Wilderness Weekly 4.30.21

Lorikeets: This week, the Lorikeets said goodbye some members and honored them each with a token. The group also welcomed a new member! They transitioned well and some of the senior Lorikeets took on the responsibilities of logistics and emotional leaders. Also this week, one Lorikeet was honored with their trail name, Everlasting Nebula, which the group all worked together to come up with and were all ecstatic to bestow upon them. The Lorikeets hiked towards Indian peak, accomplishing more miles than an average week. Some hikes were long and hard but the group pulled through together and were incredibly supportive of one another. Overall the group worked hard on their skills such as busting coals, hiking, setting up shelters, carving, sewing projects etc. while supporting each other through every step. 

Goannas: At the beginning of the week, some Goannas departed for peak week. The group honored them with brightness and vital fire tokens as well as honoring other group members with seeker, maker, and awakening tokens. Mid-way through the week, the group did a day hike to the top of Erikson Knoll and wrote letters to future Outbackers. They honored a peer with a trail name ‘Unbreakable Engine’, and a staff member with the trail name ‘Zen Traveller’. One Goanna led a group on radical acceptance that gave group members a place to open up. On Monday, the group overcame bad weather and were able to work on assignments and create a ceremony circle to give the journey keeper, brightness, and openness tokens. The week ended with feedback gathering and a staff being honored with the giver token. 

Ulurus: This week in the Uluru we endured big changes. We said goodbye to some members at their bittersweet farewell gathering while welcoming a new member and naming a new logistical and emotional leader of the group. The hiking culture has evolved to be one of their strongest skills. They are a goal setting group that is motivated to get to their next location but still making time for interesting breakfast concoctions. On Saturday, we were able to peak Black Crook Mt, the 2nd tallest mountain in our field, the hike was about 8 miles in total. The hike up was filled with laughter, motivating words of encouragement and beautiful views. Overall, during the week, the group was able to work well together by supporting and guiding each other through technical and emotional difficulties.

Brumbies: The week began with new friends and new faces as another group combined with the Brumbies. The students focused on identity within group culture and collaborating to build a new culture with consideration for the new members. A sewing project brought the old and new members together as they all made pillows together, and team building games became the staple of the first of the week. As hike days rolled around, some left on Peak, encouraging the next eldest members of the group to step into leadership roles and guide the Brumbies onward. Hikes were marked by beautiful views of the Simpson Mountains and practice taking steps toward conflict resolution. The group took a day off of backpacking on Saturday in order to focus in on team building and have an intentional time of reflection while hiking to a nearby high point to watch the sunset. One Brumbie, Joyous Chipmunk, received the Truthspeaker token in acknowledgement of his progress in honesty and finding his authentic voice. The group weathered a snow storm that turned to rain, reflected on the importance of rest, and continued to push each other to grow through the week.

Check Out What’s Happening in 1st Camp @ outBACK

This week in first camp one of the students was  honored with a token before we said our farewells! Each individual worked on new skills such as making their backpacks, busting coals, carving spoons, sewing their pouches, and putting together their story keepers. Throughout our time together the students adapted to their new surroundings in the vast Utah desert. There was time to chat about their experiences thus far and what they foresee for the future while working on their skills.  Also during this time, staff and students got to go explore a rare find, a small creek flowing from snow melt off the mountain tops, providing an oasis among the dry desert. Altogether this week was a good time to get acclimated and prepared for the journey ahead of them.

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