Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Donate portlet right size

Video - 50 Miles lg

          2008 Video

New Video button

Darcy tedx button
Instagram correct color
FBook Icon


Blog Icon


YTube Icon



You are here: Home About Us Staff Bios

Staff Biographies

Administrative Staff


Kylie LoyndKylie Loynd ED

Executive Director


The wilderness path to personal transformation is a family tradition with Kylie’s daughters, and they gracefully serve as her guides! Kylie comes to Journeys as our Executive Director, with degrees in Marketing and Human Resource Management, 20 years business experience in the for-profit sector, and 10 years in nonprofit management and consulting, including serving as Development Director for Wilderness Awareness School. Kylie is passionate about storytelling and inspired communication, and loves to support people of all ages to discover their gifts and share them with the world. She is happiest walking on a beach – in any weather.


Chris Laliberte

Chris Laliberte 2018

Program Director



Chris Laliberte discovered the transformative power of nature connection and wilderness experiences while in college, and has been working in the field of outdoor education ever since. Before joining Journeys as Program Director, he spent 20 years at Wilderness Awareness School, where he worked with teenagers in an intensive mentoring format called "Community School," then taught and mentored adults, and also helped to run WAS as a senior Program Director. In addition to a passionate commitment to this vocation, Chris cultivates his love of music through playing guitar, mandolin, drumming and singing, and dove deeply into the study of the internal martial arts (Tai Chi and Bagua). He also flirts with the identity of Storyteller, and has immersed himself in the study of mythology and mythic imagination, including a post-graduate program in Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Chris is excited to combine his extensive experience in youth and staff mentorship and program development with Journeys long history of delivering transformative rite of passage programs, to develop curriculum and expand the reach of Journeys Leadership Training programs.

Kurt Bonholzer, Volunteer

 Kurt 2019
Community Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator




Kurt Bonholzer is a Washington native who loves the trees, the feeling of human connection, and the look of moss during a rainstorm. He believes that who we truly are shows up in the presence of others through intentional thought-filled communing and listening. Kurt was introduced to deep soul work with Journeys by participating in Designing Transformative Ritual and then Restoring Youth Rites of Passage: Two-week Leadership Intensive, as well as his son’s journey on Mountain Quest: Coming of Age for Young Men. The experience of communing with other people in a natural setting — while being given a chance to look deep inside — has awakened his awareness into the importance of rites of passage, ritual and deep soul work for the greater healing that is needed at this time. Through his own experience, Kurt recognized how participating in this work creates a deep need for people to stay connected. One of his desires is to to tend that connection through building a wide, vibrant support community connected to Rites of Passage and Soul-work. Kurt believes that the deeper we connect with the light inside our own souls, the brighter our collective light becomes.

Program Staff

Darcy Ottey

Darcy bio pic 2015
2019: Restoring Youth Rites of Passage Leadership Intensive





Journeys has been part of every major transition in Darcy’s life, since her Coming of Age program when she was 13.  She was the Executive Director of Journeys from 2006 - 2011, and now she serves as Co-Coordinator of Youth Passageways, a diverse network of individuals, organizations, and communities working to support the initiation of young people into mature adulthood in these transition times.  As an initiated European-American woman (British/Ukrainian descent), she is interested in helping people disconnected from traditional rites of passage reclaim and create rites and practices meaningful and relevant in their lives and communities at this time, in ways that are in solidarity with the liberation of all beings.  Darcy has worked with a variety of nature-based youth organizations as both rite of passage practitioner and administrator. She holds an M.A. in Environment and Community from Antioch University Seattle.

Randy Morris, PhD

Randy TN

2019: Creating Soulful Rituals, Designing Transformative Rituals


Randy Morris, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus at Antioch University Seattle where he supervised the Spiritual Studies and Psychology areas of concentration. He continues to teach classes in dreams, mythology, depth psychology and eco-spirituality, and has a private mentoring practice. Randy is President Emeritus of the Board of Directors of Rite of Passage Journeys, and led vision quests for many years. He is editor of the book "Rites of Passage into Elderhood."

