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Washington State University Extension

Adult Leadership Training Program

Becoming a 4-H Rite of Passage Guide:

The 4-H Rite of Passage Adult Training sequence is intended to prepare youth educators to serve as guides.  To become a 4-H Rite of Passage Leader, potential candidates must join 4-H, successfully complete all 3 levels of training, complete First Aid certification and become familiar with 4-H programs and philosophy.  Participants must also demonstrate knowledge and skills required to be an effective Rite of Passage guide.  See the requirements: Leader Certification Checklist

Adults interested in conducting personal vision-fast ceremonies are encouraged to visit:

How long does it take to become a guide?

This will depend somewhat on the trainee’s skill level and will vary based on how often Rites of Passage are held, and how many opportunities the trainee has to bring groups of youth.  Starting with the 4-H Adult Rite of Passage, the entire process generally takes about two years. Click each level to learn more about it:

Level I   Adult ROP Experience

Level II   Mirroring for Intention and Empowerment

Level III  Base Camp Assist

Level IV   Co-Leading 

Adults who complete their own ROP are invited to serve in their communities as mentors,  preparing youth to attend an ROP. This bridge experience can serve as vital instruction for “guides to be,” helping them understand the importance of  the severance process and helping them build their reputation as  Rite of Passage practitioners.



The trainers make no provisions for meals or accommodations.  Participants are responsible for their own meal preparation including cooking/eating utensils as well as a tent, sleeping bag etc. See Suggested Packing List

Reading List

Required (available upon registration)

4-H Rite of Passage Technical Manual and Leader Guide
4-H Rite of Passage Youth Handbook: Coming of Age in the Wilderness

Highly Recommended

The Roaring of the Sacred River, by Steven Foster and Meredith Little


The Book of the Vision Quest: Personal Transformation in the Wilderness, by Steven Foster and Meredith Little

The Four Shields of Human Nature, by Steven Foster and Meredith Little

Betwixt & Between:  Patterns of Masculine and Feminine Initiation, by Louise Carus Mahdi