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You are here: Home Wilderness Programs Ages 14 - 18 Queer Wilderness Quest

Queer Wilderness Quest

When Aug 11, 2019 10:00 AM to
Aug 21, 2019 05:00 PM
Where Olympic National Park (Makah lands); Begins and ends at Songaia Co-Housing, Bothell, WA (Snohomish lands)
Cost: No one turned away, please inquire. Full cost is $1675
Ages: 14-18
Taught by: So Sinopolous-Lloyd, Pinar Sinopolous-Lloyd, Anna Schulman
Contact Email
Contact Phone 425.485.7396
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An epic journey into nature, self, truth, and community for LGBTQ2IA+ youth ages 14-18

 

Rite of Passage Journeys has answered a community call to provide meaningful rites of passage for queer* youth in an inclusive, safe and healing way. On this two-week nature-based adventure, participants will find support, challenge and mentoring along their unique journeys from adolescence to adulthood, offering rich opportunities to deepen into their queer identities, come together in queer community and build enduring relationships with nature and self. Through both facilitated and self-led explorations, youth will discover inner resources that allow them to claim their identities and particular gifts to offer the world.

The first half of the trip centers around a backpacking journey into the wilds of Olympic National Park, in the traditional lands of the Makah Nation. After visiting the Makah Cultural Center and introducing ourselves to the people who have been living in this place "since time began," we will hit the trail, learning outdoor skills and working together to form a solid group culture. Old-growth forests of cedar and fir, rocky headlands and sandy beaches, and star-studded skies will help form the container for us to drop into our individual intentions. Hiking the spectacular Northwest Coast in our days, we will gather by fire in the evenings to sit in talking circles, exploring our deeper questions of Self and World, and bear witness to each others’ stories.

In the second half of the journey, we will find our Solo Vigil camp, where we will settle in to embark on an equally rich inner journey. Camping at the edge of ocean and the land, we will ask this powerful in-between landscape to support us in as we step into our solo vigils. Vigils are offered as an opportunity to be fully with ourselves, to consider our unique callings, and to receive guidance from the wild world. Afterwards, we will engage in mindful integration of our newfound skills and visions. Finally, we will return to base camp in celebration of our journey and learnings, greeted by family, friends, mentors and community.

Group Size: There will be up to 9 participants, as well as 3 guides for this journey

Cost: No one who wants to participate will be turned away for financial reasons. Full price for our 2-week programs is $1675.

Gear: Additional resources and gear loans are available.

*We acknowledge that the word “queer” has been used in the past as a derogatory term and is still hurtful to some in the LGBTQ2IA+ community. Many LGBTQ2IA+ communities and individuals have reclaimed the word “queer” as an empowering and uniting expression of the many complex identities within the community. Here, we use “queer” as an inclusive term and an uplifting declaration. 

 

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Pictured: Guides Roz, Anna, and Pınar. This crowdfunding campaign is intended to make this experience as financially accessible as possible to our youth and families. Your support would mean a lot!
 

Outcomes:

  • Increased self-confidence and reclaiming of inner strength

  • Increased sense of belonging in the human and natural world

  • Insight into nature as a queer ancestor

  • Insight into queer futurism, hope and resiliency

  • Understanding and honoring of intersectionality within queer communities

  • Increased leadership and teamwork skills

  • Increased ability to listen to intuition

  • Improved physical strength and personal resolve

  • Knowledge of natural history of Northwest terrain

  • Increased knowledge of low-impact camping techniques

  • Understanding of a healthful path to queer adulthood

  • Completion of a transformative rite of passage       

 
 

2019 Guides

 


So 2019




Pinar 2019


Anna S pic

So Sinopolous-Lloyd

Pınar Sinopoulos-Lloyd

Anna Schulman

Sophia ("So") (they/them/theirs) is a queer Greek-American who grew up in the northern hardwood forests of central Vermont. So started consciously becoming nature's partner-in-crime when they worked as a seasonal shepherd throughout college and sheep began to teach them new things about belonging, awareness, and community. Hoping to one day be as cool as sheep are, So went on to do immersive studies in wilderness survival skills and naturalism at Roots School and Wilderness Awareness School, and also completed an MA that focused on relationships between religion and ecology in the Eastern Mediterranean, some of their ancestral lands. Much of So's work is animated by a keen study of how human spirituality is interwoven with geography and can be further informed by intimate knowledge of place through naturalist study. When So married Pinar, their stewardship of both the queer soul and the non-human world began to flow together more visibly, and from this confluence Queer Nature was born. Current areas of geekery are tracking, scout-craft, marksmanship, remote medicine, and so-called nature writing. So has had their writing published in Written River and The Wayfarer. Pınar (they/them/theirs) has always been allured by how the natural world mirrors one’s internal landscape. Enchanted by the liminal, Pınar is a nonbinary QTPOC (Queer & Trans Person of Color) with Huanca, Turkish and Chinese lineages. They along with their spouse, So, co-founded Queer Nature, a project bringing earth-based queer community through ancestral skills, nature-connection and vision fast guiding. Their relationship with queerness, neurodivergence, indigeneity and belonging guided their work in developing Queer Ecopsychology through studies at Prescott College, Wilderness Awareness School, School of Lost Borders, Animas Valley Institute, Naropa University and Esalen Institute. Their undergraduate work was in applied ecopsychology with a somatic and depth approach through a decolonial and queer lens. Currently enrolled at the University of Vermont, they are working on their degree in Master of Science in Natural Resources with a Concentration in Leadership for Sustainability. Recently, they co-guided the School of Lost Borders' first Queer Youth Quest, and Rite of Passage Journeys' Queer Mountain Quest, and are thrilled to be where their soul comes alive with queer youth and the more-than-human community. Anna Schulman (she/her/hers) is a nature-inspired psychotherapist practicing in Denver, CO. Anna offers creative, somatic-based and trauma informed therapies to individuals and groups seeking liberation from interpersonal violence, while also supporting clients to find authentic expression of their identities. Anna is passionate about examining structures of power and oppression and reimagining the field of counseling and guiding to better serve non-dominant experience. Anna began her time with Rite of Passage Journeys as a participant in the Adult Wilderness Quest in 2012 and has returned as a guide to support youth uncover their unique callings, including co-guiding Journeys' first Queer Mountain Quest. Anna’s own powerful Quest experience ignited her commitment to soul-work, co-creating with nature and offering healing initiatory experiences. When not in the field, you might find her writing poetry, playing in the mountains, riding horses or cooking with loved ones.

 

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