups, and building the solid foundation of necessary skills to thrive in their outback journeys. One student worked through all of the various assignments every student tackles while at First Camp and three others made significant strides. All in all it was a fantastic week for both staff and students, and they are primed to achieve all their Outback goals.