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Queer Mountain Quest


  • Rite of Passage Journeys Bothell, WA (map)

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.

Cost: Please inquire about our sliding scale fee. No one is turned away for inability to pay.

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 LGBTQIA+ community. Many LGBTQIA+ 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. 

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   

For more information: http://riteofpassagejourneys.org/wilderness-programs/ages-14-18/queer-mountain-quest