Christopher Quiseng, MA


2016: Mountain Quest: Coming of Age for Young Men



Christopher Quiseng is a wilderness guide on the Big Island of Hawaii.  He received his MA in Ecopsychology from Naropa University, and has trained with 4-H Rites of Passage and The School of Lost Borders.  After a thirteen-year career as an archaeologist, Chris decided he wanted to experience more community engagement, and began studying the relationship between people and place for ways to improve the quality of life for ourselves and the planet.  In addition to guiding wilderness programs, he has contributed to environmental leadership courses for Brown University students, coordinated a youth cultural exchange program with Tropical Reforestation Ecosystems Education (TREE) Hawaii and has served as a mentor for Montreal's Inter-Tribal Youth Center.  Chris also recently completed a service learning project at a community health clinic for traditional medicine in Cuernavaca, Mexico.  He currently resides in the rain forest of Kilauea Volcano's windward side.  He can be contacted at

Andrew Middlebrooks

Andrew Middlebrooks bio pic2019: Adult Wilderness Quest


A native of the pacific northwest, Andrew Middlebrooks has been shaped by the rivers, mountains, islands, the Salish sea, and the many wild beings that slink in the shadows.   His great passions are archery, blacksmithing, primitive skills, making things of beauty with his hands, and stalking soul wherever it may be found.  He first encountered Journeys in 2006 on the coast of Washington, and guided youth for Journeys for many summers.  Mystery called and he apprenticed with Bill Plotkin and Animas Valley Institute for five years, all the while traveling the deserts of the United States and Peru.  He is a student of of Daoism, transcultural cosmology, indigenous states of awareness, and the secrets of what it means to be human through the lens of language etymology.

Sheryl Kent

sheryl kent

2019: Adult Wilderness Quest



Sheryl Kent is a local psychotherapist, ritualist and soul guide for over 20 years.  She has worked as a guide with Outward Bound, was the Program Director for Passages Northwest, a local rite of passage program for women and girls, and as a lead educator for Shackleton School, an expedition-based high school that allowed her to work with the same group of 15 students for 3 years on a school bus traveling around North America and learning from the people and the land. Heeding a call to bring her gifts to her local community, Sheryl became a licensed psychotherapist and launched a very successful clinic serving some of our most high-risk community members.  Sheryl is definitely not at all work, however, as she loves to play and explore by bike, foot, kayak, sailboat or any other means of locomotion.  Huge belly laughs, soulful conversation and her family are her biggest joys in life.  



Frost Freeman

Frost Freeman

2019: Elder, Solo Crossing


Frost 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.

Porter Eichenlaub

Porter 2017

2017: Solo Crossing


Porter grew up running wild in the woods and fields of New England, and is deeply passionate about developing and facilitating programs that effectively support youth in growing towards inspired adulthood. He has worked extensively with youth in a variety of settings, and is committed to designing and facilitating programs that uncover and grow each participant's innate wisdom, creativity, curiosity and wonder.  He holds a BA in Leadership and Education from Antioch University Seattle and is a certified counselor through Interchange Counseling Institute. Currently living in San Francisco, he is thrilled to be returning to work with Journeys this summer for the fifth year in a row!

Cameron Withey

Cameron 2017

2019: Restoring Youth Rites of Passage Leadership Intensive

Cameron began leading youth rites of passage in 2011. Wandering the woods at The Evergreen State College, he found his calling through self-designed studies in eco-psychology, contemporary rites of passage, and writing. He became Journeys' Program Director in 2015 and joined the Youth Passageways Stewardship Council in 2017. As a poet and sixth-generation Pacific Northwesterner with ancestry in the Celtic Isles, his soul is full of sea, green, and many shades of grey. He is passionate about addressing the cultural challenges of becoming fully human and deeply belonging to this Earth. He strives to be both a student and ally in indigenous spiritualities and politics, as an activist, poet, and community-builder. 

Rachel Duthler

Rachel D bio pic
2017: Fire on the Mountain


Growing up wandering the dunes on the shores of Lake Michigan, Rachel found her most centered self in the wilderness and near the water. It brings her joy to create opportunities for others to discover transformation through nature- whether that be through her day job as a community farm coordinator in Seattle or by leading wilderness trips with youth and adults. She completed her Master’s degree in clinical social work from Michigan State University in 2009 and was determined to find a way to unite her passions for mental wholeness, social justice, and nature based work. Aside from experience teaching and creating a program for children and youth to connect with nature in gardens, she has also lead adult wilderness trips and rock climbing trips with youth. She began with Journeys last year in 2015, as an apprentice for the Adult Wilderness Quest. When she’s not on trips or in the garden, you might find her jumping in lakes, rock climbing, reading in her hammock, dancing, visiting new places, and spending time with her niece and nephews.


