Dingoes: This was a great week for the Dingoes. The group rallied to support a brother who was struggling and managed to get in four awesome hikes. On days we did not hike, we were able to seek out fire sets and delight in the many resources the desert provides. They worked on a lot of assignments, and gave out 6 tokens as well as a trail name, Interstellar Jaguar. Two students had their parent visits, which were very positive. Overall it was a week of fun, learning, and growth.
Gnowees: The Gnowees had a great week. The girls were able to relax by singing songs, reading books and taking personal space to reflect on their stay. The girls took time to watch the sunsets, moon rises and the blood moon. The girls enjoyed playing games like werewolf, contact and concentration. The Gnowees found their creative side through finger weaving, drawing and telling stories. Many girls completed their bow drill sets. Two special Gnowees got to enjoy parent visits. The Gnowees also were able to welcome a new Gnowee to the group as two important Gnowees plan for their upcoming goodbye. Three Gnowees were given tokens and members of the Gnowees also honored a staff with the winged heart token. The group also decided to give one staff the trail name of Steady Blade due to his calm demeanor and sharp mind.
Goannas: The group experienced major transition as some kids transitioned on from the program as new ones came in. The Goannas solidified their group culture and were able to create an environment where vulnerability was welcome and safe. On the third day, the group was able to witness a lightning storm from afar. Later in the week they explored a spring in the mountains and found Native American artifacts. The rest of the week the group worked on skills and two students were able to get handrill coals. One of the group members made a backpack while the first campers worked on their packs and busting their first coals.
Brumbies: With one senior of the group away on peak and two new students, it was an exciting week of new roles being filled and new relationships being made! The older students filled leadership and mentoring roles while the newer students matched their enthusiasm, putting in a lot of work in order to make their backpacks and spoons, and bust a coal. We had lots of token ceremonies this week for Humble Grizzly who received the Truth Speaker token, Courageous Wolf who received the Vital Fire token, Resilient Crow who received the Making Amends token, and Genuine Cub who received the Giver token. Later in the week, we were able to take a day hike to an old abandoned mining camp. We had a blast exploring the area together and hiked on to have a gathering on the mountain overlooking a fantastic view. Overall, it was another great week with the Brumbies.
Ulurus: The group took a break from the various hikes typically experienced throughout the weeks at outBACK. Although the Ulurus remained at one site for a good portion of this week, the group remained positive and determined to continue the great momentum they had created amongst the crew. The Ulurus took the various challenges and curveballs life had laid in front of them and they chose to overcome them and step up to make it a great week. They students do so by engaging in various games, fully participating in group therapy, and gaining new insights through initiatives. Lots of fun moments were shared between the members of the Ulurus as they explored the desert around them. They were able to form the incredible bonds of brotherhoods through ceremonies and the magic the desert has to offer.
Peak Week – Adventure Therapy @ outBACK
This week’s peak week was one for the books! The group of guys on peak week enjoyed this time together and had the opportunity to experience they myriad of thoughts and emotions one could expect when anticipating upcoming transitions beyond wilderness. They each had their own struggles but also had a lot of success as they got to witness first hand, the departures of leaving something familiar (their outBACK group) and coming together in a new setting to form their Peak Week group. The first day after we picked the boys up we spent the night in the desert giving them time to get to know each other and the staff. We held a welcoming ceremony and also group dinner for the guys to get to know one another. The following day, we headed out of the west desert and set off on a tour of southern Utah. The group had the chance to engage in new experiences such as exploring lava tubes, wading in a lake by a water fall at gunlock state park, rock climbing, hiking to a scenic overlook at snow canyon, and sleeping lakeside at yuba state park. We also had some awesome meals cooked by the students that included spaghetti, quesadillas, jambalaya, brats and beans. The students also got to enjoy a restaurant. At the end of the week the students all honored each other with tokens. It was a special ceremony to recognize the hard work each of them put in during peak week. We ended our time together with a final goodbye ceremony where we rewarded each student with a patch with the theme of peak week on it. The theme was “know thyself”. Throughout the week, the students learned more about themselves and where they are on their journey and we wanted to send them off with a reminder of what they learned on peak week.