Wilderness Weekly 5.7.21

A Wild horse grazes near camp at Outback Therapeutic Expeditions, a wilderness therapy program for teens

Lorikeets: The week was full of a lot of personal growth for each member of the Lorikeets. The group experienced a lot of emotional challenges as they pushed themselves to hike to the top of Indian Peak and worked together as a team to accomplish this goal! The hike itself was very difficult for a lot of the girls and they worked to motivate each other to reach the top. They were very proud of their hard work and it brought them together as a group. They did gatherings on the topics of letting go and on setting personal boundaries and how those boundaries affect our lives, and the conversations were very therapeutic to the group. They honored each other through token ceremonies and the group members were recognized for their individual strengths and were able to feel proud of their progress in the program.

Goannas: It was a fabulous week. Filled with laughter, cheer and lot’s of teamwork. Everyone was motivated and did so well on the hikes, setting up camp and being open emotionally. We were able to hike Black Crook this week, which was a blast for the kids. They were all very optimistic and eager to conquer the peak. Once we were at the top we spent time exploring and and honoring one another in a beautifully made ceremonial ground. We also retired the emotional leader stick on the mountain with a small ceremony to honor it. The rest of the hike we did were done quickly and efficiently with little breaks. We made the most of our therapy site and set up an amazing selter, a welcoming Main, and cozy PT’s. The site was quickly made into something beautiful that everyone was excited about. We did two more ceremony sites on scenic hills and everyone was able to open up and feel appreciated. We also noticed a bluie that had shrek’s face on it. All around a great week. 

Ulurus: The week was full of achievement, both physically and emotionally. The Uluru started with a slight deviation of the initial itinerary, changing from a trip up Indian Peak to an attempt to summit Red Pine instead. We changed our first two camp sites to accommodate this change, the second site being where the new Uluru game of Billy-Rock was born. The Uluru made their attempt on Red Pine Saturday, running into numerous literal walls, which they very proficiently were able to accept a change in the route with patience and understanding. We peaked both summits of Red Pine, and had a Bora Ground ceremony on the summit before coming down. We finished with one last hike to therapy site, ending with everyone tired but very happy with their accomplishments. The gatherings this week were all very deep, and everyone in the group opened up and was very vulnerable with each other. All students made positive progress with their therapy assignments this week, making for an overall very productive week.

Brumbies: The week began with the Brumbies identifying what they wanted to change about their group culture and setting a plan in place to reduce in-group conflict and be more efficient with daily chores. While still at the therapy site, the group played camouflage and hacky sack and enjoyed the sunshine after a week of rough weather. As the hiking began the group had moments of fatigue and frustration but held fast to the goal of treating each other more kindly and patiently.  The group earned a day hike at the end of the week searching for an old cabin but we were unsuccessful. They enjoyed looking for lizards and bugs and created an ecosystem for them to live in. Despite a few moments of tension and argument, they turned a corner and successfully began collaborating to move through the days more peacefully.

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

First camp welcomed some new faces this week! Students began to adjust to the Outback flow of things shortly after arriving. They were able to work on some new skills like backpack making and bow drilling and have some fun as well, making their own games (they worked together to make a chess set) as well as building cool hammocks. The students also participated in their first gathering; an especially special one to say goodby to a departing staff. 


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COVID-19 Update

Outback Therapeutic Expeditions is continuing to support families through this unprecedented time. We are closely monitoring information related to COVID-19, adhering to recommendations set forth by CDC, and have implemented additional safety precautions to mitigate risks. To learn more, contact us at 800-817-1899.