Back to All Events

Restoring Youth Rites of Passage

Restoring Youth Rites of Passage 

A Two-Week Leadership Intensive

Step Boldly Into the World of Youth Initiation...

Do you long to be of deep service to young people, future generations, and wholeness in our communities and Earth?

To be a powerful guide and role model to youth in living a soulful life?

To be an effective leader of authentic, non-appropriative, earth- and spirit-affirming ceremonies that honor life transitions?

To find your place of belonging in community and on the Earth, in ways that are in solidarity with all Peoples?

Rites of Passage – particularly those marking and catalyzing the journey from childhood through adolescence to adulthood – are a keystone practice in human cultures. Lost to most contemporary communities, the promise in reclaiming and re-imagining these traditions shines bright. Rites of passage for youth weave communities together around the effort to transmit healthy, regenerative culture to the next generation. Through initiatory processes, young people shed what has become too small for them, and are challenged and supported in developing the inner resources and understandings to fully bring their unique gifts forward – into a world that urgently needs what they have to offer.

To navigate these transitions of adolescence well, young people need adults who understand the tasks, difficulties, and opportunities of this life stage. They need mentors who know how to mark transitions in meaningful and relevant ways.

Most of all, they need adults who have been initiated themselves.

This two-week immersion offers a current and comprehensive framework and set of tools to soulfully mentor youth through rite of passage ceremonies, powerfully connect with your personal gifts and ancestral inheritance, and begin building your niche in this culture-transforming work.

Over the course of a deeply experiential journey, you will participate in your own three-day solo vigil, use and practice other wilderness soulwork modalities, inquire into the intersections of colonization, ancestry, trauma, and initiation, and explore frameworks and tools for rite of passage leadership, program facilitation, and adolescent development. Through personal reflection, exploration, and sharing, you will gain insight into your own transitions into adulthood and do some of the important remedial ‘inner teenager’ work that will make you a more effective mentor to young people. Alongside your co-participants, you will also delve into key issues in rite of passage work today, including working with youth of diverse backgrounds in gender, sexuality, and ethnicity, and engaging in ceremonial practices in ways that respect diverse spiritual orientations and are not culturally appropriative.

For nearly 50 years, Rite of Passage Journeys has pioneered a unique approach to coming of age. This approach is not a one-size-fits-all model, but one that can be tailored to meet the unique needs of a given community and their young people. This training will set you up to be a guide to youth in Journeys’ wilderness programs, but will also give you tools and experience from a uniquely soulful lineage to develop this kind of work in your own community or organization.

You Will Leave With 

  • A powerful catalyzing initiatory experience through immersion in a wilderness-based rite of passage framework – this includes your own three-day solo fast

  • Training in theoretical and practical fundamentals in creating rite of passage experiences, including ritual & ceremonial design, working with different populations, logistics, safety, and more

  • Experience exploring the dynamics of power, privilege, oppression, and difference, how this impacts our work, and how to make use of your unique social position(s) to most effectively support young people on their path to becoming healthy adults, and building just, resilient communities

  • Further insight into your own journey through childhood and adolescence, and the opportunity to heal some wounds and identify others that you need to work on

  • Greater awareness around your own ancestral heritage, and how to  guide culturally appropriate, culturally relevant rites of passage in the context of settler colonialism

  • An introduction to adolescent development from neurological, psychological, cultural, and ecological perspectives

  • Familiarity with Rite of Passage Journeys’ mentoring framework, values wheel, and key strategies, originally developed by Stan Crow and honed over 50 years of working with young people

  • Experience in a group field facilitated with trauma-awareness, along with an understanding of the essential role of embodiment practices in healing trauma and cultivating wholeness in general

  • Tools for bridging between worlds: helping you embody the world you wish to see in the context of present-day realities

For more details or to apply, please visit Rite of Passage Journeys.

Photo from ROPJ

Photo from ROPJ


Rite of Passage Journeys
 (Traditional Snohomish Territory)  and Ekone Ranch (Traditional Yakama Territory)


$1600 - $2800,

Sliding Scale. 
Financial Aid is Available

Taught By

Darcy Ottey, Cameron Whithey, and others

Get more Information

Visit the ROPJ Website >