A Rite of Passage into healthy young adulthood
Quest for Fire is a three week, indigenous led, boys Rite of Passage into young manhood through a Wilderness Immersion Journey through the Olympic Mountains.
A Rite of Passage marks the beginning of a point of transformation. Coming of Age Rites have been used in cultures all around the globe since time immemorial and are a foundational element of healthy societies.
Quest for Fire marks the initiation of the journey into adulthood, and gives rise to the opportunity for boys to explore what healthy masculinity means to them, what sort of man they hope to be, and what their role will be in today’s society. The canvass of the mountains, skies, forests, glaciers, and cold waters of the Olympics is the medium that allows WildWise guides and mentors to provide the space for boys to orient to their own internal wisdom, learn to communicate with intention, explore and develop their weltanschauung, and enkindle wonder of the world around them. As boys face and overcome the trials and challenges of the journey and what it means to live closely in a community of mentors and peers away from the influences of media, video games, and daily life, a quieting of the mind begins to allow for their internal voice to be heard.
Awaken your true self
Throughout the journey boys will work on their relationship with Fire. Fire is primal. We fear it. We love it. We need fire to survive. The relationship with the element of Fire is part of what makes us human. Stepping across the threshold into their journey as a boy, and returning home as initiated young men, having mastered a proficiency with Ancestral Fire, is a gift that young men will bring home, along with a sense of purpose, direction, and membership in community.
Is this all seriousness? No! Boys get to hike some of the most beautiful back country our state has to offer, play games, laugh, tell jokes and stories around a campfire, make new friends, star gaze, and revel in the joy of an experience that awakens their true selves, one they will remember all their lives.
Family and community participation is a significant and required component of the Rite of Passage. Parents and Guardians, along with important people in the initiates life, will be asked to take part in severance and integration ceremonies that mark these important transitions at the beginning and end of each of their journeys, and will be asked to vigil on the same nite(s) as their initiates.
- All WildWise Quest for Fire Guides and Mentors are trained, certified, and experienced Wilderness First Responders and highly experienced outdoorsmen, and our Apprentices and Assistants are trained in Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and Rescue Breathing.
- Initiates will be expected to have achieved a level of emotional, social, and physical development to begin this journey. Generally, this is marked by being in their pubescent years. Those whom are not quite at this level of development may find themselves not able to meet the rigorous requirements this journey can require of them. We find this age range to typically be between 12 and 14, or 7th and 8th grades, or just completing them and entering 9th grade. Please contact us if you have any questions about what may be required of your initiate.
- This is an indigenous based, peer-led journey intended for those who were born as and identify with the gender of male, regardless of their sexual orientation. For those who were not born as but identify as male, please contact us for a referral to a program with our incredible and trusted partners who are able to peer-lead your youth through this critical time of their life.
Quest for Fire is not a Wilderness Therapy program, and is not intended to provide therapeutic support or counseling for those in need of psychological help. Our guides are deeply skilled in the process of soul exploration. Even those who may have formal training as therapists or mental health providers are not hired to engage in that practice out on the trail. Individuals struggling with emotional or psychological dynamics may find that a trip like this stimulates their underlying issues beyond the ability to manage them, and the trip and the guides are not hired to provide support in such situations. If you have concerns about this, especially if you are working with a therapist or counselor, we highly recommend you discuss your situation with us before registering for Quest for Fire. We want to make sure that this trip is a good match for your current situation and capability.
Meet the Guides
Aidoneus Bishop, is a Pite Sámi wilderness guide, outdoor educator, and rite of passage facilitator.
A trauma-informed educator, father of six, former Boy Scout Leader, United States Marine, chef, entrepreneur, restaurateur, Information Technology Executive, and Engineer, Aidoneus now works with organizations throughout the world on social justice issues, sovereignty, treaty rights, indigenous ceremony protection and preservation, cultural appropriation, ancestral studies, entheogenic rituals, indigenous rights and rites, Sámi and Germanic Tribal education and reclamation, and is an environmental and social activist. He is a Master Swordsman, Wilderness First Responder, certified Northwest Naturalist, and a steward with the Jefferson Land Trust.
Aidoneus has been formally trained and has extensive life experience with survival in the harshest of environments. Underneath all of the quiet and seemingly intimidating and gruff exterior is a big heart and a love for educating, mentoring, and caring for children, to share his experiences with them, inspiring them to never stop learning, and always question the meaning of world they see.
Aidoneus was key in the coordination and founding of a youth Summer meal program in North Kitsap with Rotary, Kiwanis, local food banks, and the NKSD, he founded and operated a mobile meal service focused on providing shelter and meals to homeless youth in North Kitsap and is a savvy and respected business leader, being recognized as one of the top business leaders in his community under the age of 40, in 2013. Aidoneus has served on the Board of Directors of six non-profit organizations. He is a member of the Pacific Sámi Searvi, Wilderness Guides Council, Youth Passageways, Sons of Norway, and also guides youth and adults with Rite of Passage Journeys.
Aidoneus focuses instruction on medieval weapons and combat techniques, Sámi and Germanic culture, history, orienteering, rites of passage, mountain & wilderness survival, defensive arts, blacksmithing, tracking, ethics, lore, backpacking, edible and medicinal plants, archery, discipline, hand-to-hand techniques, rituals and practices, and ancestral skills.
Alexander is a nature guide and outdoor educator
He spent his youth in Singapore and developed his love for wildlife in the wet forests of Southeast Asia. In South Africa, he received accreditation as a nature guide and, since then, has worked in: jungle, temperate and savanna biomes across the world as a naturalist. In these positions, he has engaged in various conservation projects, such as palm restoration, bird banding and camera trapping, as well as community education programs and wildlife breeding programs.
In Myanmar, he led efforts for a sea turtle conservation program. monitoring breeding trends, collecting data on hatching success, and engaging local fishing communities in beach cleanups and developing environmental stewardship.
Alexander's values in conservation guardianship and sustainable practices extends to his work with youth. In 2020/2021, he worked with children from the local community, leading an outdoor education program in the Kingston area for kids aged 5-8.