Wilderness Weekly 8.8.20

Dingoes: The Dingoes started off the week in a challenging spot. The need for emotional safety was high as the group processed through grief as some members looked toward the next chapter of their personal journeys beyond outBACK. The shift in group dynamic was definitely felt after the departure of the most veteran members of the group. As we often see during times of transition, the remaining members felt a sense of loss as it pertained to group identity and navigated through a sense of grief that can comes with sharing heartfelt goodbyes with friends made through this experience. This time of transition brought to the forefront, the fumble and messiness of trying to reform into an evolved version of who they were prior to the change in group dynamic. Although the group experienced it’s fair share of stumbling as they tried to accomplish daily tasks, there was a growing sense of trust and emotional safety as the week went on. Staff had the honor of witnessing how after many intentional conversations between the group, a new spirit took the Dingoes. In this new atmosphere, conversations were beginning to emerge about emotional challenges, life back home, and future goals. This week marked a change toward new group cohesion and improved communication.

Gnowees: The Gnowees had a different and challenging week, with only one night hike on Sunday. Despite these challenges, the Gnowees had an incredibly productive and positive week overall as they practiced patience, worked on therapy goals, and bonded with one another through skills and games! We spent our days working on busting, paperwork, new skills, and coming together for meaningful gatherings led by the students. As always, Lucky the dog brightened our days with a never ending game of fetch. The Gnowees also came together to support and welcome a new Gnowee from the first camp. Token ceremonies were prevalent this week as we had opportunities to honor one another and take time to reflect on the progress of our incredible students, staff, and therapists.

Ulurus:  While the Ulurus did not cover a lot of ground through expeditions this week, the group took advantatge of various opportunities that created a great week out in the wilderness. The group filled up our time with games, various skills building, and many impromptu – in the moment – therapy sessions. The whole group participated in talking about the path of two ways,and how it plays into our lives, and the emotions that come with thinking about the future. The Ulurus gave a staff their trail name, Empathetic Otter, and honored two other members of the group with tokens, which recognized their strength and ability to be bright and seek for truth. With some members of the group leaving this week, the group went through a lot of change, yet are tighter knit and stronger than ever! 

Goannas: This was a great week for the Goannas. The group worked to be very communicative of what they were working on this week, what personal struggles they were noting coming up for them, and the various goals they had for the week. There was a gathering on the path of two ways in which students talked about and resolved long-standing conflicts and collusion cycles with one another. Our final hike to the therapy site was a bit of a hiccup and it afforded an organic opportunity for the group to think on their feet and process the realities of what happens when what is happening in the moment does not match up to our attached beliefs of what “should” be happening. Although the group felt some disappointments during a particular hike, they pushed through it and proved to be resilient and able to handle any conflicts that came their way with impressive fortitude. 


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

First campers had a very successful and reflective week. One student completed their backpack, their pawaka, busted their first coal and blew it into flames. First campers watched the sunset every night this week and watched the full moon rise. The group also completed three short evening hikes to take in the scenery and reflect. Overall, first campers had an enjoyable and productive week in the field.


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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.