Paul Abodeely , B.A., has been working with youth in schools, social service settings, and the outdoors for over 15 years. An apprentice in the Rites of Passage guide training program, he has led programs with Rites of Passage and with related organizations. Paul is skilled at supporting and empowering young people as they face the challenges of becoming healthy and successful adults. He brings authenticity, joy and wholeness, in addition to a deep familiarity and ease with the natural world, to his work with young people.
Tom Anderson is a husband, father of two, vision quest guide, and the Managing Director of a regional affordable housing development company. In all he does, he is drawn forward by the desire to make a difference in the world by building better communities. A life-long camper, hiker, and lover of the outdoors, he first quested with Rites of Passage in 2006 and has since completed the training and apprenticeship program. Tom now leads programs as a member of the Rites of Passage staff and uses the vision quest model in a variety of formats and settings to uncover purpose and meaning in individuals and groups. Tom believes that in living our deepest purpose, we not only serve ourselves, but we serve the world as well. Tom is also the author of Your Place in the World: Creating a life of vision, purpose, and service available on Amazon.com and here.
Michael Bodkin , M.S., MFT, is a psychotherapist and wilderness guide who has been the Executive Director of Rites of Passage for over 25 years. His passion is leading people to the mirror of nature to discover the gifts of their soul. He directs the guide training programs for Rites of Passage and has led Vision Quests and trainings in places as diverse as South Korea and Australia. He's also a strong voice for men's soul work, having guided men on the Men's Vision Quest for over 20 years. Michael lives with his wife Renée in intentional community near Santa Rosa, CA where he grows organic vegetables and plays bluegrass guitar and dobro.
Alison DeLong received her Master of Arts in Eco-psychology, a field of psychology that acknowledges one's relationship with nature as an integral component to well-being. During her studies she apprenticed with Anne Stine of Wilderness Rites and began leading quests in 2002. A native of Yosemite National Park, Alison has spent the past 14 years sharing with youth, adult and family groups the challenge, healing and joy evoked by the wilderness. She brings a passionate and joyous approach to wilderness rites of passage, weaving in diverse strands of her professional history in environmental education, communication, psychology, yoga and massage therapy. Alison is especially passionate in assisting teens and their families to succeed in healthy transitions to adulthood.
Damien McAnany has a passion for bringing healing both to people and to the land. He received his M.S. in Environmental Education from the Audubon Expedition Institute, a traveling, experiential program in transformative education, and has completed an intensive training program with Rites of Passage. Damien has been leading people on mountaineering and backpacking trips since 2000, with Outward Bound and Rites of Passage. His gifts include a strong Buddhist meditation practice, an ecstasy for wild places, and a love for helping young people discover their life path.
Cazeaux Nordstrum grew up in the Sonoran Desert of Southern Arizona when the towns were small and the wild untamed lands were vast, among the influence of many native cultures. The land itself was a spiritual center honored by the annual indigenous and religious rituals and ceremonies. Traveling throughout the West as a child, camping from a young age gave her a sense of safety and an experience of the true mirroring of nature. Cazeaux was drawn to her first rites of passage ceremony in 1991 and began guiding the following year. She stepped away for a decade to establish a psychotherapy practice in the Bay Area focusing on mid life and older life. Sitting at the cross roads of adult middle years and elderhood for over 30 years has given Cazeaux a rich long view and a wisdom perspective that influences her work in and out of doors. An elder herself living towards 70, the meaning of life especially in its later years is taking on greater significance. Her background in Anthropology, Transpersonal psychology, World mythology and Native American cultures—along with her personal connection to nature—have inspired her to integrate wilderness work and clinical psychology, as a vision quest guide.
Renee Sweezey first undertook a Vision Quest with Steven Foster and Meredith Little in 1982 when they were the co-directors of Rites of Passage. She found the experience life altering and profoundly affirming. Since then, she has been an advocate and supporter of the work, by serving both as a staff person and board member with Rites of Passage for over 20 years. Renee honors and holds with deep regard those who feel called to this journey, leaving what is familiar to go into the sacred wilderness of the world and of oneself. She brings gifts of open heart, quiet courage and gentle presence to help create unique and vibrant community in the field. Renee is married to Mike Bodkin, the Executive Director of Rites of Passage, and lives in a rural intentional community in Northern California.
Linda Sartor holds a Ph.D. in Integral Studies and an M.S. in environmental education, and is a faculty member in the Master's in Leadership Program at St. Mary's University. She has been guiding programs for Rites of Passage since 1997, having trained with Rites of Passage and the School of Lost Borders. Linda has spent time in Sri Lanka as part of the Nonviolent Peace Force, a group of 18 internationals chosen to provide a protective presence to support civil society and to establish and maintain peace and justice. With a passion for collaboration, Linda works toward facilitating groups with the intention that each individual member bring forth his/her own contribution in service of the group's purpose as well as having the group support its individuals in their unique purposes.
Munro Sickafoose is a husband, father, whitewater river guide, and ceremonial leader. He has been deeply involved with indigenous earth–based ceremonies for many years, trained as a vision quest guide at the School of Lost Borders, and has been leading groups and individuals in the wild since 1996. He is also a facilitator in the Way of Council, having trained at the Ojai Foundation. One of the founders of a men’s community in Portland, Oregon, Munro currently serves as the Netkeeper for the Wilderness Guides Council, an international organization of rites of passage guides. With his wife, Susanna, he teaches couples to use Council for sacred relationship communication.
Dashielle Vawter is an aspiring singer, trained Minister through the Center for Sacred Studies, certified Facilitator through the Community At Work, and a NOLS trained girly Mountain Guide who has organized and guided dozens of back-country backpacking trips. Five years ago, during her time mountain guiding, she came across the Vision Quest ceremony and fell in love. Her own experiences questing have been key in her process of transformation and healing, and she has seen this happen for many others during her work as a guide. The Vision Quest, specifically as held by Rites of Passage, is a ceremony that she has the utmost respect for and trust in. She feels honored to do this work and to witness people reaching out and taking hold their lives in this way. While Dashielle has walked many paths and apprenticed in a wide variety of disciplines, she always returns to this prayer/question: who in this moment, historical and personal, is my most authentic self? How can I more truly love and serve what is real and true this moment in others and the world?