Jakob Ledbetter

Jakob L bio pic
2018: Mountain Quest: Coming of Age for Young Men (2-week & 3-week)

Born and raised in Georgia, Jakob Ledbetter grew up exploring the beautiful blue ridge mountains of Southern Appalachia. Heeding the call of the Earth, Jakob embarked upon a MA in Ecopsychology at Naropa University. While completing his masters, Jakob worked as a personal development mentor at a young-adult transition home, in addition to working as a nature-connection mentor at multiple organizations in the southeast. During a vision fast ceremony, Jakob realized his calling to become a wilderness guide. This calling led him to Wilderness Awareness School where he has spent the year playing with primitive fire, geeking out on bird language, and tracking wild creatures through the forest. He is passionate about community leadership, cultural renewal, land stewardship, wildlife tracking, bird language, wild edibles, and earth-based living skills. He believes that rite of passage and initiatory experiences are the most important cultural tools to be to utilized in the modern world towards creating soul-centric communities. On most days, Jakob can be found in the woods staring up at birds in trees, crawling on the ground looking at tracks, or sharing food around a campfire, singing with friends.  


Alex Eisenberg

Alex Eisenberg

2018: Solo Crossing


Alex came to Journeys in 2012 as a participant in the Adult Wilderness Quest. Her powerful quest experience initiated a huge shift in her life, and was the spark that ignited her dedication to soul work and rites-of-passage. The experience continues to be a grounding force in all that she does, including leading Journeys' Coming of Age for Young Women and Fire on the Mountain programs. Alex is deeply passionate about cultivating ritual and ceremony as tools for cultural, personal, and community healing. She is active in grief rituals, heart circles, and red tents, and is excited about infusing more ceremony and soulfulness into her intersecting life paths of activism, farming, writing, natural building, and communal living. When Alex is not farming or in the forest, you might spot her on her bike with a hula hoop and rock climbing shoes strapped to her pack.


Manon McPeters

Manon 2016

2017: Mountain Quest: Coming of Age for Young Women

Marisa Taborga Byrne

marisa bio pic


Manon has been deeply blessed or lucky- maybe both- in the mentor department. Starting in her early teen years, Manon has found herself in the presence of some deeply soulful, wild, compassionate, grounded women. It is her intent, now, to live that role for others, as she continues to grow herself. Manon has studied extensively with Wilderness Awareness School.She began as a teen student in their year-long program. After a year studying environmental education and botany at The Evergreen State College, she returned to Wilderness Awareness School as an adult student in their 9-month nature connection program, Anake Outdoor School, and then as an apprentice for their year-long youth programs. During that time, Manon’s passion was awakened for mentoring, and using plants, wildlife tracking and observation, and primitive skills as vehicles for self-reflection. Manon has been held in ceremony many times, and has completed numerous rites-of-passage, both facilitated and self-initiated. Manon currently works as a mentor for multiple nature-based organizations for youth and teens. In addition, she is a certified Forrest Yoga teacher. She delights in weaving together connection to the wild, connection to body, and connection to soul.



Marisa ”Sasa” Taborga Byrne (she, her, hers) is a heart-centered humanitarian. Sasa comes from Irish/German, and Bolivian lineages and has loved many lands including California, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Argentina, Bolivia and Washington. She intimately knows the healing potential and wonder of Nature; her path as a ceremonialist, nature connection guide, and rites of passage facilitator was inspired in the Andes mountains, where she experienced soulful transformation living off the grid in an intentional community. In that place, she came to know the Pacha Mama as teacher, healer, guide and friend. Since that adventure 10 years ago, she has been committed to offering soulful inquiries in Nature through new and full moon ceremonies, coming of age programs and ceremonies, medicine walks, vision fasts, and holistic sexual education. Sasa joined Journeys as a Vision Fast guide in 2014, and in 2017, worked on the Leadership Intensive, Explorer’s Journey and Moon Rise programs. This youthful spirit loves to share in laughter, play, and heart connection, and is deeply honored and grateful for this opportunity to serve.

