Wilderness Weekly 7.13.18

Starry sky between tall trees

Dingoes: The Dingoes started of the week celebrating the 4th of July with lots of hot dogs, chips, watermelon, and cantaloupe. With so many hotdogs, it looked as though Outback was hosting a hotdog eating contest! We laughed a lot this week, playing games such as “werewolf” and “tanks.” They also participated in meditations throughout the week to balance out days full of hard work and therapy. This week we hiked throughout the Kegs, where we excitingly found pine trees! The boys took advantage of the pine to make new parts for their fire sets and walking sticks. We admired and made wishes on many shooting stars throughout the week while night hiking. In addition, we did four trail naming ceremonies this week! The trail names are: Knowledgeable Dragon, Wise Grizzly, Brave Wolf, and Serene Shoreline. Overall, the Dingoes have been very supportive of each other and we had a very fulfilling week.

Gnowees: Just as many Americans spent this 4th of July weekend coming together to celebrate community, so too did the Gnowees come together this week in celebration, ceremony, and sisterhood. The week began with an almost unheard-of sight in the outback desert: HOT DOGS! The students roasted hot dogs and carved up watermelon in a special Independence Day feast. The next day we did an evening hike after navigating through group conflict in a productive way.  The Gnowees pushed themselves physically and mentally through evening and morning hikes.  In the evening, throughout the week, Gnowees reflected and processed through gatherings.  A heart of war and heart of peace gathering was held incorporating emotion cards and the group also held authenticity gathering. In light of the identity themed week, the Gnowees were able to gain a better understanding of themselves and their relationships with others during these gatherings. Ceremony was also a key part of strengthening group connection and community this week. During therapy site days, two Gnowees, staff and a thoughtful raven received the tokens solid ground and truth speaker.  In addition one Gnowee was honored for her first token (openness) to recognize the progress she has made and the continuation of this work on her journey.  Throughout the week the Gnowees worked with dedication on busting, poss kits, bullroarers, and fire sets.  At the end of the week both staff and a Gnowee was honored with trail names in a ceremony.  The group looks forward to a week full of spindle hunts and great hikes.      

Goannas: The Goannas began their week with a July Fourth celebration!  Everyone received hot dogs, watermelon, and cantaloupe which raised the spirits of the group and started the week on a high note. To enjoy the longer summer days, the group had the opportunity play games and work on their various trail skills. After a short hike on the following day, the Goannas pushed through one of their more challenging hikes under the beautiful Utah night sky, speculating about constellations and looking in awe at the Milky Way. This hike really brought the group closer together as everyone was supportive of each other and worked really hard to arrive at our destination. The following day the group had a short hike to one of their favorite sites called Oasis, where they were able to spend a few days relaxing and enjoying the sand.  At this site the Goannas honored their logistical leader with a trail name in a beautiful moonlit ceremony; aptly naming him Tranquil Moon. The following day, three of the veteran Goannas were honored with tokens which represented the culmination of each of their unique journeys.  These tokens were Vital Fire, Winged Heart, and Awakening respectively.  For the last hike of the week, the group pushed through another challenging hike where they had to climb a very steep hill in order to reach the last site of the week. Upon completion of the most challenging part of the hike, the group sang with the coyotes and admired the night sky. 

Brumbies: Brumbies found themselves with two new members of the group at the beginning of their week with new incoming staff. While in the canyon they were surprised with a July 4th party with hotdogs, watermelon, chips, cantaloupe and American flags. They enjoyed some Outback games such as “stalking Wolf” which entailed blind folding and finding each other through other senses by listening.  They enjoyed woodworking skills with mahogany and made wooden rings for themselves. This week they had several night hikes with one night resulting in camping out under the stars after having to cut the hike short. One Brumbie had some pack issues and all the boys pitched in to help carry his pack to their next site. The boys really enjoyed the site and decided to do a peak hike the following morning for a last final hike with one of their elder brumbies students leaving the next morning. The boys enjoyed having breakfast at the top of the mountain overlooking the surrounding desert peaks. Two students were given tokens which attributed positive traits they demonstrated throughout the week. One student was given “journey Keeper” while another was given “Openness”. The boys ended this week welcoming a new student to their group.

Ulurus: This week the Uluru got to celebrate the 4th of July by eating hotdogs, watermelon, cantaloupe, and chips. They took advantage and ate all the hotdogs they could. There was nothing like getting to eat hotdogs outdoors on a warm July day to infuse a wonderful abundance of happiness in the field for these students! We played games and watched a beautiful sunset that night. For the next couple days we hiked a total of four miles, worked on group cohesion and communication, and expressing how we felt about each other to the group. We gave out four tokens recognizing certain uluru this week, giving out vital fire, solid ground and openness token to an uluru who is transitioning onto his next step in his journey. One of the tokens was presented as a challenge token to encourage them to be open and vulnerable with the group. We also gave out a trail name to a new staff, Wise Polaris. For skills this week, we focused on busting and perfecting everyone’s fire sets. As a group we were able to bust at every sight we were at without any issues. Moral is high in the group with two Uluru coming back from peak week. They were very much missed and were welcomed back with open arms.


Peak Week – Adventure Therapy @ outBACK

The students started the week with the challenge of sitting in silence from their respective sites to the peak site and were able to perform this challenge with a great amount of discipline. The next day, we made our way down to St George and camped at Gunlock State Park so that we could get a good night’s rest before our climbing day at Shotgun alley. The Peak Crew was also able to enjoy a beautiful hike of Terry Fall at Gunlock State Park. Afterwards, we ate an early dinner before heading to Fillmore Lava Tubes. Exploring the Lava Tubes was a great highlight for the Peak crew this week. Another favorite amongst this week’s crew was out trip to Yuba State Park where students took time to get themselves cleaned up before grilling hotdogs on the beach! The week came to a close with an amazing sweat lodge.

photo credit: Peak Week Crew


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