Wilderness Weekly 7.30.21

A rainbow shines over a field at Outback Therapeutic Expeditions


The Keets had an awesome week in the field full of creativity, strong hikes, assignment completions. Several new students joined the group and excelled in starting and getting through first camp assignments including the first camp books, spoon/keeper’s pouch making, and reading The Anatomy of Peace. Some of the members went on out on their Peak Week and came back with nothing but great things to say about the experience. One Keet had an exceptionally good parent visit, and other Keets finished several creative projects that included leather pouches, pos’s, bracelets, and necklaces. Our new students did an awesome job pushing through the hikes during expedition portion of the week and kept a great attitude the whole time. Additionally, the Keets spent lots of time working on their busting sets and practiced busting with integrity the entire week. The end of the week was met with a rainstorm that brought cold and wet weather, yet the Keets did a great job navigating this day and awoke with good attitudes and smiles the next day.


The Brumbies had an epic week centered around resilience and supporting one another through challenges. During our expedition this week, the group took a wrong turn that resulted in a one mile detour. The Brumbies supported one another with various primitive skills including fire-set building, knot tying, and various other crafting activities. Throughout the week the Brumbies participated in group mindfulness sessions where they explored various therapeutic techniques including biofeedback, deep-breathing exercises, and positive communication skills. The Brumbies demonstrated emotional resilience and identification skills by supporting and encouraging each other whenever another group member was struggling to overcome a particular challenge. Overall, the Brumbies had a very successful week full of accountability, support, and positive communication skills.


The Cassowaries had a fun week filled with good times and accomplishments. The group endured and overcame a strenuous hike during expedition this week. At camp they kept things exciting by playing games like “What Time Is It Mr. Fox” and Contact. The group also played some community building initiatives and were able to create positive and meaningful connections with one another. At times, when conflict arose this week, they were able to communicate with each and come to agreements with one another. The Cassaowaries were able to honor a member of the group by presenting them with a token symbolizing their stability in the group as well as completed several skills assignments. The students also made quiver kits for their busting sets, busting sets, puwakas, and bullroarers. Our crew had a meaningful week with one another!


This week was a chill week for the Uluru group. They experienced everything from preparing for desert rains to playing desert games. Throughout this week we played a variety of games as a group including the hackysack game of Dogs, and the games of Chopsticks, and a new one called Ghost. In addition, everyone enjoyed hiking and sleeping under the starlit sky. Something the group excelled on this week was conflict management and group unification. During the expedition portion of the week, the Ulurus were able to hike three days into the keg mountain range. Many in the group also experienced trying new foods and were particularly excited about a new recipe for doughnut holes.


This week, the Goannas spent time in the Kegs and said farewell to a fellow student. Each time a member is added or leaves the group, group dynamics naturally shifts with such transitions. Much of this week was spent understanding the forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning phases of group development. Topics such as shift in leadership, preparing for what might come up during group transitions, breaking down and processing power struggle conflicts, and revisiting group core values for the Goannas were covered as a result of this week’s focus.

Amongst the moments of personal and group growth, many smiles were shared as Goannas honored several of their group members in sacred ceremonies, completed this week’s therapy assignments, played team building group games, and pushed themselves to further their primitive skills (carving bull roars, partaking in a 24hr to flames fire set challenge, and sewing their own unique leather poss). The Goanas also had the opportunity to hold discussions around fire safety, processing situations that may invoke fear, and understanding that in life, we will come across metaphorical fires requiring us to decide to fan the flames or to use our tools and understanding of conflict to put out the fire.


Pindaris had a week of excitement. The group completed a couple of hikes during the expedition portion of the week that were very smooth and gave the students and staff an opportunity to learn more about each other. The weather also presented a refreshing break as it rained and brought much cooler temperatures. We celebrated by dancing in the rain as we appreciated the desert and the most welcomed rainfall. The Pindaris worked on improving their busting skills as well this week. Overall, the week had its challenges and each of the students shared how they finished the week strong!

The group started out the week by setting intentions and goals for the Peak Week Journey. The group headed to Cedar Canyon and the Red Rocks where we spent the night with a gathering of the constellations. They were flexible with the weather conditions and overcame anxieties that came up around the weather conditions. The group was very excited to try rock climbing and we began the climbing experience with teaching of the “ground school” learning about climbing equipment and the process. Some faced their fears by challenging themselves to try to climb to the top of the rock and celebrating the accomplishment. The group then moved to St. George where they got to hike amongst the sandstone and explore slot canyons and petrified sand dunes. The group grew very close and worked hard to support each other the entire week with the intentions they all had set at the beginning. They ended peak week with a ceremony in a lava tube where they got the opportunity to honor each other’s strengths.

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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.