LGBTQ2IA+ Youth Ages 14 - 18 | August 11 - 21, 2019 | Return to Youth Programs
"Journeys trips are truly life-changing. They teach leadership, responsibility, trust, teamwork and self-growth through in-depth councils and wilderness skills. The guides on the trip were powerful role models and respected and treated us like adults. I'm incredibly gratetul to have been able to spend time in the beautiful outdoors with such inspiring people."
- Grace, Age 16
An epic journey into nature, self, truth and community for LGBTQ2IA+ youth ages 14-18
Rite of Passage Journeys has answered a community call to provide meaningful rites of passage for queer* youth in an inclusive, safe and healing way. On this 11-day nature-based adventure, participants will find support, challenge and mentoring along their unique journeys from adolescence to adulthood, offering rich opportunities to deepen into their queer identities, come together in queer community, and build enduring relationships with nature and self. Through both facilitated and self-led explorations, youth will discover inner resources that allow them to claim their identities and particular gifts to offer the world.
Mid-program, the youth embark on a solo vigil when they leave the group setting to be fully in their own company. Guided by nature and personal quiet, they contemplate letting go of their life as a child and looking forward to living courageously as an adult.
Vigils are offered as an opportunity for youth to be fully with themselves, to consider their unique callings and receive guidance from the wild world. Afterwards, youth will engage in mindful integration of their newfound skills and visions. Participants will return to basecamp in celebration of their journey and learnings, greeted by family, friends, mentors and community.
Group Size: There will be up to 9 participants, as well as 3 guides for this journey
Cost: No one who wants to participate will be turned away for financial reasons. Full price for this program is $1675.
Gear: Additional resources and gear loans are available.
*We acknowledge that the word “queer” has been used in the past as a derogatory term and is still hurtful to some in the LGBTQ2IA+ community. Many LGBTQ2IA+ communities and individuals have reclaimed the word “queer” as an empowering and uniting expression of the many complex identities within the community. Here, we use “queer” as an inclusive term and an uplifting declaration.
Ages 14 - 18
August 11 - 21, 2019
Olympic National Park
Program starts/ends in Bothell, WA
No one turned away, please inquire.
Full cost is $1675
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Section 1 | The first half of the trip centers around a backpacking journey into the wilds of Olympic National Park, in the traditional lands of the Makah Nation. After visiting the Makah Cultural Center and introducing ourselves to the people who have been living in this place "since time began," we will hit the trail, learning outdoor skills and working together to form a solid group culture. Old-growth forests of cedar and fir, rocky headlands and sandy beaches, and star-studded skies will help form the container for us to drop into our individual intentions. Hiking the spectacular Northwest Coast in our days, we will gather by fire in the evenings to sit in talking circles, exploring our deeper questions of Self and World, and bear witness to each others’ stories.
Section 2 | In the second half of the journey, we will find our Solo Vigil camp, where we will settle in to embark on an equally rich inner journey. Camping at the edge of ocean and the land, we will ask this powerful in-between landscape to support us in as we step into our solo vigils. Vigils are offered as an opportunity to be fully with ourselves, to consider our unique callings, and to receive guidance from the wild world. Afterwards, we will engage in mindful integration of our newfound skills and visions. Finally, we will return to base camp in celebration of our journey and learnings, greeted by family, friends, mentors and community.
Teamwork | Self Reflection | Nature Connection | Backcountry Skills | Campfires | Campskills
Increased self-confidence and reclaiming of inner strength
Increased sense of belonging in the human and natural world
Insight into nature as a queer ancestor
Insight into queer futurism, hope and resiliency
Understanding and honoring of intersectionality within queer communities
Increased leadership and teamwork skills
Increased ability to listen to intuition
Improved physical strength and personal resolve
Knowledge of natural history of Northwest terrain
Increased knowledge of low-impact camping techniques
Understanding of a healthful path to queer adulthood
Completion of a transformative rite of passage
Queer Wilderness Quest Staff
Jett Cazeaux remembers fondly their kinship with the natural world as a young child and adolescent, following the creek through the woods behind their home in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia…
Shayna Gladstone, (she/her/hers) queer identified, born in Metro-Detroit, Michigan, mentors earth-rooted leaders, and is a renowned facilitator, songwriter and intuitive movement guide…
Pinar and So of Queer Nature are grateful for their involvement in last year’s Queer Mountain Quest and in the planning of this year’s Queer Wilderness Quest thus far. Due to unforeseen circumstances and family-related transitions, they are unable to be guides in the field for summer 2019. Instead, they are looking forward to supporting this evolving program, and to continued dreaming into queer programming with Journeys in the future.
Pınar (they/them/theirs) has always been allured by how the natural world mirrors one’s internal landscape. Enchanted by the liminal, Pınar is a nonbinary QTPOC (Queer & Trans Person of Color) with Huanca…
Sophia ("So") Sinopoulos-Lloyd is a white queer Greek-American who grew up in the northern hardwood forests of Alnobak/Abenaki territory (central Vermont). So works variously as a nature…