Gnowees: This week the Gnowees overcame both mental and physical challenges as they pushed themselves during the expedition days this week. The Gnowees hiked the most this current group has ever done! The series of hikes led the group to the base of the beautiful Keg Mountains, the perfect place to end the week. The Gnowees increased their individual and collective fortitude by rising to meet this physical and mental challenge. Several Gnowees were honored with intentional ceremonies. Insightful Rose received the letting go token while Blazing Kodiak and Sparkling Pegasus were honored with the Gnowee token for embodying the four pillars of Gnowee culture: Honesty, Openness, Willingness, and Respect. Another Gnowee received the trail name of Enchanting Daydream.
Fire making was also a big part of this week, as each Gnowee was challenged to increase their self-sufficiency by having and using a functioning fire-making set. In this way, they learned to both help their fellow Gnowee’s and stand on their own. Ophelia, the therapy dog, provided valuable emotional support to the Gnowees this week as they persevered and grew together.
Ulurus: The group had an awesome week working together as a brotherhood to make fire together. The boys worked on perfecting their fire sets and creating a culture of making fire based on personal enjoyment, rather than simply based on necessity. They overcame some challenges while peaking the Kegs, which was monumental because no group has yet peaked them! The boys were supportive of one another as we made our way up the mountain, all working towards the same goal. We experienced beautiful landscapes that were formed by a mixture of granite and quartz; showing them the beauty and awesomeness of the land. The group stayed productive with making different tools for cooking food. It’s amazing how creative the group can get when they band together to get new things out in our field.
Goannas: The group started out in a great spot and continued to make the week positive, productive, and powerful for everyone. The transitions that come when students share their heartfelt goodbyes when senior members head onto their next adventure give way to moments of readjustment and collective identity reformation. The Goannas experienced such a transition this week and were working out the culture they wanted to continue not only for themselves but for future Goannas as well. With each hike, the group grew stronger than the last and they were able to create moments to joke around and have fun throughout the process. The group played multiple games during the week and were all supportive/respectable when coming together for the evening gatherings. There were three sacred ground ceremonies that were held throughout the week; one was for a Goanna to honor a friend that had passed away a few years ago, the other was to give Marvelous Tarantula the brightness token and Spirited Meadow the Peace-walker token. The last sacred ground ceremony was for the students to give two of the group members their trail name, which is Famous Crypt and Searching Bigfoot.
Check Out What’s Happening in 1st Camp @ outBACK
First camp gained several new students who are learning how to transition into the program. They learned how to work on the various hards skills they will be mastering while enrolled here, as well as gain a better understanding of the daily routine for the groups. They cooked their first meals over stoves and learned from staff what “busting” is all about. On Tuesday morning the staff did a big water gathering with the students to introduce what outBACK stands for and how to be emotionally and physically responsible members tasked to forge and maintain optimal spaces for personal and collective growth.