Out in the desert with clear skies and gorgeous sunsets, the Goannas navigated through several challenges this week. They leaned on comradery, humor, and directed their focus towards skills, therapy assignments and healthy personal time. At the beginning of this week’s adventures, the group saw a friend depart on to his next step of life. It left them reflecting on the impacts that each of them has had on each other and how the Goannas will progress according to their own efforts and intentions. We also made space to gain trust in the desert and process of growth within the care of outBACK and express their emotions with passion and care for their own boundaries and those of their fellow partners walking alongside them through the hills.
This week during our skills time, many spoons were carved with the intention of giving to others. Goannas also made jewelry such as brass necklaces, and walking sticks with leather designs and dangling beads. There was time put into crafting pieces of wood together to make friction fire and work as a team teaching and learning the struggles that come with creation of such force.
By the end of the week, they saw a new arrival and welcomed him with open arms and smiles, making sure he felt comfortable with this new change which allowed him to start adjusting from the start. Overall, there a was shift in mindset in the Goannas this week. We are looking forward to diving into how we can make the most of our time in the desert and exploring ourselves.
Desert proverbs read; “One man’s trash is an outback student’s treasure”. The group found a lot of hidden treasures throughout their Adventure Expedition. The students reminisced about the things in life that provide them with simple joy and the things they missed about society and why. The group started out the week with tone-setting and discussing goals and expectations for the adventures that would await them. The Kangaroos spent time to dig in and discuss their insights into some of the topics brought up in the book “the Anatomy of Peace” and the group found themselves sharing some of the collusion cycles that were holding them back from personal and group growth.
Throughout the week the group explored caves, rock climbed, swam, stand up paddle boarded, and hiked. Students learned new meanings of trust while climbing and allowing others to belay them (tandem with a staff). This allowed for the strengthening of peer relationships and personal goal setting amongst the group members. The Roos had a gathering on the importance of silence being a teacher and later in the week were able to connect that to the sensations of being in the darkness of a cave. In the darkness, the students shared important attributes about their identities with their peers and set goals for understanding themselves better.
During a hike, a gathering was held asking the group to reflect on Indigenous people and the influence they have had on the land we also walk upon. The group discussed how to preserve and respect sacred areas and how we can “Take off our shoes”. Overall, the week was full of exploring adventures, inside and out.
This week was one of trials and new beginnings for the Ulurus. The Ulurus did an excellent job during their backcountry expedition and did well throughout their hikes this week. With that being said, what allowed for the triumphs had a lot to do with time spent at the beginning of the week learning how to “ribcage and basket” their packs which entailed a lot of new knots and strategies to ensure a tight and secure pack. Even though the hikes were challenging, every member helped each other get to the destination and settle into the new camp.
We held a goodby ceremony which naturally created a shift in the group as well as leadership within the group. This dynamic allowed the culture of the group to be redefined, and the group was able to solidify the transition through incorporating time to connect and enjoy each other as a community with games and having fun together! We played games almost every day, and when we were not playing games, there was some form of fun connection happening amongst the group. We played games of glove tag, had lots of pushup competitions, and even had a staff lead us in a highly structured personal training routine. One student even got 35 pushups within two minutes! Students were motivated to learn and practice busting, challenging each other to find their own sets and coaching one another through the process.
We worked as a group to set up group shelter and a main camp, and many students learned how to set up their own personal shelters as well. One of the highlights of the week was when the students worked with therapists, outgoing guides, and incoming guides to use a giant busting set to try and get a coal! Though we did not get a coal, the group worked together as a team to get lots of smoke.
This was a week of great growth and progress on Boom! At the beginning of the week, the group gained another student, which gave Mending Velvet Ant the opportunity to be a mentor to him for several days. They worked hard at improving their busting skills and made time to read and journal. The new student got right to work on completing their First-Camp projects. He formed a quick bond with Mending Velvet Ant and mentored them on cooking skills, creating several recipes that were innovative and delicious.
The students were champion hikers this week. Most notably, the Boomers conquered the summit of Indian Peaks this week! It was a grueling hike, yet everyone was so eager to get to the top that they pushed through the challenges and basked in the glorious view at the top of the mountain. After the demanding peak experience, the students held a ceremony to honor one of the staff with the Giver token to symbolize her willingness to put in effort for each student and staff.
As the week came to a close, the staff were able to honor Mending Velvet Ant with the Journey Keeper token. This token was given to honor someone who is becoming an active participant in their own journey, making and keeping goals, and demonstrating hope for their future. Mending Velvet Ant received their token graciously. We ended the week with ceremony, rest, and rejuvenation.
Read Past "Wilderness Weekly" Posts
Wilderness Weekly 3.10.23
Goannas: As the snow melted from the Goanna’s site so did their hearts. The Goannas shared goodbyes with senior members of the group which opened
Wilderness Weekly 3.3.23
Photo Credite: Alyssa, “ERV” @ outBACK Goannas: This week the Goannas started out with enthusiasm and spirit. Welcoming in a new student with joy and
Wilderness Weekly 2.25.23
Goannas: The Goannas had an exciting week filled with beautiful sights. adrenaline fueled games, and stunning conflict resolution skills. The Goannas went far this week