Vision & Mission

We believe that being in right relationship with the natural world has great healing and inspirational qualities. Our goal is to re-introduce and increase the accessibility of meaningful, earth-based rites of passage in our modern culture, as well as nature-based healing and educational programs.

Our Story

In 1988, twenty-six Wilderness Guides gathered for the first time at Saline Hot Springs in the Eastern Sierras. 

The invitation to “compare notes, entertain new ideas, speculate about the future and to relax in the company of friends and colleagues,”  came from Steven Foster, Meredith Little and Ron Pevny and was directed to individuals in the newly emerging field of the modern day vision fast.

Over 30 years later, our world has changed in a myriad ways. With the practice of rites of passage growing in the mainstream consciousness, new challenges arise asking our attention, vision, and discernment.

The WGC seeks to ask difficult questions and deeply engage with concerns such as diversity, culture, and what it means to reconnect with earth-based knowledge in a world where indigenous people have suffered greatly, and climate change decimates our more-than-human kin. We know that our work is in service of future generations.

Our network continues to be a vibrant home of learning, support, and dedication to the earth and all her people. We still gather yearly, have begun online gatherings and councils, and continue to amplify the messages we hear from the Earth. We continue to compare notes, share new ideas and relax in the company of friends…..

The second WGC Gathering at Ojai, California in 1989

Our Objectives


To expand networking opportunities to guides offering these programs, to deepen their expertise and professionalism and promote their work in the world.


To cultivate and support a diverse and engaged community of members who are supporting modern day wilderness rites of passage.


To foster an ethical and responsible relationship with the land, as well as the well being of all species and the earth.

Education & Outreach

By providing education and outreach to all peoples we make nature-based rites of passage and similar programs more available, accessible and affordable.

Share Information

To share information through our website, publications, annual gatherings, and other outreach.


To seek charitable donations and grants to support the objectives of the WGC and other networks and organizations with a shared mission.

Support the future of rites of passage

Our Ethics

Members of the Wilderness Guides Council have co-created a set of ethical guidelines to help uphold the integrity of our relationships to the earth and to one another. 

Member guides and organizations are encouraged to follow these ethical guidelines. Guides are invited to use our ethics statement below and to share it with potential participants. Please note this is a living document.

Diversity & Inclusion

We seek to create spaces that are welcoming, meaningful and inclusive for all people.
We recognize that it takes humility, deep dialogue, healing processes, and organizational systems that support values of true equity. We commit to this work, difficult conversations, ongoing education, self-reflection and organizational change to enhance accessibility and safety for all people, and participate in the transformation of racism, sexism, heterosexism, gender discrimination, religious discrimination, classism, and all forms of oppression. We seek intergenerational dialogue and the valuing of all life stages.
Explore how our J.E.D.I. Council and the WGC is actively participating in creating a more just, equitable, diverse and inclusive world. 

Our Team


The Netkeepers are selected by consensus at the in person gatherings every 4 years. Working closely with the Advisory council, they are tasked with caring for the health and wellbeing of the organization, fostering the network, and tending to the organizational mission and objectives.  The current netkeepers stand on the shoulders of the netkeepers that have gone before.

Former Netkeepers: Marilyn Hendee (formerly Riley), Farion Pearce, Scout Tomyris, Munro Sickafoose, Petra Lentz-Snow, Jason Geoffrion, Kinde Nebeker.

Christi Strickland


Christi fell in love with wilderness rites of passage work in 1998 when she took a course that was a joint effort between Naropa University and the School of Lost Borders. Within a few years she had taken a deep dive into the work and managed to wander into a WGC gathering, showing up in the desert with a backpack on – kindly welcomed, yet with no clue how to be helpful.  20+ years later, she is the Co-Netkeeper with Micah Hammond, grateful to serve this beautiful mission and people. The combo of being a guide and teacher/trainer immersed in group and community facilitation, living systems leadership principles, and organizational development culminate in this wonderfully creative partnership as co-netkeeper.

Micah Hammond


Micah has been a member of the WGC since 2014 and part of the guiding community since 2007. Her experience includes workshops on the four shields of illness and grief, guiding vision fasts, working as a therapist in a wilderness therapy program, being the executive clinical director of an eating disorder treatment program, and most recently, facilitating nature-based therapy through her psychotherapy practice in the Santa Cruz mountains of California. It is when she mirrors stories that she feels most alive and knows this is what she has to offer her community. Micah is stepping into the role of Co-Netkeeper with a deep desire to listen to the needs of the community, to co-create tangible ways of supporting our members, and to weave together a deeper sense of belonging in the WGC. 

Advisory Council

The Advisory Council works alongside the Netkeepers to hold the mission and vision of the organization throughout the year. They are a hard working council that tends to the financial health through fundraising and approving the budget, helping organize the Gatherings and Virtual Basecamps, supporting the various organizational councils, and meeting regularly to insure we are aligned with the needs of our members. The Advisory Council listens to the voices of the people, the earth and our world to try and guide the organization in a good way. Thank you Advisory Council!

Current Advisory Council Members: Cate Burnett, Trebbe Johnson, Micah Hammond, Jesse Sullivan, James Mahoney, Scott Lawrance, Deb Curtis, Jess Kovach, Robin Brodsky.