Wilderness Weekly 6.15.19

Dingoes: This week for the Dingoes was full of lows and highs, hugs and goodbyes, and a little surprise. The week began with a goodbye gathering for Compassionate Grizzly and an impromptu game of baseball using a tennis ball and a dig stick. A new student’s first hike on Thursday brought tears and a new sense of purpose with support from the whole group. On Friday we hiked two miles cross-country over hill and dale and came face to face with our “in-the-box” feelings we had for each other. Saturday was dominated by a long four-mile hike to Erickson Knoll and a trip down memory lane for Zen Dolphin. We peaked the Knoll Sunday morning and then rallied behind Resilient Wolf to arrive at therapy site after sunset. Monday and Tuesday brought a goodbye for Zen Dolphin, outtake news for Spirited Otter and Resilient Wolf, a token ceremony for the newly renamed Adventurous Firefly and a new Dingo beginning his journey on the quest to find “Big Water” in the Utah desert.

Gnowees: This week the Gnowees experienced a week full of growth and creativity alongside beautiful weather and under amazing stars.  The group expanded significantly with several intakes this week, and the “elder” Gnowees did a great job being mentors to the new students and welcoming them to the Outback experience. We crafted a Gnowee family dream catcher that each girl will have the opportunity to add to once they graduate from 1st camp. On Saturday, we did “self-care Saturday” which included making and using a face mask (made from masa, charcoal and sage!) We played lots of games this week and looked at constellations in our desert sky. This week the girls honored one of their peers, “Gentle Lotus” with the token peace walker. They gave another one of their peers her trail name which is, “Thoughtful Raven.” We did various mindfulness activities, like a spirit animal meditation and a box meditation. The girls worked hard on completing skills, such as working on busting and making backpacks. Our therapy site was located at Erickson Knoll, so we had beautiful 360 views of the mountain and desert around us. We did a silent/intentional day hike to peak Erickson Knoll where there is a bottle full of notes on the top. Once we got there, we spent time journaling and sharing our own messages with the group which we added to the message bottle. We finished with painting mountains on each other’s faces. Overall, the Gnowees had an incredible week full of light, adventure, and positivity. 

Goannas: At the beginning of the week, the students worked on developing their busting culture. The group focused on acquiring the pieces to complete their busting sets as well as on refining techniques. Throughout the week the group focused on using games to build greater communication in the group. In addition, the group incorporated the theme of the week, Family, through gatherings as well as initiatives. During our days at our therapy site, the students enjoyed playing in the creek, seeing petroglyphs, and hunting for sage spindles. At the end of the week, a Goanna was honored with a trail name, Passionate Hummingbird during starlit ceremony.

Brumbies: This week with the Brumbies we gave out two trail names, one to a student, Humble Grizzly, and one to a staff, Wise Compass. A student received the brightness token for being a positive presence in the group and helping others when they were down. We had a game filled week where we played baseball with a dig stick and a hacky sack, hide and seek infection, and dogs. The group also worked on addressing their feelings about others with I feel statements and worked on acknowledging those feelings. The group was open to dig deeper on their therapeutic work, and they demonstrated vulnerability that lead to a safe group space. Two Brumbies had their Parent Visits this week, they made and presented handmade gifts from the trail and taught their parents how to cook over the fire.

Ulurus: This week the Ulurus gave out the trail name of Steady Iceberg to our logistical leader. We also gave out the tokens of Vital Fire and The Peace Walker to a couple students who have been recognized for their hard work with building “Fire” within the group and for keeping the “Peace” respectively.  We also had a couple parent visits that went wonderfully. The group still continues to grow day by day and are striving to learn about the outdoors. With the weather warming up, we saw a lot of creatures moving about and made some new friends. As a group, we look forward to continuing to improve our group culture and improve our relationships with each other.

Peak Week – Adventure Therapy @ outBACK

This week on Peak was full of challenging climbs, new adventures at amazing spots throughout Southern Utah, and vulnerable gatherings that created deep connections with everyone in the group. The “Peakers” all participated and pushed themselves on both days of climbing and were able to draw many parallels between the experience and how they show up in day to day life! This week we also got to explore some new parks and campsites, including Gunlock State Park, which had some incredible views and beautiful waterfalls that helped to cool us all off. At the end of the week, our group had the opportunity to experience a sweat lodge that challenged everyone both emotionally and physically. On Wednesday, Wise Fox created a custom token and carved it for Creative Bamboo and honored him in a Bora ground which he created. Also, before the students returned to their groups, they were all honored with the Peak Week patch for the work they put in during this week. Overall the week was challenging for all involved in many ways. Through these challenges, however, all of the students and staff grew and supported one another.


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