Wilderness Weekly 9.10.21

Photo Credit: Scott Jones, CMHC, Primary Therapist


This week the group really came together to master daily chores, skills, and hiking. They supported each other through challenging hikes and worked together to set up camp. The more experienced students took a step back and helped newer students learn vital skills to thrive in the desert. One student managed to “bust” 60 coals in one day and another spent hours working on crafts for people he cared about. Everyone had a good time playing chess on a handcrafted set. It was an awesome week full of laughter and friendly banter. Guides received solid ground, giver, brightness, and winged heart tokens from the students. One student received the brightness token, and Smooth Otter received the strong cord token.


The Cassowaries have been adjusting fabulously from their merge with the Keets. Although they faced some changes this week, the Cassowaries had an awesome week filled with laughter, fun, and creativity. A new Cassowary joined the group halfway through the week and has been adjusting nicely to the outBACK way of life. Some of the students finished their pos bags while others finished their bull roars. Additionally, several Cassowaries are anticipating a great time on Peak Week next week. The Cassowaries had incredibly strong and fast hikes this week as well, and some persevered through the physical discomforts along the way. And last but not least, one Cassowary received the awesome trail name of Raging Viper and another received the brightness token.


The Brumbies utilized positive communication strategies and grounding techniques to support one another through challenging situations. The Brumbies had the opportunity to hike under the starlight on two occasions and enjoy the cool night air. While there were some moments of conflict between students, the Brumbies were able to process the events and gain insight in regards to maladaptive communication patterns. The Brumbies had several gathering sessions surrounding attachment theory and how different family systems can impact development. The Brumbies were able to rally together by the end of the week to form a more cohesive group environment. 


The Ulurus are mostly acclimated to life in the desert. We hiked under the night sky and took some time to watch the stars and we nearly peaked at the mighty Blackcrook. At milan, the primary therapist passed on a challenge to the Ulurus to complete their first camp tasks. We spent some days harvesting sage and juniper plants for spindles, bows, and bottom boards and other days working towards completing our A-frames. A particularly charismatic Uluru, who happens to be the newly crowned logistics leader and chief of said Ulurus, transitioned out of first camp with several others following closely behind. We spent every night before dinner honing in on building a group habit of busting coals before dinner. We hope this habit continues to grow.

Boom spent the first half of the week going for short day adventures while connecting and getting to know one another; reflecting on prior weeks along with future goals.  The individual time with staff seemed to be appreciated and well received, giving the student the ability to be seen and heard in a desired environment.  New skills were acquired, learning how to make and use a sling, as well as a much needed quiver to store the invaluable busting equipment for making fire.  Later in the week, we ventured to a new site, which came with some internal obstacles which were met and overcome with patience and persistence.  The week ended with a reunion with some additional time for reflection on solo.  Overall, a very internally empowering week of self reflection.

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