Wilderness Weekly 6.28.19

Photo Credit: Greg Burnham

Dingoes: This week the Dingoes continued to progress and form a new group culture while transitioning into the summer season. The week began with a layover day dedicated to first camp progress and a dedicated hour of silent self-reflection. Friday’s priority was a short cross-country hike and learning how to use our new mini-wood stoves for cooking in a new world without fire pits. Saturday became one of those “Magic-Outback-Days”. The day began with stress and anxiety within the group. However, following a game of zoogle and some team building initiatives, the group rallied together to crush a three-and-a-half mile hike arriving at sunset to one of the prettiest campsites in the west desert. After a short cross-country hike Sunday afternoon, the group set up a therapy campsite at “The Oasis”. Nighttime group therapy and a busting seminar highlighted the days with Greg before a long, difficult, but rewarding night hike up to the base of Keg Mountain. Before the hike however, Wise Fox was honored with the Dingoes group token recognizing his hard work and amazing progress as he prepares to move on from Outback next week.

Gnowees: The beginning of the week started at the petroglyph site where the group enjoyed meditations by the creek, looking for willow, and spindle hunting. After spending time at this site, the group moved on and participated in some challenging hikes. Due to the current group dynamics in need of being addressed , the group engaged in a process circle and practiced using “I feel” statements to increase effective communication. At the next site, the group practiced using stoves and learned how to effectively cook with this new tool. At the therapy site, the Gnowees enjoyed activities such as making smudge sticks and playing games. In addition, we held a token ceremony to honor a Gnowee with the Winged Heart token. Throughout the week the group focused on the theme of reliance as well as processing their experiences through daily journaling.

Goannas: We started out the week with an incredibly challenging day hike.  The group accepted the challenge and was rewarded with a harvest of beautiful mahogany trees to use for skills and crafts.  One of the most impressive skills was the crafting of wooden rings.  The group held space for significant emotional connections created during group gatherings. We were also gifted with a majestic view of the milky way on our night hike!

Brumbies: This week the Brumbies got the chance to put their busting skills to the test by using our Gigantic Busting Set! We did not get a coal but we learned about how to communicate on things in frustrating moments. We had a great feedback session on Sunday night that allowed the students to grow as a group, and gatherings are getting more personal and emotional. Trevor, the primary therapist for the group, incorporated summer sausage and snickers bars to help them gain a better understanding of temptation and the derivatives of it.  Two Brumbies got to go on solo for their Parent Visits. They had a blast and couldn’t wait to tell the group about how it went. Two Brumbies got the chance to go on Peak and they had a blast. When they got back they expressed their happiness and gratitude to be a part of the group. Tuesday night gave way to our first night hike. The group did great job on the 2.5 mile hike under the stars. On Wednesday we had a short walk to the creek nearby so the Brumbies got to set up a pool with tarps and gather some willow for new backpacks.

Ulurus: This week the Ulurus worked extremely hard on all of their hikes, and endured one intense yet rewarding hike into the mystical Keg Mountains.  Each of the hikes we went on this week were arduous and brought on group struggles yet this shared adversity brought the group together even closer.  We also enjoyed experimenting with different recipes on new stoves to cook on.  Two of Ulurus were honored by the group this week. One member was granted a token as Truth Speaker as he has demonstrated excellent qualities of always telling the truth, regardless of the situation.  Another Uluru was honored with a trail name, Prideful Wildfire, as he is proud of the work he does through trail skills and demonstrates intense tenacity in every physical endeavor he undertakes.  Finally, the Ulurus felt compelled to honor a staff member with his trail name, Powerful Grizzly.


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