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You are here: Home Wilderness Programs Ages 18 - 80 Rite of Passage Leader's Training Quest

Rite of Passage Leader's Training Quest

Rite of Passage Leader's Training Quest

2009 Apprentices enjoy participating in ceremonies at Sacred Groves during the Coming of Age for Girls program.

When Jun 03, 2017 10:00 AM to
Jun 17, 2017 05:00 PM
Where Various Locations, Begins and Ends at our Basecamp in Bothell, WA
Ages: 18+
Contact Name Cameron Withey
Contact Email
Contact Phone (425) 485.7396
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Revised program description for 2017 coming soon!


Do you have passion for working with youth?

Are you on a journey to deepen your connections with self, nature, community and the sacred?

Would you like to co-create and lead a rite of passage experience this summer?

Facilitating a significant, and culturally relevant, rite of passage is an art.  It demands the initiator be fully rooted in authentic service and deeply connected to the wilderness inwardly and outwardly.  It takes a fully committed guide who is willing to weave meaning and value into the passage of every day.

Since the creation of Rite of Passage Journeys, apprentices on our backpacking programs have learned contemporary coming of age guiding skills through direct experience. Participation in this personal and professional development course will prepare you to co-create and lead a powerful one- to three-week youth program*, including insights into the behind-the-scenes logistics and preparations. During this Apprenticeship you will:

  • Study and implement our time-tested Rite of Passage curriculum
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of mentorship
  • Learn and use valuable wilderness skills
  • Develop leadership and facilitation skills, including in ritual and ceremony
  • Practice all of the above in a created community of youth and mentors

One secret of this work is that our programs are not only holistic and life-changing for the youth we serve, but for our guides as well. The many joys and challenges of the work – from creating a fun, safe, soulful group culture, doing whole-person youth mentoring, being immersed in wilderness environments for extended periods, and more – come together to create a transformative experience for all involved.

Apprentices are given the special opportunity both to mentor youth and to be mentored by our most experienced program staff. To be a soulful leader is to be consistently aware and creative with your personal gifts and challenges, and during this training you will find deeper clarity about both. This program is certain to be a transition for you. 

mentoring over rocky terrain"Being an Apprentice Mentor for Journeys was an invaluable experience. I am eternally grateful for the powerful experience of being able to learn, grow and expand my skill set from a credible, effective, holistic and life-changing program that has been developed and refined through years of labor and love. As an Apprentice Mentor, I was empowered to practice my leadership and facilitation skills; I was given the opportunity to push my own edges; I was able to learn about the curricular and programmatic design of an outstanding program without having to reinvent the wheel; I deepened my awareness and understanding of experiential learning, ritual and ceremony, rites of passage and wilderness skills; and I was surrounded, inspired and supported by an incredible tribe of heartfelt, passionate, experienced and skilled guides." Cara Walsh, Apprentice Mentor 2008

"To witness the transformation of these courageous participants was truly a profound experience. I am so grateful and my heart is full." Peter Nguyen, Apprentice Mentor 2015

We are now accepting applications for 2016 Apprentices! We have a limited number of positions available, so apply early. See below for details.

*Apprentice positions are also possible on our Adult Wilderness Quest

Elements of the Apprenticeship

Apprentice Training (June 11 - 12, 2016)

Gather with other Apprentices and senior Journeys staff in our yurt to ceremonially open your Apprenticeship and begin immersing yourself in the history and best practices of our rite of passage curriculum.

Program Prep Days (dates vary depending on assignment)

Gather with the 2-3 other members of your staff team to drop into connection and collaboration, set intention, plan program ceremonies and curriculum, and complete a range of logistical tasks.

Set off on the Journey! (dates vary depending on assignment)

Step towards the edge of your comfort zone and take on whatever leadership role you find there as a guide on a one-to-three week youth program.

Share your Story

Enjoy a follow-up meeting with your Program Coordinator or Program Director to share the story of your experience and reflect on how it fits into your larger personal journey. You will also have the opportunity to be witnessed and appreciated at our End-of-Summer Celebration in September.

Additional Training Opportunities

Deepen your Apprenticeship by participating in other Journeys events, workshops, and programs. Enjoy discounted rates and connect with the experience and expertise of the Journeys community.


Apprenticeships on one-week trips: $975  

Apprenticeships on two-week trips: $1175  

Apprenticeships on three-week trips: $1375

Financial aid may be available. Please don't let a lack of resources deter you from applying!

Application Process

Please contact Cameron Withey (Program Director) regarding your interest in applying, at

You can view or download our Application here. It involves submitting a resume and cover letter and responding to four short essay questions. Applications will be reviewed starting January 4, 2016, and will be accepted after that date until all positions are filled. Qualified candidates will be notified for a phone or in-person interview.

You can refer to our Apprentice Qualifications here.

We look forward to working with you this summer and supporting your continued development as a soulful and confident wilderness leader!

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