Vision & Mission
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…..
Support the future of rites of passage
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
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.
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 Kinde Nebeker, grateful to serve this beautiful mission and people. The combo of being a guide and teacher/trainer immersed in group and community facilitation, feminine leadership principles, and organizational development culminate in this wonderfully creative partnership as co-netkeeper.
Kinde is a wilderness rites of passage guide and Integral Coach. She found the Wilderness Guides Council, her soul family, at the International Gathering in 2006 and has been serving in various capacities of the organization ever since. Kinde is passionate about the potential power that authentic rites of passage can have on how we treat the earth and how we create our cultural systems, from education to economics. When people realize they are more than a body, and that there are mysteries and depth beyond what they’ve been taught, it opens everything up. Kinde is joyful to be co-Netkeeper of this quiet but radical organization, working with Christi to support the guides that are out there changing the world!
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: Lauren Bond, Cate Burnett, Christiane Frischmuth, Micah Hammond, Jesse Sullivan, James Mahoney