After nearly five decades of program delivery and design, we have a lot of valuable information to share with the public. Given our long history, and our only recent commitment to sharing our resources, we are still in the very long and tedious process of collecting and sharing our knowledge -- slowly it is being gathered right here.
In this section you will find resources for program participants (items that historically were found in our registration packet), articles, our current and archived Newsletters, and much more. It is a website section in process and we recommend that you visit it often -- encourage us to continually make updates!
Please, don't hesitate to submit to us additional information for this section... whether it is a link to a related project or an article that you have written about a relevant subject. You may do so via our contact page.
Below you will find links to some of our local Seattle-area friends & collaborators, other life-affirming programs, folks we have trained, authors that we follow, and other useful inspirations & resources. Of course this list only represents a small portion of the great work that is being done worldwide. Please write us to share your work.
Life Affirming Programs - Local
Vashon Island, WA
Founded by Journeys alums Nicky Wilks and Alex Craighead, Journeymen facilitates vital coming of age experiences to guide the men of tomorrow to discover their authentic gifts, create a strong vision for their future, and fully engage in their lives through meaningful service and effective, heart-centered action. Their talking circles, summer programs and trainings take place throughout the year on Vashon Island and around the PNW. Visit the website >
The Mandala Center
Port Townsend, WA
Founded in 1999, the Mandala Center is a multi-disciplinary education dedicated to community dialogue, social justice and societal transformation. Through experiential workshops, theatre performances, and other creative events, the Mandala Center invites people to be more awake and alive as well as empowered to take action toward a more just and joyous life for all people. Visit the website >
Bainbridge Island, WA
Sacred Groves is a ten acre forest sanctuary located on Bainbridge Island, in Washington state, a little eco-retreat run by Thérèse Charvet and Tere Carranza. It is a place to deepen your relationship with Mother Earth and your personal spirituality. Here you can reconnect yourself body, heart and mind, also with Mother Earth and Great Spirit. We welcome guests to the land for overnight stays, personal retreats, ceremonies and other events that open our hearts in the healing green of the woods. Lodging and most events are open to men and women. Women’s Mysteries School events are for women only. Visit the website >
Songaia (home of Journeys basecamp!)
Our name, Songaia, means Song of the Living Earth. It symbolizes our vision for an ever evolving community which uses song to help pull us together around our love of the ever evolving earth. Together, we continue an exciting journey growing within our intentional cohousing community. Visit the website >
Teen Talking Circles (Circle in Truth)
Bainbridge Island, WA
Teen Talking Circles is an organically grown nonprofit organization founded on the principle that both a mature self-identity and healthy relationships develop naturally when we learn to speak our truth from our hearts and hear the truth of others with our hearts. Visit the website >
Wilderness Awareness School
Wilderness Awareness School is a national not-for-profit environmental education organization established in 1983 and based in Duvall, Washington. They are dedicated to caring for the earth and our children by fostering understanding and appreciation of nature, community and self. Visit the website >
Life-Affirming Programs - National
Animas Valley Institute
“Our mission, in its widest scope, is to contribute to cultural transformation by fostering nature-based personal development and thus the maturation of individuals and the human species. We support each participant to access and embody the world-changing and vital creativity at his or her core.” Visit the website >
Founded by Rob Miller, Cascadia Quest offers wilderness rites of passage, and other nature immersed personal growth and educational experiences, for young people and adults. At Cascadia Quest, we place high value on the sacredness of Nature, involvement of Community, recognition of Spirit, and engagement of all generations particularly youth and elders. Our programs are modern yet speak to a deep, ancient knowing in our bones. Visit the website >
The Center for Conscious Eldering
“The Center for Conscious Eldering is dedicated to supporting the development of conscious elders. We do so by offering coaching, rite of passage retreats, workshops, and pilgrimages to meet indigenous elders. This is our passion, purpose and talent. We serve those in and approaching that period of life, sometimes called “The Third Age,” who hear the call to age consciously.” Visit the website >
Maiden Spirit offers a learning community designed to inspire, educate and support girls as they connect with innate spirituality, develop radiant self-esteem, prepare for a conscious rite-of-passage at menarche and contribute to the creation of a better world. Visit the website >
The School of Lost Borders
Big Pine, CA
“The School of Lost Borders offers vision fasts and rites of passage training which cultivate self-trust, responsibility, and understanding about ones’ unique place within society and the natural world. Its programs provide guided opportunities, perspectives, teachings and much need self-reflection time in a non-judgmental yet challenging environment.” Visit the website >
Queer Nature is a queer-run nature education and ancestral skills program serving the local LGBTQ2+ community. We recognize that many people, including LGBTQ2+ people, have for various reasons not had easy cultural access to outdoors pursuits, especially ‘survival skills’ like bushcraft, tactical skills, and (ethical) hunting. Our program envisions and implements ecological literacy and wilderness self-reliance skills as vital and often overlooked parts of the healing and wholing of populations who have been silenced, marginalized, and even represented as 'unnatural.' Our curriculums necessarily go beyond recreation in nature to deep and creative engagement with the natural world to build inter-species alliances and an enduring sense of belonging. Visit the website >
