The Goannas departed their therapy site and began the expedition portion of the week with some challenging uphill hikes. Each hike was both uphill and a challenging distance, yet the group proved themselves to be strong hikers and got through each day with plenty of time to set up camp and cook dinner. We were able to successfully peak Black Crook mountain with the entire group, making amazing time on the ascent despite the terrain. Several students received their trail names this week; Exotic Trout and Stoic Viper, along with senior staff Wise Mustang. The Goanna token was also presented to a student in honor of their work and leadership role with the Goannas.
The Cassowaries had an exciting week in the field. Several of our students had just come back from Peak week and reflected on the personal revelations and fun times they had there. The Cassowaries did incredibly well during busting hour and during their hikes too. Early on in the week, one of the Cassowaries received their trail name; Ethereal Eclipse. Additionally, two other students received tokens early on in the week, true speaker and openness. The Cassowaries were given the opportunity to Peak Red Pine Mountain and succeeded in getting up most of the way. While at the top, one of our students got their trail name, Soulful Dove, and some of the other members received the seeker and strong chord tokens. Additionally, one of the staff received a strong chord token as well. All in all, the Cassowaries had an awesome week full of hiking, fun, and creating.
This week, the Brumbies got to enjoy the beginning of some cooler weather in the desert. Many of the students and staff started the week wearing shorts and t-shirts, and then ended wearing pants and sweaters. Throughout the week, the students participated in games and gatherings that focused on the topic of resilience. Many of the students demonstrated this skill throughout the week as they practiced packing and setting up camp. They also particularly enjoyed playing a new game called tanks. Although some of the hikes were not completed as planned, the group was able to temporarily escape the desert climate, camping in a beautiful grove of oak trees.
The Ulurus thrived in the face of the various mental, emotional, and/or physicial adversities that present themselves, as per usual. Some of the terrain upon which they hiked coupled with the shift to cooler weather brought up some challenges for the group. Yet, the group was able to adjust the narrative by changing their perspectives as the Ulurus suggested, ”maybe the howling winds and the rocky trails were the friends we made along the way”. And sometimes, the simple act of shifting perspectives is what supported the students in having a whole new experience; a different outcome.
Several Ulurus worked diligently on working through their first camp booklets, climbing ever closer to completion. We were able to be a part of a veteran student busting their first coal; a milestone that was celebrated accordingly. The hikes were relatively shorter during the expedition portion of the week. This allowed the group to place more focus on other aspects of community living and life in the high desert. We were also able to enjoy the beautiful moonlit nights that kept our sites illuminated as we explored the sacred grounds of this desert.
All in all, it was a week to remember!