Quotes AND STORIES
from participants, supporters, and others who inspire our work

I am more confident and can speak to my parents as equals with ease.
I feel seen and acknowledged for who I am.
— Aidan Braun, 2015 Young Men's Initiation Participant
I could not have understood nor even guessed at how incredibly powerful and transformational the vision quest would be for me.
— Greg Gums, 2010 Vision Quest Participant
I returned from the vision quest with a greater sense of my need for community, knowing my gifts, how I contribute, and a greater sense of my place in the world. I brought back to my community much more than I set out to find.
— Talicia Brown, 2010 Vision Quest Participant

Celebrate Grace
Vibrate Vulnerably
Admit your needs to nature
It's OK to have needs to nurture

Between two junipers
One old, one young
I sat
To become whole
Embrace drama-free peace
And powerfully channel
My energy into Goddess's Greatest Goodness
Now is the time she said

Honey stick begs
In boredom and fear
I must choose this life
Appreciate wonder
Both which is wild, sacred and urban, profane

Release toxins of all shields
Purify and rebalance them
By performing renewing ritual

I unsew a splinter from the bottom of my bare foot
Now there's new space to sew un-splintered sacrament

Like red dragonfly wisdom
 Be cheerful she said
Or black bat wisdom
  Dare to dart he said
Or yellow butterfly wisdom
  I'm still right here she said
All of them flying free

Ecstatically erect for the eclipse
Through vibrational osmosis
Recharged from above and below
the soil and my soul
down, too, in my bone marrow
All of us tremble
I weep and worship
at the moon's magnitude that
can cover the sun
when aligned with Purpose

  - Mattie Clark, 2017 Vision Quest Participant

My son participated in the Young Men’s Initiation in the summer of 2016 with Cascadia Quest. I cannot say enough good things about his experience and how it directly affected our whole family. He became more self regulated and motivated. He started to take his responsibilities around the house more seriously. He volunteered to help with cleanup after meals on a school retreat without being asked, and has been doing his home work without reminders. He has been more compassionate toward his brothers in his play with them. He bends for them, and genuinely has fun with them without the need to be the winner at everything.

Overall, I think his experience at the Young Men’s Initiation has guided him to become a more grounded and conscientious young man. It was a solid way to usher him into adulthood with a clearer purpose for him and his intentions to be a helpful human being. I highly recommend it to other families with young men in their care.
— Min Yi, Mother of a 2016 YMI participant
My family has had numerous experiences with this organization. Our first involvement was the Young Men’s Initiatory Retreat that my son participated in. He went for 10 or so days into the wilderness, went through a number of rites of passage type exercises, and did a solo 2 day vision quest. He came back from this absolutely on fire. He was ready to take life on in a bigger way than he ever had before. When we picked him up, he was just beaming. Since then, he has taken on more responsibilities and has an increased sense of well being and self-esteem.

My husband had the privilege of being in the Men’s Quest. Our son also chose to be an assistant for this quest and got to go with his father into the desert and help provide support for him on his journey. This was a most touching and heartfelt experience for them and for all of us that got to witness and hear about it. They both came back with wide open, loving hearts and a strong drive to bring healing and leadership to their communities and to the larger population.

My Vision Quest gave me a deep sense of connection with myself, with others, with nature and with the vast source of all these. The clarity that came out of this has returned me to my life with a greater sense of purpose and strength. Solo time in nature was a profound experience, one that brought a level of peace that I had never felt. I returned to my family and community with greater conviction that I wanted to contribute more deeply to others and to the environment.

Cascadia Quest has been immensely helpful to my family. It brought us all closer together and opened up meaningful lines of communication. We are stronger and kinder and are continuing our journey in providing help and support where we see it is needed. Cascadia Quest provides transformation on a personal level which then ripples out to create a positive and healthy climate in the world.
— Debra Braun, 2016 Vision Quest Participant

In Death, A Gift

A story by Alex Gateman

“Come,” said spirit.

“But where?” Asked the Quester.

“Come to the place where you will watch yourself die. Where the many masks you wear will be smashed, burned, buried and washed away. Come to the place where you strip yourself of the burdens of guilt, shame, judgement and pain. Where you can Be, just as was meant from the beginning of time. Purify yourself in my waters, cleanse your lungs with my air, bathe in the warmth of my light, dream under my stars. Release your anguish, for I am here to take it all. Give like you have never given before. Give me your troubles, your sorrows, your regrets and your fears. In return, a gift.”

“A gift? For my troubles, my sorrows, my regrets and my fears?” asked the quester.

“Indeed, the gift of death.”

“But why would I want to die?” asked the quester.

“So as to be reborn! A Phoenix from the ashes of your past.”

“But how will I do it?” Again, asked the Quester.

“Let go. Let go of that grip on what you think you know, plummet to the depths of your being, fall into the deepest, darkest corners of yourself and cast the light of love upon them. Accept your life for how it has been, give thanks for bringing you this far, and then… Say goodbye. As your hunger turns to prayer, you will find your way.”

“But what if my light is not strong enough?” Asked the quester.

"Seek with confidence Quester, for he who stands tall in the face of shadow and death, carries the light of the sun. Let go, young Quester, so that you may be born on the wings of the wind.”