Rites of Passage
Santa Rosa, CA
“Rites of Passage is a non-profit organization whose mission is to reintroduce meaningful rites of passage for people of the modern world, so that they may be able to mark and celebrate important life transitions with courage, strength and wisdom. Since our founding in 1977, we have guided thousands of adults and youth from a wide variety of backgrounds, occupations and geographic locations of Vision Quests, retreats and training programs.” Visit the website >
Wilderness Guides Council
The Wilderness Guides Council is a non-profit, membership organization dedicated to the concept that wilderness is the root source of our spiritual values, inspiration and healing. Whether you are a guide looking for other guides to share experiences and hold community with, or are an individual seeking a guide for wilderness initiation, we hope you will take the time to explore this web site and it’s resources. Visit the website >
“At Wilderness Reflections we have learned what many of our ancestors have known for thousands of years, that when people walk alone into nature truly hungering, asking for help with what is challenging them in their lives, they inevitably return with valuable lessons – both for themselves and for the people in their communities. They return having encountered themselves within nature.” Visit the website >
Youth Passageways is an evolving network of individuals, organizations, and communities helping to regenerate healthy passages into mature adulthood for today’s youth. We are a cross-cultural and intergenerational network that includes a broad and diverse range of rite of passage, education, and youth and community development efforts joining together for mutual support, collaborative learning, resource and community development, and to cross-pollinate ideas and practices that foster the development of whole, healthy, and responsible human beings.
Folks We Have Trained
Boys Outdoor Leadership Development (BOLD)
BOLD is an outdoor education program of the Metrocenter YMCA that develops multi-cultural leadership skills in young men through wilderness experience. Their 5 to 16 day backpacking, rock climbing and mountaineering expeditions provide an opportunity for young me from different economic, ethnic, religious and social backgrounds to build multi-cultural leadership, communication and decision making skills through shared challenges, problem solving and fun. Visit the website >
Peace Warriors is a learning community designed to inspire, educate and support boys 9 to 13 as they transition into their lives as young men. Our program connects boys with their innate spirituality, encourages a radiant self-esteem, prepares them for rites-of-passage into manhood and explores wisdom teachings of many cultures. Visit the website >
TryOn Life Community Farm
Tryon Life Community Farm grows community learning while preserving common green space, restoring native ecosystems and demonstrating sustainable urban density living. TLC Farm facilitates a diversity of movements to educate ourselves and each other regarding skills, values and paradigms for holistic human integration into our ecosystems; experience a sustainable urban ecology as possible, practical and desirable; and emerge as empowered co-creators of a well-functioning network of cultures and economies of deep change. Visit the website >
Women’s Mountain Passages
Women’s Mountain Passages works with women and youth to connect with their strengths so they may improve their lives and facilitate social change in their communities through leadership development, advocacy, youth programs and support networks. Visit the website >
… And more!
Relevant Authors & Words
Nature and the Human Soul
by Bill Plotkin
“Nature and the Human Soul introduces an innovative development psychology that shows how fully and creatively we can mature when we allow soul and wild nature to guide us. Plotkin presents a model for a human life span rooted in the patterns and rhythms of wild nature, a template for individual development that ultimately yields a strategy for cultural transformation.
This book explores nature’s ways – and every vital culture’s ways – for raising healthy children; preparing adolescents for the initiatory adventure that opens the way to mature, authentic adulthood; and enhancing the cultural artistry and fulfillment of adult and elder lives.” Visit the website >
Mosaic Multicultural Foundations
“Michael Meade has studied myth, anthropology, history of religion and cross-cultural rituals for over 35 years. His hypnotic and fiery storytelling, street savvy perceptiveness, and spellbinding interpretations of ancient myths and symbols are highly relevant to current culture. He has an unusual ability to distill and synthesize these disciplines, tapping into ancestral sources of wisdom, while connecting them to the stories of people today.” Visit the website >
The Last Child in the Woods
by Richard Louv
“The recipient of the 2008 Audubon Medal, Richard Louv identified a phenomenon we all knew existed but couldn’t quite articulate: nature-deficit disorder. Since its initial publication, his book Last Child in the Woods has created a national conversation about the disconnection between children and nature, and his message has galvanized an international movement. Now, three years later, we have reached a tipping point, with the book inspiring Leave No Child Inside initiatives throughout the country.
Richard Louv is the co-founder and chairman of the Children & Nature Network, which was created to encourage and support the people and organizations working to reconnect children with nature.” Visit the website >
Welcome all Beings
“For peace, justice, and life on Earth, fresh ways of seeing arise, and ancient ways return. This web site opens doors to the new bodies of thought, time-tested spiritual practices, and pioneering group methods, that I find to be powerful inspirations to understanding and action. I share these resources in service to the revolution of our time: the “great turning” from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization.” Visit the website >
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.