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

Queer Mountain Quest

When Aug 11, 2019 10:00 AM to
Aug 24, 2019 05:00 PM
Where Olympic National Park (Klallam & Quileute Lands); Begins and ends at Songaia Co-Housing, Bothell, WA (Snohomish Land)
Cost: No one turned away, please inquire. Full cost is $1975
Ages: 13-18
Taught by: Roz Katonah, Pinar Sinopolous-Lloyd, Anna Schulman
Contact Name Cameron Withey
Contact Email
Contact Phone 425.485.7396
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An epic journey into nature, self, truth, and community for LGBTQ2IA+ youth ages 13-18


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 week centers around a backpacking journey through the mountains (Klallam Land / Olympic National Park, WA), where participants will learn outdoor skills and work together to form a solid group culture. Old-growth forests of cedar and fir and star-studded skies will help form the container for the youth to begin to drop into their individual intentions while supported by queer peers and mentors. After a day of hiking or meandering in an alpine meadow, participants will gather by fire in talking circles to explore their deeper questions of Self and World, and bear witness to others’ stories.

In the second week, participants will enter the coastal section (Quileute Land) and traverse along wild beaches, forests and headlands along the Pacific Ocean. These powerful places will partner with youth to support them in courageously stepping into their 48-hour solo vigils. Vigils are offered as an opportunity for youth to be fully with themselves, to consider their unique callings and receive guidance from the wild world. Afterwards, youth will engage in mindful integration of their newfound skills and visions. Participants will return to base camp in celebration of their 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 $1975.

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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  QMQ GoFundMe Button   

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!


  • 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       


2018 Guides


Roz 2018

Anna S pic

Roz Katonah

Pınar Sinopoulos-Lloyd

Anna Schulman

Roz Katonah was born and raised on Nisenan land which is now referred to as Sacramento, CA. They fell in love with swimming in the Kum Sayo river, playing outdoor sports, everything hip hop and riding bikes through their neighborhood. Roz is a curious soul who is fascinated by the spiritual experience of being in an intelligent human body. As a black latinx multiracial genderqueer lesbian, they understand the power of transition and view coming out as a sacred rite of passage. Since 2013, they have been exploring the healing connections between the Earth and their ancestors. Inspired by these insights, Roz helped create an outdoor program for homeless youth in Richmond, CA, led a conservation crew in the Pacific Northwest with the Student Conservation Association and was the co-leader for the first Outdoor Afro network in Boulder/Denver, CO. In 2017, Roz participated in their first rite of passage program while in graduate school. They will graduate in May 2018 and begin their journey as a nature-based therapist in Sacramento. Roz loves to be out hiking whenever possible, playing their djembe and hanging out with their wifey, pup and chosen fam bam. 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. Last summer, they co-guided the School of Lost Borders' first Queer Youth 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. 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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