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You are here: Home Wilderness Programs Ages 12 - 15 Mountain Quest: Coming of Age for Young Men (3 Week)

Mountain Quest: Coming of Age for Young Men (3 Week)

This classic program provides the ultimate Hero’s Journey for boys.

Mountain Quest: Coming of Age for Young Men (3 Week)

A participant breaks at a river while hiking in Olympic National Park.

When Jul 23, 2017 10:00 AM to
Aug 12, 2017 05:00 PM
Where Olympic National Park, Begins and ends in Bothell, WA
Cost: $2950, including $500 deposit. Financial aid may be available
Ages: 12-15
Taught by: Peter Cameron, Ryen Helzer
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 trip.

This three-week program challenges boys to develop into solid young men, like heroes in their own life journeys. 


"Our son entered 7th grade quite changed. He was more self-confident with a quiet, inner strength. He showed more leadership by sharing what he had done in class. I think his Journey had immediate impact on him in these ways and will have long-lasting impact as a strong memory and a strong growth experience. He learned to trust himself in new ways." Participant Parent.

For thousands of years, cultures around the world have relied on the wisdom of intentional rites of passage to awaken the mature masculine spirit within young boys. By overcoming various ordeals, initiates bring back the inner resources and external skills that the community depends on for its continued vitality.

In the spirit of these ancient traditions, the Mountain Quest offers youth an opportunity to live, learn, and laugh in a supportive community of male mentors and peers. Far away from video games, mass media, and pressures of modern society, life slows down and begins to take on new meaning.

As participants sleep under star-filled skies, hike among ancient cedars, and dip in cold mountain streams, the rich inner life of a boy awakens. At journey’s end, each will bring home the exciting and important story of his own adventure, a greater sense of self-awareness, and new gifts to share with his family and his community.

This program runs in two sessions during the summer of 2017. If you would like more information about our earlier session, June 25 - July 8, please click here.

Family Participation

The initiate’s family plays an important role in the Coming of Age Journey. On the first day of the trip, parents and guardians will send their children off and then spend some time exploring the changes that are happening in their child and in their family.  At the conclusion of the 3-week adventure, parents and guardians take part in a program of incorporation. During this day-long event, parents and young people alike will have the opportunity to see one another with new eyes. Together in this way, they breathe new life into existing relationships, and explore the possibilities of what it means to be a family in the 21st century, with a new family member who is no longer a boy, but a young man.


     register now sm      cameron PD button        

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


2016 Staff




              Chris Quiseng    

              Lonnie Johnson

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

Lonnie is an ever adventurous soul who's Personal Legend has led him to Journeys.  After a life-altering visit to the Olympic Peninsula a few years ago, Lonnie is overjoyed to return as part of the Boys Coming of Age trip this year.  He found his calling working with young people in the wilderness as a camp counselor and trip leader with a couple of former Journeys' mentors.  Since hearing about Journeys, Lonnie has pursued his dream of mentoring on a Journeys' trip.  A Wisconsin native, recently he has been in the Utah wilderness working with teens and young adults as they transcend the issues that have troubled them, immersed in the clarity only nature can provide.  He brings with him a lovely energy that radiates to all of those around him, as well as spiritual and natural wisdom that he is always willing to share.  In his free time he enjoys exploring, hiking, biking, cooking, reading, writing, adventures, physical challenges, MUSIC, ceremonies , learning and meeting new people.  

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