Dingoes: The Dingoes had a wonderful week filled with ceremonies and skills. At the beginning of the week, the group focused on working towards completing Nagarnas and creating new skills. The group participated in an initiative called Laser Fence where they were challenged as a group to work as a team and developed increased communication skills. During the middle of the week, the Dingoes shared in an honoring ceremony to highlight positives about a new Dingo to the group and share insights learned through their personal journeys. Then the Dingoes hiked to therapy site after setting a group pack up record of an hour and a half. At therapy site, the group hiked up to Erickson Knoll and added to a time capsule full of Outback student’s encouraging messages. Gatherings were held on the Path of Two Ways, group culture, and processing emotions. At the end the week, the group set new goals and areas of growth to focus on for the new week.
Gnowees: The Gnowees had a great week full of group bonding and growth. The week started with a “letting go” gathering where students wrote letters about things they wanted to let go of and burned them ceremoniously. The students were incredibly supportive of each other this week and honored each other with numerous tokens, including strong cord, maker, making amends, vital fire, letting go, and making amends. One student received the trail name of Surfing Sunset. The students enjoyed making bracelets, spoons, and bullroars throughout the week. We did a goodbye gathering for a student who is leaving on Thursday, and she received a new trail name of “Majestic Tiger” after the group decided she had outgrown her original trail name she had received earlier in her stay.
Goannas: The Goannas spent half of the week at a site that felt much like an enchanted forest, characterized by oak, a creek, and willow. They spent the other half at a site that felt and looked more like a desert (back with Juniper and Sage), so it was a great balance. The boys honored each other this week with multiple tokens such as: brightness, giver, and seeker. We also gave two people (one staff, one student) trail names, “Animated Monkey” and “Wise Cedar.” We were able to witness multiple sunsets in the comfort of our own site, it was such a beautiful view. Some of the boys enjoyed a face mask made of masa, ground up charcoal, and sage while having some time to relax and catch up on some personal reading. This week we talked a lot about change and impermanence, practiced meditation (lead by both staff and students), and played many games of “mafia,” “monster of the week,” and monkey in the middle with a football (this was a big hit!). Lastly, the boys enjoyed hearing staff read “The Alchemist” each night; they really resonated with this book! The boys continue to be curious about life, the desert, and their own personal growth and future. They are an inspiring group.
Brumbies: The Brumbies had a fantastic week enjoying several creeks and hiking across the desert floor into the beautiful Red Pine Mountain range. At the beginning of their week, the Brumbies played and soaked their feet in the glimmering Lee Creek, but alas, had to bid it adieu as they kept their hiking schedule. They initially struggled with consistently making fire as a group, yet as the week progressed, the fire began to grow in their hearts and from their bow-drilling sets. By the end of the week they were making fire for fun, fully enjoying the challenge and camaraderie of the fire-making process. In the foothills of the Red Pine wilderness the Brumbies found pine trees and other high-elevation vegetation and began crafting stronger spoons to add to their cooking arsenal. The Brumbies also decided it was time to honor one of their fellow members with a trail name and proudly named him: Humble Buffalo. One of the Brumbies also decided to honor their deceased father with the Solid Ground token in remembrance of all the gifts and foundation his father provided during his early childhood. As the week came to a close, the Brumbies anticipated when they would have the chance to finally peak Red Pine mountain, patiently waiting for the perfect chance.
Peak Week – Adventure Therapy @ outBACK
This week on peak we spent a lot of time cooling off in reservoirs and creeks, climbing, and hiking areas with incredible views. The boys seemed to really enjoy the hike into the Lava Tubes of Fillmore. They also successfully ascended each climb we challenged and presented to them. The group cooked and ate some excellent meals this week which brought us all together and gave us all time to get to know one another and laugh around the picnic table. We ended the week by doing a sweat lodge ceremony under the stars. Throughout the duration of the ceremony, the boys and staff were vulnerable with one another and learned a lot about each other and of themselves. Overall this week was a ton of fun but also challenging at times for everyone in the group when it came to exercising their vulnerability muscle.