Wilderness Weekly 7.18.20

Dingoes: This week the Dingoes were engaged in discussion to work through some challenging group conflict. Their efforts have already begun to show, as the group culture progresses in a positive direction. They pushed through three hikes into the night with some incredible views of the stars. They also welcomed the newest member to the group, working hard to help and encourage him. On Monday one member of the group received his trail name; Persistent Otter. This week the Dingoes focused on resilience, cognitive distortions and the path of two ways during our morning meditations and nightly gatherings. The Dingoes are making great progress, both as individuals and as a group. Everyone is excited to see what else they can achieve in the weeks to come.

Triangle Gnowees: This week the Triangle Gnowees came together as a group and accomplished some hard hikes and saddled the mountain they peaked last week. Each student was able to relate that experience in some way to their life both within and out of Outback. Gentle Sunrise received the giver token, Gentle Cheetah led a powerful meditation on self-love and Vivacious Moonlight led the group in yoga one morning. Overall the Triangle Gnowees had a solid week and continue to support each other on their journey here. 

Circle Gnowees: The Circle Gnowees have a solid culture and were able to work diligently as a team in the group. Students and staff lead thoughtful gatherings and morning meditations. One student received her first token; Winged Heart. All four hikes were in the evenings, so we played games, worked on trail skills, and took personal time during the day, staying in shade to keep cool. Upon arriving to each next site, the group had a nice morale-boosting routine of eating dinner under the stars while telling stories. The students had a busting challenge for the week to see how many total coals they could achieve. The total was a mind blowing 64! 

Goannas: The Goannas started the week by accepting a new member to their group. Encouraging him to bust a coal and showing him how to do things around camp. The group stayed on track this week by managing themselves on day to day chores to hike as soon as the heat broke in the day. The group maintained supportiveness through hard hikes and backpack challenges. This group has shown many strengths and the staff are gifted with a beautiful reminder, each week, of how much the students care for one another, their group culture, and how welcoming they are to whomever enters into Group Goannas. 

Ulurus: The Ulurus began the week by making music at their therapy site. Some students borrowed a guide’s guitar while others improvised drum kits from water jugs and metal cups. After an evening spent reflecting on goals that the students would like to accomplish over the course of their lives, the group set off towards Black Crook, a peak in the distance.

After two days of hiking the group arrived at the base of the mountain, a site that held a rare patch of oak trees, deer, and squirrel, rarely seen in the desert. The group woke the next morning and pushed through a challenging hike to reach the peak, where they rested under the shade. Back at the site, students discussed how they could improve group dynamics and stay resilient and ‘checked-in” throughout their stay at Outback. Two students were honored with tokens. Bright fire was honored with the Openess token and another student received the Strong Chord token.

Boom:  This was a great week for setting goals and moving forward. We started off by attempting to peak Black Crook, the tallest peak in the desert. The route was unclear and we were unable to accomplish our goal the first time around. We did, however, find a site of an old plane crash, which not many students or staff are able to find. Throughout the days We processed and validated emotions as we discussed what it is like to transition into young adulthood. We ended the week on a high note when we were able to successfully peak the mountain. We then made our way back to the group and move forward with a positive and intentional outlook on day-to-day life in the desert. 


Check Out What’s Happening in 1st Camp @ outBACK 

This week in first camp was a great one. As a group we enjoyed all the sights, sounds and smells the desert has to offer. The students had the chance to catch glimpses of small desert critters and were reminded of the peacefulness of nature we are so lucky to enjoy. We had a chance to enjoy a small hike this week. Though it was small it was great to get out into the bush and into our next site. 

We had several students move both out of first camp and into their intended groups as well as new students who joined us as they began their journey here at outBACK. This students get the chance to transition into the group, learn to make fire, and navigate the nuances of building relationships with trust and compassionate understanding. The time and space at 1st Camp creates space for more in depth conversation and teachings with the new students.


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