Rite of Passage Journeys fosters self-discovery, community belonging and connection with the natural world in youth, adults and elders. Through contemporary rite of passage experiences and education, we initiate soulful leaders for the next generation. We guide wilderness retreats and adventures for ages 8 - 80+ and provide training, mentorship and support for schools, organizations, houses of worship and individual leaders. We honor soul-work, deep human values. Our heart and soul is supporting kids to transition into adolescence in conscious, healthy, mentored and empowered ways through wilderness rite of passage experiences.
Our vision is a world of vibrant, multi-generational communities in which all people are guided to recognize and give their gifts in service to a thriving planet.
Rite of Passage Journeys believes that modern adults, teens and children can learn important life lessons from centuries-old cross-cultural traditions. Since 1968, we have offered transformative experiences of intentional rites of passage and vision quests. Journeys also provides education and training for community leaders, mentors and organizations.
Journeys’ retreats are contemporary versions of historic “vision quests.” It is believed that Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, and St. Joan all spent time alone in nature seeking insight. There are many cultures of the world that continue to practice types of vision quests, such as many Native American Nations, Australian Aborigines, and the Basque people of Northern Spain.
Over the last 40 years, many Westerners have begun exploring how to bring rites of passage back into our communities, returning these traditions to their primary place in assuring our cultural health. The concept of a “vision quest” is becoming increasingly recognized and valued in a cross-cultural context, thanks to the work of Stephen Foster & Meredith Little, Bill Plotkin and many others.
Journeys draws from many traditions and translates them into cross-cultural activities so that each participant can comfortably join in all activities from the standpoint of her/his own background.
Our age-appropriate programs are high-adventure and many of our programs involve extended backpacking trips through the most beautiful terrain Washington has to offer. Our staff is well-trained and experienced in wilderness safety and first aid. They use a range of skills to ensure participants’ physical and emotional safety and health.
Participants, staff and mentors create a community that encourages personal reflection on what is happening to them and what the future might hold. In each program, there is an actual “journey” which serves as a metaphor for this exploration.
Each program offers a special time, set aside for solitude, to encounter the self in the safety of the wild, where real change can occur. For teens and adults, this includes one or more days of solo time in the wilderness; for our younger journeyers, this time of solitude may be only a few minutes a day, giving them a taste of connection with the earth, and with the quiet place inside themselves.
These multi-dimensional journeys offer chances to grow via physical accomplishments, encounters with other ideas, and opportunities to reflect on life experience. We believe that experience is the greatest teacher, and have designed our work to permit individual and group learning in dialogue with events and interactions as they occur. This is experiential learning in the truest sense of the word. The atmosphere of learning and exploration is fun, creative, reflective and joyous.
Stan Crow, 1939 - 2009
Journeys Founder & Director Emeritus
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EXPLORE OUR PROGRAMS
Our summer youth programs, for ages 8 – 18, help young people navigate the journey from childhood to adulthood in a supported, mentored way.
Our adult programs, for ages 18 and older, grew out of the strong need we saw to guide adults through their own rites of passage — for transition does not end at age 18.
These programs foster the presence necessary for authentic connections, which are essential in our relationships with all beings.