Wilderness Weekly – July 15, 2016

It was another great week at Outback. The Goannas, Pindari, Ulurus, and Lorikeets all participated in exciting, often challenging journeys through the wilderness and into their own hearts.

Here’s what happened in the words of staff members who were actually there:

trail name bora ground (student, staff) 07-13-16


After a failed first attempt at peaking Indian, the Goannas successfully peaked Indian the next day. When the group got to the top, one of the Goannas held a gathering about mindfulness. There were dozens of butterflies overhead throughout the whole gathering. Before climbing down, the boys found a water bottle at the top where they left their advice for future Outbackers peaking Indian.

A couple of the boys had emotional parent visits this week. Many started and ended in tears of sadness and happiness. Parents were honored by their sons with tokens representing the qualities their child saw in them.

This week, the Goannas played a game of everybody’s it exploring the lesson of relationship dynamics. The boys played three different roles throughout the afternoon- victim, rescuer, and persecutor. Many of them learned which of the three roles they assume most while still giggling and joking around the whole time.


Sleeping under the stars, night hikes, and exploring washes.

One of the Pindari was given his trail name in a ceremony at sunset. He was quite excited to receive it before his parent visit. All of the other students were ecstatic to offer the names they thought would best honor him.


On Saturday the whole group designed and decided on a group Uluru token symbol as well as their own symbols and then proceeded to carve or etch them into wood or stone tokens. Later in the day the whole group did a sunset hike to the top of a nearby peak to show off and discuss tokens and the meaning of being an Uluru as well as getting to watch a beautiful sunset over the distant desert mountains.

uluru token exchange 07-13-16 (2)


On Sunday during a break in the middle of a hike the boys were overjoyed to find a large patch of willows which many of them cut down to make new H-frame packs, flutes, and bow and arrows.

Two of the boys in the group were sent out on solos on Sunday afternoon to prepare themselves and their minds for their parent visits which occurred on Tuesday afternoon. Both boys were overwhelmed with emotions and ecstatic to get to see and visit with their parents for a day, getting the chance to proudly show them all they had crafted over their stays at OTE and all the good work they had been doing to improve themselves.


As the keets rose from a long deserved sleep they prepared to peak Indian.  As they hiked through a beautiful sunrise the group gathered their strength to finish off the obstacle ahead.  When the girls finally reached the top of Indian Peaks they sat in awe as they saw the entire field.

At the top of Indian Peak two keets were honored with sacred tokens, Making Amends and Awakening.  As true beauty surrounded the group a glow of pride and thanks filled the air.

On a hot day the keets decided to play some games!  Not just a game of ninja but the mysterious Mine Field.  The girls were individually blindfolded and guided by their fellow keets through a field of trees and bushes.  Trusting their peers to guide them safely through the unknown.



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