In young people's own words, from the January 2011 Vision Quest:
Clio, age 18
Through this experience, I have found more inside of myself than I ever thought could possibly exist—so much appreciation, so much beauty, so much truth, so much love. I discovered both the darkness of myself and the darkness of the earth. And when the sun rose the next morning, I saw both myself and the world we all live in in a new light.
Jack, age 18
Just go. It is an experience you cannot get any other way. Everyone should be able to see life in this way. This is a place you can never come back from but would never dream of wanting to. I know it may seem unbelieveable but this entire experience has raised every aspect of my life to a new level. It happens to everyone; it brings out what you always had needed to let out but never did. It shows you yourself beyond the purest form you can imagine. Take the plunge fro yourself and the world, and go.
Charlotte, age 18
I have been scared, in the best way. This experience has allowed me to see myself with new eyes. I found what I was searching for, because it was there all along. There are no words to describe what happened on my vision quest…but if you really want to know, look into my eyes. See the way I hold myself with confidence and strength. Look at anyone of the questers and see how they have grown…how a light radiates from their body. With the support and guidance of our adoptive elders (guides), I have had the opportunity to grow and truly move into adulthood.
Chase, age 17
This program/experience changed my life. As a friend once said, I now find that the glass is always going to feel half full. I had no expectations for this program, and it exceeded everything I thought it could. I love the comfort and growth it has brought me, and showed inside me. It illuminated a large part of the inside of me that I know will serve me forever.
Hayden, age 17
Originally a skeptic, Vision Quest gave me the opportunity to reflect and gain an understanding about myself and how I want to be in the world.
Rachel, age 18
Vision Quest is for everyone, especially those that don’t think they need it. I’ve felt things I haven’t felt since I was young, things I thought were buried or lost. I faced them, reincorporated them back into my life. Vision Quest is so many words: clarity and purity and peace, love. It’s so much more personal and so much more spiritual and cultural—tying in all the things in the world and nature that are already there, but that we need to see more clearly so we can see ourselves more clearly. Vision Quest is about connection and synchronicity to all other life. Helping people find themselves and their support so that they can go on helping and supporting other life. Vision Quest has meant gaining Harmony for myself and for others who may not have it yet. Thank you!
Spencer, age 18
This has been one of the best experiences of my life. It’s given me a fresh, new perspective on things and a new appreciation for everything and everyone around me. I’m not a religious person by any means, but I imagine that this is the feeling a born-again Christian experiences ....I feel so full of vitality and love. Thank you.
There’s nothing like silence, or the time alone that was given. It drives you crazy and sometimes you have trouble understanding, but the guides are wonderful, and the answers are out there. You just have to listen. I would not be the woman I am today without this quest. This is not a lesson one could learn at home or in school. This is a lesson of the heart and of the hearth. Take the time, and let the land teach you.
Michael Brew, age 23
Track coach, Sonoma Academy
For youth: If you would like to find yourself by traveling to the corners of your soul and taking an honest look at your life, the Rites of Passage Vision Quest program is for you. You will be able to voice your inner emotions and have them mirrored back through the Council time with your elders or the natural world which surrounds you. Give yourself the gift of taking the time to sit & think about the person you have been and the person you are about to become.