2019: Moon Rise: Coming of Age for Young Women

Julia Roseman

Julia R 2017

2017: Solo Crossing


Julia grew up exploring the vast plains of Wyoming and has loved being in nature ever since. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 2011, she apprenticed on Solo Crossing and fell in love with Journey's soul-work and Washington's lush landscape. She kept being called back to Journeys, mentoring 4 times on Solo Crossing. Julia studied Buddhism in depth during a year in the Himalayan mountains of India, and combines mindfulness meditation with wilderness exploration. She lives in Berlin, Germany with her partner and their dog Sam, where she does psychological research, teaches yoga and meditation, and tutors young adults. 

Peter Cameron

Peter C 2017

2017: Mountain Quest: Coming of Age for Young Men

Iris Garthwaite

Iris G 2017

2019: Moon Rise: Coming of Age for Young Women


I am interested in how the processes that guide an ecosystem can hold our curiosity, inspire the imagination, and grow people with integrity. My role as a guide is to safely hold space for that natural tethering with wildness to take place. I was given a rite of passage experience when I was 16; that experience has been a guiding force in my life, and is a gift I am always humbled to give. I have a BFA in Acting, and so am attentive to the ways myth and story carry us into ourselves. Currently, I work as a Land Steward of the Ojai Foundation, where I track and tend to the many processes of our ecology. When I'm not digging swales, pruning, and reseeding native flowers, I'm teaching youth about our role as gardeners of the wild, or practicing council with the community. I am a certified in WFR/CPR and am excited to be stepping into my second season leading trips with ROPJ. I am honored to hold this adventure for youth with safety, curiosity, and care. Come on down!

Iris grew up exploring the curving oaks, rolling hills and cityscapes of the San Francisco Bay Area. One of her favorite activities as a child was guiding her friends on bushwhacking journeys in the green spaces of her neighborhood. She is at home in the wild where wonder, curiosity and imagination fill her senses. She has ventured to some of the world's most remote wild places including Patagonia, Papua and Himalayas as backpacker, bikepacker, kayaker and writer. Iris has participated in many Animas Valley Institute programs including two vision quests. She believes the wild is a great companion to spark and nurture transformative experiences. Iris deeply enjoys guiding young people into the fascinating thresholds of soul through ceremony, wilderness exploration and imagination. She believes we find our deepest gifts, strengths, and essence during these sacred experiences. Iris has guided youth with LEAPNow, Big City Mountaineers, Americorps and Entre Todas. She is pursuing a degree at Evergreen where she will be blending Ecology and imagination. 

Edith Kusnic

Edith TN

2018: Trainer, Elder


Edith has been working in alternative, adult and community education for over thirty years. She began her career as founder of an alternative community school in Tacoma. Edith then went on to spend a number of years at Antioch University where her work focused on helping returning adult students clarify their personal and professional goals. For the past ten years, she has been building her own business, LearningWorks, and works with individuals and organizations to enhance their ability to be effective in their chosen endeavors. Edith has an MA in Educational Philosophy and Design. She joined Rite of Passage Journeys in 1999 and has completed her own vision quest, served as an Adult Vision Quest Guide and helped guide and build Journeys.

Ryen Helzer

Ryen H

2018: Mountain Quest: Coming of Age for Young Men (2-week)




Ryen, the youngest of four boys, was born and raised in the desert of Phoenix, Arizona. He parted from his suburban upbringing to start a rewilding journey as a forest firefighter in Northern Arizona serving as an EMT and Crew member. The dirt paths led Ryen to Southeast Alaska to build and maintain hiking trails and learn the rhythms of Nature. Ryen would return to the Sonoran desert winds to attend Reevis Mountain School of Self-reliance in the Superstition Wilderness, where he learned western herbalism, oriental acupressure, primitive and desert survival skills. He went back to his home city to complete coursework at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts to become a Life Coach.  These skills would be applied to his work on the Big Island of Hawaii at Pacific Quest Horticultural Therapy program where Ryen was a lead guide and participated in guiding adolescents through their Rites of Passage. He engaged in his own Rites of Passage Vision Fast on the Big Island, where he now resides, working the volcanic land, practicing permaculture and preparing for Marriage. Ryen moves forward with the Intention to be a transitional guide who embodies the Phoenix from where he was born.

Document Actions
Personal tools
powered by Plone | site by Groundwire Consulting and served with clean energy