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You are here: Home Wilderness Programs Ages 14 - 18 Solo Crossing

Solo Crossing

A small group backpacking adventure, designed to help teens navigate their way on their life journey.

When Jul 21, 2018 10:00 AM to
Aug 10, 2018 05:00 PM
Where Olympic National Park, WA
Cost: $2975; deposit $500. Financial aid available
Ages: 15-18 (co-ed)
Taught by: TBA
Contact Name Cameron Withey
Contact Email
Contact Phone (425) 485.7396
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3/10/18: 2 spots left!

A three-week backpacking adventure designed to help teens navigate the road toward young adulthood with confidence and clarity


"Journeys trips are truly life-changing. They teach leadership, responsibility, trust, teamwork and self-growth through in-depth councils and wilderness skills. The guides on the trip were powerful role models and respected and treated us like adults. I'm incredibly gratetul to have been able to spend such a full 3 weeks in the beautiful outdoors with such inspiring people." 

– 2017 Solo Crossing Participant

Solo Crossing is a chance for teens to imagine how they want to be as adults, and then explore and practice what this means to them and their families, friends and communities. On the backcountry trails of Western Washington, participants are challenged in mind, body and heart, within a supportive community of peers and mentors.

During three exciting weeks, teens develop a range of personal and interpersonal skills. A long backpacking trek lets them practice teamwork and wilderness skills. Solo time, journaling and nightly talking circles help them connect to and articulate their deeper thoughts and dreams.  Individual mentoring helps youth name the transition that they are engaging in on this journey.

Mid-program, the youth embark on a solo vigil when they leave the group setting to be fully in their own company. Guided by nature and personal quiet, they contemplate letting go of their life as a child and looking forward to living courageously as an adult. After the vigil, their new insights are tested and integrated during a second backcountry trek. Throughout the program, each participant has an adult mentor – a journey guide – who helps them articulate their gifts and their dreams.

During the final stage of the journey, participants sit in a council circle telling epic stories of their Solo Crossing and sharing visions of their future. Mentors, peers, and elders offer support as they talk about how to make their rite of passage relevant to their new lives.

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Example Itinerary

Week 1: Participants, Parents or Guardians, and other members of the participant's community say good-bye during a send out ceremony at our basecamp in Bothell. Participants then head off to the woods for a 5- to 6-day backpacking trip in the Olympics during which participants will learn wilderness, leadership, communal living and reflection skills. This stage is a preparation for week two.

Week 2: Participants begin to take on more responsibilities, taking ownership of many of the daily leadership tasks as they hike in to the Olympic Coast. Once on the beach, and a temporary base camp is set, participants will journal, make expressive art, and prepare for and complete a 48-hour solo vigil. 

Week 3: Participants return to basecamp in Bothell for a Council of Elders and Sweatlodge ceremony, in celebration of their journey and learnings. They reflect on the skills that they are bringing back to offer their communities as young adults. On the final day parents will return to Journeys for an incorporation ceremony before the program close.   

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


2017 Staff


       Julia R 2017


            Porter 2017   

              Julia Roseman

                 Porter Eichenlaub

Julia grew up exploring the vast plains of Wyoming and has loved being in nature ever since. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 2011, she apprenticed on Solo Crossing and fell in love with Journey's soul-work and Washington's lush landscape. She kept being called back to Journeys, mentoring 4 times on Solo Crossing. Julia studied Buddhism in depth during a year in the Himalayan mountains of India, and combines mindfulness meditation with wilderness exploration. She lives in Berlin, Germany with her partner and their dog Sam, where she does psychological research, teaches yoga and meditation, and tutors young adults. 

Porter grew up running wild in the woods and fields of New England, and is deeply passionate about developing and facilitating programs that effectively support youth in growing towards inspired adulthood. He has worked extensively with youth in a variety of settings, and is committed to designing and facilitating programs that uncover and grow each participant's innate wisdom, creativity, curiosity and wonder.  He holds a BA in Leadership and Education from Antioch University Seattle and is a certified counselor through Interchange Counseling Institute. Currently living in San Francisco, he is thrilled to be returning to work with Journeys this summer for the fifth year in a row!

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