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You are here: Home Wilderness Programs Ages 12 - 15 Mountain Quest: Coming of Age for Young Men (2 Week)

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

This two-week version of our classic trip challenges boys to step into young manhood with confidence, consciousness and integrity.

When Jul 01, 2018 09:00 PM to
Jul 14, 2018 05:00 PM
Where Olympic National Park; Program starts and ends in Bothell, Wa
Cost: $1975; Deposit $400. Some Financial Aid may be available.
Ages: 12 - 15
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 two-week version of our classic trip challenges boys to step into young manhood with confidence, consciousness, and integrity. 


"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." Program 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. If you would like more information about the second session, our classic three-week trip, July 22 - August 11, please click here

Family Participation

The initiate's family plays an important role in the Coming of Age Journey. At the conclusion of each 2-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. 

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Example Itinerary

Week 2: Participants prepare for their 24-hour solo vigils. During this time participants will be involved in nature explorations, expressive art projects, journalling and ceremony. After the 24-hour solo vigil is completed participants will hike back to the vehicles and return to base camp for a sweat lodge ceremony, Council of Elders, and a celebration of their step into young manhood. The final day of the trip will be spent with participants and families creating a family covenant to reflect the privileges and responsibilities of the young man. 

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

2017 Staff


  Carl bio pic 2017

      Peter C 2017

Carl Busse

    Peter Cameron

Carl has spent most of his 57 years finding ways to spend time in the wilderness. He has been leading wilderness adventures for Journeys since 2011. He is an experienced Waldorf high school teacher who is deeply committed to providing a safe vessel for adolescents to explore their power and deepen their relationship to nature. He finds deep satisfaction in  supporting the next generation of wilderness mentors. 

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!null

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