Dingoes: The week consisted of some difficult hikes which pushed all members to support one another. One specific hike resulted in a strong group effort to support all its members as the group gazed at shooting stars and sang songs on the ukulele. Once at the next site, the group explored a canyon with the hopes of finding water in the desert. Not only did the group find pools of water to play in, but they also found a stand of willows on the bank and created new lightweight backpacks! Leaders were honored, trail names were given, and another student had the pleasure of seeing his family in the desert!
Brumbies: The Brumbies began their week with a hike to the base of Black Crook Mountain. The following morning they hiked to its stunning peak at 9,274 feet where we gave one of our dear Brumbies a trail name of “Playful Pup”. At a beautiful ceremonial space, we honored two more of our brumbies with trail names. These Brumbies went on to form new group cultures and pillars. Their core pillars were changed to V.U.P.E.H. acronyms for “Vulnerability, Unity, Passion, Evolution and Honor”. All these were hand picked by the brumbies to be their core values to live up to. During their hike to the next site, the brumbies ran into 5 wild black Brumbies (wild horses) significant of their journey to come. At the next campsite, one of our students went on to his parent visit solo, and was able to gift two tokens to his parents. He also received a token during this time for “openness”.
Gnowees: The Gnowees had an exciting, fun-filled week in the West Desert. They started off the week with a ceremony merging the groups that had previously been the Gnowees and the Lorikeets. There were many discussions about how to make a cohesive group culture and make sure each individual felt valued and heard in a larger group. It was a hot week, but there were several refreshing rainstorms and we hiked in the evening once the heat had broken. Two Gnowees received their trail names, one of which occurred during a sunrise ceremony, along with a staff member receiving one as well. Three other Gnowees received tokens and one found out she would be departing soon. She was excited about the next adventure, but also sad to leave the dear friends she had grown close to in the desert. The group has become a fire-busting crew, with every member consistently busting a coal on their own set. At the end of the week, we welcomed two new members to the Gnowees.
Pindari: This week group Pindari, meaning “high place” was formed. They spent time developing their group culture and determining the traits they wanted to exemplify, and those they wished to leave behind during their outback journey. They spent a great deal of time opening up about their emotions and supporting each other. There were several ceremonies honoring the students with tokens and trail names. The group went on many long hikes, including a peak hike of the tallest mountain in our field. Even in such a short time the group has begun to find its identity. It was a fantastic week
Uluru: Many of the Uluru group members and staff reported this week being the best week of their time at Outback so far. The Uluru beat the heat this week by making several visits to a nearby creek. Two Uluru members received their Trail Names this week, and two members received tokens for their contributions to the group. The Uluru supported each other this week while finding similarities during our gatherings about family roles and structure. We welcomed a new member to the group this week, and helped keep the morale high, by playing games in their free time.
Boom: Vibrant Crystal spent time away from the group to recuperate and plan for high school and college. Throughout the week, we spent time discussing her plans to reintegrate into school and how to interact positively with her peers and family. The group had a great time getting to know her and played a variety of interesting and challenging games. At the end of the week Vibrant Crystal was awarded a Journey Keeper token for her commitment to planning for her future.