Since the dawn of humanity, young people have felt a need to undertake meaningful rites of passage as they approach adulthood. Lacking the opportunity to engage in positive initiatory experiences, youth may instead make attempts at self-initiation, which often fail to bring increased maturity and self-responsibility. Since our inception 30 years ago, Rites of Passage has offered the opportunity for youth to confirm and celebrate their entry into adulthood. The increased self-knowledge and self-respect that result from participation in a youth rite of passage can have a positive effect that lasts a lifetime.
Parental permission is required for participation of anyone under age 18. Both parents and young people are encouraged to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Please see our Staffing page for information about all staff members.
The following programs can be adapted to meet specific community needs, and can be presented in your community (tuition does not include staff travel costs):
Youth Vision Quest
Time: 8-9 days
Staff: Mike Bodkin, Alison DeLong, Damien McAnany
Tuition: varies with group size and program location; contact us to discuss your needs
An opportunity for people age 16-21 to participate in a rite of passage to mark, reflect upon and celebrate the passage into adulthood. For those that feel ready for the challenge of facing themselves, and their futures, with courage, honesty and self-reliance.
From young people who participated in a Vision Quest:
At the end of my Vision Quest, I had finally cleansed myself of my angst and self-torture. I reflected. I found a grain of forgiveness, and buried the paper ashes of my worst enemies along with my regret surrounding them. I left behind all the nonexistent boundaries and passive body language and voice that I will never have again. I have returned home with confidence, respect, and compassion.
~Kristina, age 17
I am writing you this to thank you for the experience I was able to have of the Vision Quest and tell you, after a year, how much it changed my life. I have had almost a year to see the change inside me that has developed since returning from my time of threshold in California. It has given me so much more confidence and perspective in the way I treat myself and others. It was such a hard experience for me to be out there. To know that I was able to persevere and then experience the illumination that I did on the last night has given me such a rock solid core of self worth and confidence. It wasn't that I felt insecure or lacking self-esteem before, but I never had such a rock solid core before. It is kind of funny, but I have started winning so many things this year. I didn't know what it was at first, but I've realized that it's the confidence I gained from the Vision Quest that translates into so many of the competitive things that I do. ~John, Age 18
Youth Soul Quest
Time: Friday-Sunday weekend
Staff: Mike Bodkin & Other ROP Staff
Tuition: $300-$350, depending on location
Age range: 12-18, divided into age-specific groups (12-14, 13-15, 15-18)
This program provides an opportunity for young people to discover themselves and their gifts, and to bring back stories that help them hold a sense of purpose. The program is structured as a rite of passage ceremony, and includes time spent alone in nature, storytelling, and incorporation time with youth and parents.
Time: Eight 2-hour meetings, and one day in nature
Staff: Alison DeLong
Age range: 13-16, and 16-18 (separate groups)
Teens will learn the ancient skills of Council to help illuminate their coming of age, utilizing the medicine wheel model for understanding themselves in relationship to others and the natural world. They will experience fun and creative activities that convey essential life skills, utilizing expressive arts, Council and other tools. Curriculum includes such topics as self-esteem, conflict resolution, understanding emotions, teamwork, and celebrating diversity.