Wilderness Weekly 8.22.20

Gnowees: The Gnowees had a successful and enjoyable week. The Gnowees gave out multiple tokens and experienced some powerful goodbye gatherings. The group completed several challenging pack hikes and day hike, persevering through the heat and enjoying the beautiful views. The Gnowees gave out three tokens and created a new group token – the group overall worked hard to honor one another in their emotional and physical achievements. The students supported and guided one another in busting, gatherings, and a shift in group leadership throughout the week. The Gnowees completed meaningful gatherings and morning meditations every day and helped each other complete their therapeutic goals. Overall, the Gnowees grew and celebrated one another throughout an enjoyable and exciting week.

Ulurus: Incoming staff group were greeted by a team of Ulurus who had experienced a great previous week in the desert. After merging with the Dingoes, the Ulurus had managed to find their footing, reporting success logistically; all of which naturally came with with some interpersonal challenges that is a part of groups forming, storming, and norming prior to reaching the stage of performing. After having some members head to Peak Week, the Ulurus began this week cultivating a new team identity. The students from Ulurus and the students from Dingoes began to connect with one another to create a newly united group culture. Even through the various stages of forming, storming, and norming, the unity and companionship were at an all time high. In the middle of the week, a ceremony was held to honor multiple members. Persistent Otter was presented with an invitation in the form of a token; inviting him to step into a role of greater leadership–an invitation which he accepted gracefully. As well, Peaceful Whirlpool was honored with the Peace Walker token in recognition of his easygoing countenance and the positive attitude he contributes to the group. The week ended with lots of laughs, games, and camaraderie.

Goannas: The Goannas had a good week! All of the students have shown tremendous growth emotionally and the group got closer this week than ever before. One student received the Brightness token for showing a change in attitude, expressing their joy and interaction with other members of the group. Another received the Truth Speaker token for making a conscious effort to work on his honesty. One Goanna received the Vital Fire token for showing more initiative and having more confidence in himself. And another received the Peace Walker token for approaching the group with kindness and consistently keeping a clear mind in face of stress. The hikes we went on this week went really well. The group pushed through the hardest hike they have ever done with little hesitation. We finished the week off with a sunset gathering talking about families and love. 


Check Out What’s Happening in 1st Camp @ outBACK

The first campers had a great week! The students worked hard on their assignments, and worked through the various first camp assignments as they became acclimated to desert living and transitioning into outBACK. We were able to get out at sunsets and witness some really awe-inspiring colors and desert vistas. Lots of whittling was done, both between staff and students, and many gifts were made and exchanged. Games were played, including Rabbit or Wrench, Name That Movie, and we had lots of riddles to figure out.


Peak Week – Adventure Therapy @ outBACK

Another great week on Peak! We camped at a beautiful site in Desert Mountains at the base of a rock climbing wall. We started the week with climbing lessons and the students got to practice the skill during mornings and evenings. The Peak Crew members were very encouraging with each other to build confidence and help at finding the next hold on the rock wall. During the day when the sun was at it’s highest, the crew participated in various initiatives and games, shared meals together, and took personal time for reflection and contemplation. The group had a chance to enjoy some hot springs in our desert and the group even had the amazing opportunity to peak the mountain Red Pine! We were met at the top with awesome views and notes from those who had summited the peak before us. The summit to the peak gave way to an incredible moment in which the students made and shared personal commitments they wished to make to themselves prior to transitioning onto their next adventure. They harvested some mahogany in order to create a mahogany ring to remember the commitment they had made on that day.

One Peak member was honored with the Seeker token, while another was honored with Truth Speaker. We had insightful gatherings and morning meditations throughout this week of transition, and the students took great initiative to take each conversation deeper. Our conversations were centered around how to take the ‘gatherings” they have experienced at outBACK and transfer them into their lives beyond the desert.


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