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Washington State University Extension


Equipment and Accommodations

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.


Self Preparation

Preparation (Severance)

A Rite of Passage begins as soon as you decide to do it.  The more thoughtful and honest you can be with yourself, the more you will get out of the experience.  Spend time thinking about why you want to do the Rite of Passage.  Write in a journal or talk to a trusted friend about your intentions.  It is highly recommended that you complete the Day Walk described in the Handbook.  You may also want to read The Book of the Vision Quest by Stephen Foster and Meredith Little.

Questions to ponder as you prepare for your Rite of Passage

-From John Davis and Nancy Jane of School of Lost Borders

  • sunriseWhat do you hope to gain; what are you willing to give up?
  • What “old skins” or self-images is it time to shed?
  • What do you seek at this point in your life’s journey?
  • What is the greatest gift you could give yourself during this vision fast?
  • What is the greatest gift you could bring back for your people and your place?
  • What inner tools and resources do you bring on this quest?
  • What are your strongest fears or resistances; how might you sabotage your journey?
  • What am I going to mark, claim, celebrate or confirm? What is my intent?
Threshold (Solo Time)

This vision fast is a classic modern rite of passage or transition that involves the personal experience of a three day and night fast in a wilderness place. The traditional 4-H Rite of Passage Solo is based upon the following guidelines (taboos): no company, no food and minimal shelter. Within these guidelines leaders will assist each participant in planning for the solo experience that meets their needs.

Incorporation (Return)

The guides will assist participants with ways to authentically mark what they have done on their Rite of Passage. The group will have a celebratory feast in a nearby town, return to base camp and tell stories to the elders council. There is also discussion about the upcoming year and the process of incorporation.

Reading List

Required – 
The 4-H Rite of Passage Youth Handbook: Coming to Age in the Wilderness

Suggested –
The Roaring of the Sacred River by Steven Foster and Meredith Little
The Book of the Vision Quest by Stephen Foster and Meredith Little