Mountain Quest

Coming of Age for Young Men

Ages 12 - 15  |  June 30 - July 13 OR July 21 - Aug 10, 2019  | Return to Youth Programs

(Waitlist only for two-week)
3 Spaces REmain in Three-Week!

"I got so much out of my trip: memories, experiences and undeniable challenges. I became extremely close to all of my comrades on this journey and I believe that I grew as a person in many ways. From jumping into freezing glacier water to pushing myself up the side of a mountain, every moment of this trip allowed me to grow. This trip is something that I will remember for a lifetime."
- Lochlan, Age 13

  

 

This TWO or three-week program challenges boys to develop into solid young men: heroes in their own life journeys. 

For thousands of years, cultures around the world have relied on the wisdom of intentional rites of passage to awaken the mature masculine spirit within young boys. By overcoming various ordeals, initiates bring back the inner resources and external skills that the community depends on for its continued vitality.

In the spirit of these ancient traditions, the Mountain Quest offers youth an opportunity to live, learn, and laugh in a supportive community of male mentors and peers. Far away from video games, mass media, and pressures of modern society, life slows down and begins to take on new meaning.

As participants sleep under star-filled skies, hike among ancient cedars, and dip in cold mountain streams, the rich inner life of a boy awakens. At journey’s end, each will bring home the exciting and important story of his own adventure, a greater sense of self-awareness, and new gifts to share with his family and his community.

Family Participation

The initiate’s family plays an important role in the Coming of Age Journey. On the first day of the trip, parents and guardians will send their children off and then spend some time exploring the changes that are happening in their child and in their family.  At the conclusion of the 3-week adventure, parents and guardians take part in a program of incorporation. During this day-long event, parents and young people alike will have the opportunity to see one another with new eyes. Together in this way, they breathe new life into existing relationships, and explore the possibilities of what it means to be a family in the 21st century, with a new family member who is no longer a boy, but a young man.

 
 

PROGRAM DETAILS

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Ages 12 - 15

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2-Week Session: June 30 - July 13, 2019
3-Week Session: July 21 - August 10, 2019

3 Spaces Remain in Each Session

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Olympic National Park
(Program starts and ends in Bothell, Washington)

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2-Week Session: $1975.00; Deposit $400.00
3-Week Session: $2975.00; Deposit $500.00
Financial Aid is Available

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Download the Program Flyer >

 

Questions? Check out our FAQ page or send us a message!

 
Participants reunite with their families after their Coming of Age adventure and share the new stories of who they are.

Participants reunite with their families after their Coming of Age adventure and share the new stories of who they are.

After a 6-8 day backpacking trip, participants arrive at the Washington Coast and prepare for a 24-hour solo vigil.

After a 6-8 day backpacking trip, participants arrive at the Washington Coast and prepare for a 24-hour solo vigil.

Sample Itinerary*

Week 1 |  Coming of Age participants, their families, and our staff participate in a send-off ceremony at the Journeys basecamp -- this happens concurrently with the Coming of Age for Young Women send-off. This ceremony is followed, for participants, by intentional community building activities, a Ropes Challenge Course, camp skills training, and launching a 6- to 8-day backpacking trip during which wilderness, leadership and teamwork skills will be taught and practiced.  

Week 2  |  Participants will transfer to the Washington Coast in preparation for their 24-hour solo vigil after hiking in to a chosen beach and setting up an extended stay camp. During this time participants will be involved in nature explorations, expressive art projects, journalling and ceremony. After the 24-hour solo vigil is completed participants will hike back to the vehicles and transfer to a location for a celebration and Council of Elders.

Week 3 |  Participants will return to our basecamp and celebrate their incredible journey and the beginning of young adulthood. The young men and mentors will participate in a Sweat Lodge and prepare for the Parent Incorporation Day. The final day of the trip will be spent with participants and families creating a family covenant to reflect the privileges and responsibilities of the young man.

* The 2-Week session is a condensed version of the 3-Week program and includes similar programs and activities, but excludes the Ropes Challenge Course.

 

Skills Introduced

 
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Teamwork  |  Self Reflection  |  Nature Connection  |  Backcountry Skills  |  Campfires  |  Campskills

 

Program Outcomes

  • Improved self-confidence

  • Skills and insight into teamwork

  • Understanding and taking responsibility

  • Ability to listen to intuition

  • Leadership skills

  • Improved physical strength and personal resolve

  • Knowledge of natural history of Northwest terrain

  • Exposure to Low-impact camping techniques

  • Understanding of a healthy and appropriate path to manhood

  • Completion of a transformative rite of passage     

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Mountain Quest Video

 

Mountain Quest Staff

Two-Week Session

 
 
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Jakob Ledbetter

Program Coordinator

Born and raised in Georgia, Jakob Ledbetter grew up exploring the beautiful blue ridge mountains of Southern Appalachia. Heeding the call of the Earth, Jakob embarked upon a MA in…

 
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AIDON BISHOP

Program Mentor

M.G. Aidoneus “Aidon” Bishop, is a Pite Sámi wilderness guide, outdoor educator, and rite of passage facilitator. A trauma-informed educator, father of six, former Boy Scout Leader, United States Marine, chef…

 
 

Three-Week Session

 
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Jakob Ledbetter

Program Coordinator

Born and raised in Georgia, Jakob Ledbetter grew up exploring the beautiful blue ridge mountains of Southern Appalachia. Heeding the call of the Earth, Jakob embarked upon a MA in…

 
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Topher Finelli

Program Mentor

Topher Finelli was born in Toronto, Canada, and has spent many years finding beauty and reverence in the wilderness of North America. From canoeing the Verde River in a winter storm to being crawled over by…

 
 

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