Wilderness Weekly 7.23.21

A campsite at Outback Therapeutic Expeditions
Photo by: Trevor Allen, Primary Therapist

Lorikeets:

The Lorikeets had an amazing week! With some of our group members away on Peak Week, the remaining crew of Lorikeets had the chance to work as a smaller force of nature. We had amazing strong hikes during our expeditions, with a couple of the group members taking charge and successfully using maps to lead us to our destinations. Everyone was driven and accomplished a lot this week. One student crafted a beautiful possibilities bag, others finished their Ngarnas, and others practiced their headstands for smart goals! A fellow Keet busted their first solo coal and blew it into flame with the wonderful mentoring of another student. Resilient Willow was honored with a mentor bead for helping teach a great method of busting and another one–along with a guide–for their first solo flame. The group did a day hike to a beautiful area with petroglyphs and hiked to the top where there was a natural ceremony ground in which the group honored Peaceful Embers with the peace walker token for their efforts and successes in navigating drama and even working towards having a heart at peace. The group played games and making a homemade card game for the group. The group all excelled at gatherings and supporting each other and a new member who also joined the Keets!

Brumbies:

The Brumbies had a week full of fun in the sand! We stayed at Oasis campsite for an extra night to bask in the sweet shady sand. The group got such great weather from the minor showers and amazing cloud cover throughout the week. The group made a conscious effort to focus on community and connection this week and spent our days enjoying each other’s company. The Brumbies took the time to honor two students with their trail names of Daring Plecostomus and Gentle Eclipse. Several students were also recognized through celebratory ceremonies in which the maker, winged heart, giver, and brightness tokens were presented.

Cassowaries:

What a week! The Cassowaries hiked, made several loaves of bread over the fire, honored one another, and learned a lot about navigating one anothers’ boundaries with peace. We spent a lot of time throwing around a homemade ball, dancing, singing, and laughing late into the night. The highlight of the week was an outBACK Talent Show, where each student showed off their skill–let’s just say we have some pretty impressive talents in this group. Also, Brave Ram was honored with her trail name this week. As we hiked under the stars, we had some special moments of reflection and growth as we pushed through the challenges of living in the desert.

Ulurus:

The Ulurus focused on conflict resolution and organizational skills this week. We held Morning Meditations focused on check ins with growing healthy group dynamics. This included the group spending time getting vulnerable with each other while having a great amount of time for fun and games. Additionally, we held a trail “re-naming” ceremony for a student who knew that the previous one did not adequately reflect who he was; who he had become. His new name is Genuine Geode, which suits him very well. We were lucky enough to have cloud coverage for the whole day one day, which allowed us to spend the majority of the time moving around and playing different creative games.

Goannas:

The Goannas had a fantastic week and were even able to hike around in the Kegg Mountains. The group had a very productive week of skills with our biggest project being the rings that we created from deer antler that was found! There were also a lot of students working very diligently on completing and practicing with their busting sets. We were able to see a lot of unity when it came to working on busting. One student took on the role to teach busting skills, tips, and tricks to members of the group while a few other students invited the rest of the group to work together to tandem bust. There were many strong moments of camaraderie within the group when communication amongst the group members broke down and students needed support from their peers.

This week was full of ceremonies and gatherings that provided a pathway for students to bond and come together. There were many tokens honored to students including: vital fire, brightness, seeker, openness, winged heart and truth speaker. The group held a second ceremony honoring two students and a staff each with the Goanna token. We also had a delayed yet unifying welcome ceremony to welcome in a couple of our students who joined the Goannas. Two students even received their trail names, Fiery Hawk and Passionate Nova. We had a student on peak the whole week and another who was excited and anxiously preparing for his parent visit. A lot of the gatherings were centered on having a heart at peace and being genuine and authentic. This week we had a consistent schedule of inconsistent weather with very hot afternoons and cloudy or rainy evenings. It was a great break from the heat and really helped everyone to cool down. We rounded out the week at a beautiful therapy site with a vast view of the rest of the outBACK field. 

Pindaris:

This week, the Pindaris started off with sharing our personal, physical, emotional, and family goals and the best ways that we can support one another. During the expedition portion of our time together, we accomplished three hikes using coordinates and topography maps to locate our next campsites as well as a fun exploratory fourth hike. On our day of exploration, we hiked into a valley forest going between two mountains. The further in we went the more plant life we discovered including cottonwood, Aspen, Lupin, berries, and wildflowers. On our other hikes, we discovered old mining cabins, petroglyphs carved in rock formations along the mountainside, and even walked along a stream that everyone got to spend time dipping their feet into and exploring. The group worked together on team-building exercises, gathering and carving their fire-making gear, participating in group gatherings, and all together building upon their relationships with themselves and one another, signing off on another good week with the Pindaris!

Students enjoyed an eventful and exciting peak week. The students began the week excited to meet one another and meet the emotional and physical adventure therapy challenges that lay ahead. On the first morning, the group held a ceremony surrounding intention, expectations, and growth before heading to Cedar Canyon. At Duck Creek, students explored Duck Lake and took time to appreciate the pine trees, cooler temperatures, and wildlife. The Peak Crew played games and held a gathering on releasing negativity and perspective shifting before going to bed. On Thursday, the group enjoyed a hike around Navajo Lake, taking in the rolling green fields and taking personal time on the lake’s rocky shore. That night the group participated in a gathering about ownership and accountability–each student was able to share a personal struggle and offer each other insight and support. The following morning, students hiked through a beautiful slot canyon, traversing through streams, mud, and rocks and enjoying the striking views of the surrounding mountains. We then made our way to St. George to tackle outdoor climbing in Shotgun Alley. The students were attentive and excited throughout ground school as they learned how to belay one another. Each student was able to climb and belay, with several group members making it to the top of every climb they tried. On the final day of peak, the group headed to Meadow, Utah and hiked through the Tabernackle Lava Tubes. The group explored the natural volcanic caves and held a powerful final gathering to bring Peak Week to a close. Overall, the students experienced a week full of growth, learning, enjoyment and connection on Peak before heading back to their groups.

Read Past "Wilderness Weekly" Posts

Wilderness Weekly 9.24.21

Goannas: The Goannas departed their therapy site and began the expedition portion of the week with some challenging uphill hikes. Each hike was both uphill

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Wilderness Weekly 9.18.21

Goannas: The Goannas started off the week with a goodbye ceremony, reminiscing and sharing hopes for their futures for two of the elder group members.

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COVID-19 Update

Outback Therapeutic Expeditions is continuing to support families through this unprecedented time. We are closely monitoring information related to COVID-19, adhering to recommendations set forth by CDC, and have implemented additional safety precautions to mitigate risks. To learn more, contact us at 800-817-1899.