A Rite of Passage Experience for Ages 14-18
If you ask yourself questions like these and want your OWN answers, the Soul Quest could be just what you’re looking for!
Thanks for your interest in our 3-day “Soul Quest” rite of passage program! Hopefully this will provide you with an idea of the structure, as well as the power and value of marking the transition from childhood to adulthood in our community! Once you have enrolled, all necessary details will be provided including gear and driving directions.
Adolescence is a time filled with so many new, exciting, and sometimes scary things. It is a time of deep transition. You are no longer a child, but not quite fully an adult. It’s no wonder a lot of us feel lost, confused, or angry as teenagers. In traditional cultures all around the world this time was marked by certain rites of passage, like joining the men in a hunt, preparing a ceremonial meal, or surviving alone in the wilderness. These rites help teens get clear about who they truly are and identify what kinds of gifts they bring to the world. While we don’t have many of these rites of passage in our society, you may have noticed teenagers trying to answer these questions on their own by pushing boundaries of all kinds. It makes sense: to find out what we are made of, we take risks, questioning everything we’ve been taught, defining ourselves by how far we can take things. The problem is that teenagers cannot initiate themselves into adulthood; they cannot perform their own rites of passage. That’s why we are offering the Soul Quest. This is your chance to reflect on where you come from, who you were as a child, and to challenge yourself to find out just who you are as you step into being an adult. It is an opportunity to connect to nature and your own source of guidance, to connect with other teenagers asking the same questions, and to celebrate the core of who you are!
What Soul Quest participants have to say
“The experience had a large impact on me because I learned how to deal with many of the problems I have been struggling with in my life. It gave me time to reflect on the power of my heart and soul and come to grips with myself as a whole person regardless of imperfections. It was amazing how empowered I felt!” -Rose, 17 years-old
“I’m so glad I went on my Soul Quest. I know that I will use the knowledge that I learned here for the rest of my life. The experience was amazing and I would recommend it to anybody looking to clarify any of the uncertainty one inevitably encounters in adolescence.” -Elliot Liedgren, 15
The 3-day Soul Quest
During the course of this weekend we will utilize the Way of Council, a group practice of speaking and listening from the heart. We will also bring in the concept of the Medicine Wheel. Based on Native North American and nature-based traditions and combined with contemporary psychological approaches, the Medicine Wheel is a helpful framework to examine stages of personal development and our relationship with family, community and the natural world.
Note: This experience will include a degree of challenge. Of course everyone’s physical safety is paramount. No one will do anything they are not comfortable with, but we do acknowledge the value of stepping out of our emotional and physical comfort zones within safe limits. Guides are certified in Wilderness Medicine, and we will be within an hour of medical attention. This trip is operating in affiliation with Rites of Passage, who is providing liability insurance and handling the registration of participants.
When: August 5 to 7, 2016 (for a detailed schedule of the weekend, scroll down)
Where: Cedar River Watershed. 45 minutes from Seattle.
Tuition: $350, includes food, camping, and transportation from Seattle. Financial assistance is available!
The Youth Soul Quest will be limited to ten participants. Apply early if you wish to join!
- Paul Abodeely, MA, LMFTA, has been working with youth and adults in the natural world and in clinical, educational, and social service settings for over 15 years. An apprentice in the Rites of Passage guide training program, he has led programs with Rites of Passage and with related organizations. Paul is skilled at supporting and empowering young people as they face the challenges of becoming healthy and successful adults. He brings authenticity, joy and wholeness, in addition to a deep familiarity and ease with the natural world to his work.
- Frost Freeman, MA, spent several months of 2013 preparing for her own Elderhood Celebration, a new version of life. Her training and experience include being a licensed counselor, energy psychology, the power of mind and heart, nature and the medicine wheel, and spiritual skills. She loves working with people who want clarity about their life in a deeper way, and vision and direction in a spirit-to-practicality continuum. One of her greatest strengths is the ability to “see” something of a person’s true being, even at times when they cannot. Frost loves dance and water slides.
The Weekend Schedule
On Friday, August 5th we will drive together to the site pristine, private land near the Cedar River. After check-in, we’ll hold a simple ceremony of gratitude to the land. Guides will then introduce the Way of Council and the Medicine Wheel, as well as the plan for the weekend. The majority of the day will be spent exploring and reflecting on where participants are at this point in their lives: where they have come from and what they carry with them. In empathetic and non-judgmental councils, as well as short walks in solitude, youth will be given the opportunity to see their life’s story and be introspective. Time will also be dedicated to the clarifying of intention for tomorrow’s solo time. The more clearly one can articulate intent or questions to be answered, the more profound the experience will be. Safety and orientation will also be covered. After dinner, participants will be given the opportunity to spend some time in the dark – either on a guided night walk, a silent meditation, a ceremony, or around the fire.
Saturday, participants will be woken gently at dawn. In silence, they will rise and join the ceremonial circle. To whispered prayers and support, they will walk into their Soul Quest. Over the course of the next 10 to 12 hours, participants are encouraged to refrain from eating or interacting with other people. They will carry a journal, more than enough water and clothing, and are welcome to bring a light snack. They will wander without aim, walking or resting as they choose, paying close attention to that which calls to them. Presence in the experience, the power of intention and the invitation of clarity make this experience so profound. In the late afternoon they return to a welcome ceremony and a feast prepared by the guides.
Sunday will begin with an optional sunrise ceremony, greeting the day with gratitude and joy. After breakfast, participants will be invited to share the story of their walk with the group. Using mirroring and an eco-psychological approach, guides will help the teens see the meaning and power in their stories. This is often a time of insight, revelation, and joy. Attention will also be given to how to bring back these realizations to their community – to their everyday lives, their families, friends, environment, and applied to their larger life goals. We will then wrap up the weekend with a ceremonial circle and final council.