Wilderness Weekly 9.18.21


The Goannas started off the week with a goodbye ceremony, reminiscing and sharing hopes for their futures for two of the elder group members. With the elders moving on to next steps, this allowed other members to step up into leadership roles. The new leaders helped motivate and guide the group into building a strong and competitive busting culture. The group challenged themselves with trying a new form of busting called, hand drilling, and to see who can get the fastest coal. The Goannas saddled over Broad Canyon for their first pack hike of the week, cross-countrying through the tree size sage bushes. We completed a lovely day hike up to a cabin that was nestled into the grassy hills of Judd Canyon. There, the students collected willow and cottonwood for their bow drill sets and packs. They ended the hike relaxing and enjoying the rare opportunity to play in a beautiful meadow stream. By the end of the week the group welcomed three new members, inviting them in and mentoring them in the Goanna culture.


While some students were out experiencing Peak Week, the Cassowaries had a beautiful week exploring and bonding. Students led morning meditations, emotional check-ins, and gatherings. Each day students busted with integrity and older students mentored the newer students while busting and blowing into flames. Several of the Cassowaries were honored with tokens. Tokens received included vital fire, letting go, and seeker. The group puzzled their way through some riddles while hiking, and on one of the night hikes the group admired the stars and the moon. All of the students also learned to make hammocks out of their tarps and spent some time relaxing in them and watching the sunsets. Almost all of the students managed to get coals, with some students getting their first coals! Finally, the students all spent a lot of their week engaging in some experimental cooking. Some of the creations included: meatballs, pad thai, and donuts.


This week in the Brumbies, we took the time to get to know one another better, shared our goals and expectations, and how we can best support each other. From moments of frustrations, hardships, and difficult obstacles to the victories, successes, and overcoming challenges, the group as a whole was able to experience vibrant growth. Throughout this process, the guides were also able to witness each individual student growth as well. 

Everyone accomplished a variety of success worthy of positive reflection; all of which were possible due to the immense amount of support the students provided one another. This was made evident during the expeditions portion of the week as the group completed 5 hikes, 3 day hikes and 1 night hike. Each student also had the opportunity to work on their crafting and maker skills as they carved and sewed, made A-frame backpacks, keeper pouches, bows, spindles and bottom boards for fire making sets. A few of the students also busted their first coals and blew them into flames! Along our journey together, the group also honored several students and staff with tokens, which included brightness, seeker, winged heart, solid ground, vital fire, giver, peace walker, and openness. These tokens were given to honor the attributes and characteristics the group saw in each individual. This week the group also held a goodbye ceremony and a trail naming ceremony.

All together there were so many cool learning lessons, accomplishments and new connections that were made, signing off on a great week in the Brumbies.


We started the week with a zest for finishing first camp and were able to support two of our group members in completing all of their first camp assignments! The Ulurus worked to encourage and motivate one another during an emotional hike to one of our sites during the expedition portion of the week. They were diligent on working together to effectively problem solve when faced with a group conflict and were able to identify some key components of group culture they wanted to uphold and embody moving forward. Many students made great progress on accountability and self reliance. Several students were honored with tokens of making amends, openness, and solid ground while another student was honored with a trail name Tempestuous Supernova. 

This week on peak we climbed hard and had lots of fun times. For the first day of our climbing progression, we set up various routes for the students to try and everybody attempted to get up the wall. This was challenging for some of the students as it pushed them out of their comfort zones, and it was amazing to witness the crew push themselves in order to acknowledge their anxieties and move past them. Spirited Crystal was very anxious about climbing due to her fear of heights, yet she did not let this hold her back and was able to  complete her climb. She even had a big smile on her face as she made her way back down. The second day of the climbing progression brought us to the same rock face and the students continued to push themselves as they tried different and much harder routes.

The Peak Crew hiked through these caves of the lava tubes with helmets and headlamps, and had a very dark ceremony in the depths of the cave. This ceremony opened the space for students to share their experience thus far at outBACK, the challenges they have faced, and how they have been able to overcome them. All in all this was an awesome week full of the students practicing their integration back into the “real world” and challenging themselves.  

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