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 Mt. Rainier 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.
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.