Dingoes: The Dingoes did a lot of learning this week. Our group welcomed several new arrivals and got right into sharing the knowledge they have picked up so far. Temperatures soared and night hikes started, and the Dingoes took to the challenge immediately. The group started to put into practice, the importance of ceremonies, as the trail name Courageous Moon was given, and multiple tokens were handed out. The students learned a lot about themselves and each other this week and are in such a beautiful place because of it!
Gnowees: The Gnowees had a great week. We were able to transition two Gnowees into the main camp after completing their first camp goals. In addition, there was an intro gathering to welcome a new Gnowee to Outback. The ladies enjoyed games, sunset watching and skills time in preparation for their upcoming parent visits. Throughout the week the Gnowees hiked several times, one day completing almost six miles! There were other days in which the Gnowees were able to go on exploratory day hikes throughout the desert. During this week, one Gnowee was able to receive the brightness token. Another Gnowee was honored with the trail name, Feisty Mountain, and she received the openness token. Finally, staff member received the solid ground token.
Goannas: The Goannas had quite a full week, filled with exciting adventures and fulfilling hikes. A few members of the group left to experience a “Peak Week”, leaving a smaller group of students in the Goannas for the week. There were many ceremonies wherein students received tokens commemorating their accomplishments and progress, and one student received their trail name, Loyal Lion. To end the week, the whole group was able to do a day hike without their packs, and they peaked a nearby mountain top.
Brumbies: The Brumbies had an exciting week full of adventure and fun! We took a couple day hikes to cool off in the creek and beat the heat of the desert. We also decided to incorporate a few night hikes in order to accomplish peaking three mountains and take a side trip to see ancient petroglyphs! The group had a trail naming ceremony for Wild Shadow and the emotional and logistical leadership positions were passed down to Wild Shadow and Courageous Wolf respectively. They were more than eager to take on the challenge.
Resilient Crow and Courageous Wolf returned to the group after a great Peak Week this week. Finally, the Brumbies were sad but proud to see Peaceful Warrior leave and head out onto his next adventure and the group sent their brother off with praise and encouragement. It was undoubtedly an eventful and fulfilling week for the Brumbies!
Ulurus: With the groups logistical leader on peak week, the group reorganized leadership to better balance the remaining members. As a group, we sought out to experience a week long progression of longer and more challenging hikes. With a conscious knowledge of varying hiking abilities amongst the members of the Ulurus, the students decided to climb the highest mountain in the keg mountain range. With an early morning wake up the group, we were able to conquer the six mile hike to peak Keg mountain at 7554 feet elevation. At the top, the group addressed issues that have been continuing within the group through a gathering. The group left the mountain that day stronger and ready to finish the week with ease.
Peak Week – Adventure Therapy @ out BACK
The Group of boys who called themselves the “Joeys” had an action packed Peak Week. We began the week with a welcoming ceremony, laying out basic guidelines and getting everybody excited for what was ahead. The week started with a bang where the boys were able to have a special group meal of pasta with various veggies and sauce – the first of many delicious meals the group enjoyed this week!
We began out trip down south with a stop to enjoy lunch at a petting zoo. The boys were able to see goats, turtles, and the infamous Zonkey! We camped right outside some Lava tubes after hiking through and exploring the caves. We continued our excursion south and even squeezed in a game of soccer on a lunch break. We ultimately arrived to Gunlock state park where we enjoyed a lake and beautiful rock with waterfalls running through them. Peak Week also gave way to spending time learning how to rock climb. The boys all seemed to take different roles they were attracted to; climbing, belaying, or motivating. The group had a lot of struggles along with many successes.
The Peak crew had a hot and sunny scenic hike through Snow Canyon where the “juice was worth the squeeze” given how epic the views were of the entire trip! The boys then filled up on as much as they could as we ate out at a restaurant, a unique experience for them after so much time in the desert. We then spent the last part of our day driving to Yuba state park where we camped lakeside and cooked sausages with beans.
In the morning, we enjoyed some home cooked pancakes and packed up camp to start our trip back to the west desert. When we finally arrived in our field area, we did a sweat lodge ceremony where everybody took turns being vulnerable and sharing their struggles. This was one of the most special parts of the trip.
The last day of Peak Week came so soon. We spent the morning slowly packing up and finished with a ceremony debriefing the week and focusing on the concept of “know thyself”. We then made our way back to the groups where the boys said some hard goodbyes and were left to reflect on their out of the ordinary week.