Epic Journeys into Nature, Self and Community for Gender & Sexually Expansive/Diverse Youth
Queer Quest: Coming of Age | ages 12 - 14 | August 16 - 29, 2020
Queer Crossing | ages 15 - 18 | August 19 - 29, 2020
Spaces CURRENTLY AVAILABLe
Now in our third year, Rite of Passage Journeys continues to answer a community call to provide meaningful rites of passage for the Gender Expansive/Diverse (LGBTQ2IA+) community in an inclusive, safe and healing way.
Queer Quest: Coming of Age and Queer Crossing take the Journeys’ time-tested, foundational Skills Introduced & Outcomes found in the traditional and gendered Mountain Quest for Young Men and Young Women, Fire on the Mountain and Solo Crossing and provides an offering specific to Gender Expansive/Diverse Youth (Questioning or identified). A opportunity to explore identity, belonging, resiliency and gifts alongside nature and peers with a similar lived experience, including the carefully selected Guide team.
Both of Journeys’ Queer* trips (Queer Quest and Queer Crossing) offer support, challenge and mentoring to youth as they explore their unique journeys. The youth have time and space to connect, reclaim and deepen understanding of their queerness reflected back in the natural world. A time to build enduring relationships with nature and self. Through both facilitated and self-led explorations, youth will discover inner resources that allow them to claim identities, belonging, resiliency and unique gifts in a transformative experience amongst a community of peers and mentors.
Mid-program, the youth embark on a solo vigil when they leave the group setting to be fully in their own company. 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.
We welcome feedback and suggestions and strive to be a place you trust to best serve your needs and unique gift of Queerness.
Not the age group you are looking for? Want to develop a program for your organization or group of LGBTQ2IA+? Contact us for support in creating a contract course designed to meet your needs.
The dates of these two programs overlap and end on the same day. Journey’s intention is to provide opportunities for these groups of young people to come together, share stories, support and be in community with others on a similar journey and lived experience. The two groups will have the opportunity to meet on the trail, sit in council and be in a larger community in preparation for their solo experience. Then together again, widening the circle of community, with friends and family to celebrate their return on the final day.
Group Size: For each journey, there will be up to 9 participants, as well as 3 guides.
Cost: $1975 for Queer Quest & $1675 for Queer Crossing - No one is turned away for lack of funds. Inquire about assistance if needed. We invite all interested applicants to pre-register today, and encourage applications by QTBIPOC (queer, trans, black, Indigenous, and people of color).
Gear: Additional resources and gear loans are available.
*Here, we use “queer” as an inclusive term and an uplifting declaration. We acknowledge that the word “queer” has been used in the past as a derogatory term and is still hurtful to some in the Gender & Sexually Expansive (LGBTQ2IA+) community. Many have reclaimed the word “queer” as an empowering and uniting expression of the many complex identities within the community.
Queer Quest: August 16 - 29, 2020
Queer Crossing: August 19 - 29, 2020
Olympic National Park
Program starts/ends in Bothell, WA
No one turned away for lack of funds, please inquire!
Queer Quest: full cost is $1975
Queer Crossing: full cost is $1675
We invite all interested applicants to pre-register today, and encourage applications by QTBIPOC (queer, trans, black, Indigenous, and people of color).
Section 1 | The first half of the trip centers around a backpacking journey into the wilds of Olympic National Park. After visiting one of several First Nations Cultural Centers 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
Understanding of a healthful path to queer adulthood
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
Completion of a transformative rite of passage
Journeys is committed to showcasing Gender & Sexually Expansive/Diverse Guides who are capable, trained and dedicated to serving Rites of Passage for Queer Youth. Check back here to find more Guides as we develop programming in 2020.
Are you a Guide we want on this list? Please be in touch.
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 the creation of Journeys’ Queer Quest. They look 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…