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You are here: Home Wilderness Programs Ages 12 - 15 Moon Rise: Coming of Age for Young Women

Moon Rise: Coming of Age for Young Women

A retreat-based rite of passage experience for adolescent girls.

When Jul 28, 2019 09:00 AM to
Aug 03, 2019 05:00 PM
Where Sacred Groves, Bainbridge Island, WA
Cost: $1225; deposit $300. Financial aid is available.
Ages: 12 - 14
Taught by: Amy Cooper, Iris Garthwaite
Contact Name Cameron Withey
Contact Email
Contact Phone (425) 485.7396
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Parents please plan to attend the first and last days of the program.

Adolescence can be a turbulent and trying time and most of our young people are launched into it with little consciousness and even less preparation. 


How could it change the teenage years of a girl to have mentors, who have walked the path before her, guide her with love and wisdom into adolescence? To have her family walk beside her on that journey, honoring and celebrating her step out of childhood? To have a group of peers supporting her and sharing the journey with her? To be welcomed into young womanhood by an older generation of women who share with her the gifts and strengths and beauty of womanhood?

Coming of Age for Young Women was created to bring these vital experiences to more adolescent girls, to help them cross the bridge between childhood and youth in love and beauty. It will help them reach young womanhood with a deeper sense of themselves, their own inner and outer beauty and the gifts they bring to the world, so that they may walk through their teen years with strength and self-confidence. We will use heart-centered conversation, art, song, reflective activity and ritual to deepen girls' relationships to their inner selves, their families, their communities and to their own version of what is sacred.

This group of up to 9 middle school girls will explore what it means to step out of childhood and into young womanhood with the guidance and support of three fabulous female mentors. The group will spend a week at a moonlodge, engaging in a rite of passage experience to honor and celebrate the conscious step into young womanhood with a sweat bath ceremony, an 8-hour solo in the woods, and a ritual welcoming to womanhood. Parents and/or guardians will be involved in a formal parting and reconnection with their girls at the beginning and end of the retreat, so that each young woman may be recognized and supported by her family as she takes this important step, and so that the family may enter into the adolescent years together on a strong footing.


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 Financial aid may be available. Please visit our Scholarships page for more information.


2018 Staff

           Amy Cooper    Iris G 2017

                Amy Cooper

                 Iris Garthwaite      

In Amy’s youth, she was privileged to have mentors who taught her how to use self-reflection, communion with nature, and personal and group ritual to grow deeper within and live happier without. These experiences launched her on a personal journey of exploration into the connection between mind, body and spirit. She earned her B.A. from The Evergreen State College with a focus on Holistic Health and Somatic Studies, and her 200hr Yoga Teacher Certification from the Southwest Institute of the Healing Arts. She has also been trained as a Girls Circle Facilitator with One Circle Foundation, and has volunteered as a Girls Circle Co-facilitator with the YWCA of Olympia. In 2014, she had her first experience with Rite of Passage Journeys as an apprentice on the Becoming a Young Woman retreat (now known as Moon Rise), and returns to it each year filled with more insight, inspiration, and thirst for learning more from the young women who show up! Amy loves any opportunity to share her joy and wonder with young people, and especially loves using her own journey towards self-love to help young women learn to love themselves. When she’s not exploring the Pacific Northwest, she loves hiking in the Superstition Wilderness of her home state of Arizona, cuddling with loved ones, and finding any excuse for spa time.

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.  


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