Queer Youth and Girls
Rites of Passage
~a coming-of-age journey in nature~
Explore your inner wisdom, passions and creativity through daily practices of meditation, journaling, art, solo time in nature, games and horse play.
2022 Rites of Passage Camp details
Ages: 13 years+
Capacity: 16 campers
Tuition: $1,000 (base rate), $1,300 (restoration rate)
LGBTQIA+ identified youth and girls ages 13-18 are invited to spend a week on a journey of self-discovery in nature. This life-changing week will include solo time for reflection, sharing in group council and ceremony. We will learn how plants and animals are our allies as we walk the land, discover more about ourselves and our place in the natural world.
This program will meet you where you are in your journey, whether you are just stepping into your teen years and making the transition from child to teenager, or are embarking on the adventure of adulthood. For those who have attended Ekone Summer Camp for years and feel a deep connection to Ekone land and horses, this will be an opportunity to dig in and discover the heart of that connection. Ekone is a tremendously empowering environment for young people—this week, we'll place our focus on the lessons that the land and animals offer us as we grow into ourselves.
We'll develop new relationships with our horse friends, spending intentional time interacting with horses from the ground and allowing them to teach us about ourselves. While we won't be riding during this session, we can promise a powerful experience with these gentle teachers.
During this program, youth will spend a 24 hour period of time in solo reflection on the land. Rites of Passage programs traditionally offer the opportunity to fast from food, shelter and human contact. Staff will work with youth to identify which aspects of a traditional rite of passage will be appropriate for them, but all youth should expect to spend 24 hours in self-reflection (doesn't have to be quiet!).
Providing a space for queer youth and girls to experience a rite of passage together has been a dream since the beginning of Passage for Girls. And, past participants rave about Passage. Campers make deep friendships and experience an exciting new depth of community, sense of place, and self-awareness that is both FUN in the moment and can also ripple through the rest of your life. Many participants have returned year after year, embracing Passage as the ongoing process that it is. Whether you are brand-new to Ekone or have been coming for years, you will leave with a deeper understanding of yourself, a greater connection to the earth, and a new appreciation for the wisdom of horses.
Be prepared to laugh, grow, dive deep, and have tons of fun!!
If you haven’t already, please visit our main About Camp page
to get a feel for our camp philosophy, history and the scope the Ekone Summer Camp program
Please visit our Apply Here! page for information about applying for a space in summer camp and a link to our registration system.
Lead Staff for Passage
Evelyn first came to Ekone with her cousins and grandma when she was 8 years old and fell in love with the ranch. Since then she has made many valiant but failed efforts to never leave, as a camper, volunteer, and now as a staff member. Evelyn loves to do all the things from cooking, playing music, working with horses, and everything in between. She loves the friends and sense of self she has found at Ekone and hopes as a staff member she inspires and gives the same love and care to others. Evelyn is from Portland Oregon and attends Macalester College in St. Paul Minnesota. Their fav camp activities are writing silly camp songs, becoming friends with the horses, working in the garden, and stargazing.
Caitlin is excellent at making lists, keeping everyone organized, and nurturing Ekone Magic at camp.
Now our Camp Director, Caitlin has been coming to Ekone summer camps since she was 8 years old, and has grown into a strong and compassionate leader. She has ridden horses most of her life, and believes them to be some of the most wise and loving of all animals (especially Ekone horses). One of the things she loves most about Ekone is being able to ‘get back to basics’ and work with nature rather than against it. She is holds a degree in Social Work from New York University in New York City.
Caitlin says Ekone is a second home for her, somewhere she always feels welcome. Some of her favorite summer Ekone activities? “Helping campers improve their riding, throwing bales of hay, and seeing billions of stars every night!”
Kayla loves doing ALL OF THE THINGS!
Complete chance and pure intuition led Kayla to Ekone in the summer of 2021. She arrived as the garden intern on the record-shattering hottest weekend in the NW and hasn’t been able to keep her cool about how much she loves the ranch since! After staying on through the wildly fun and busy summer ’21 season she’s back again to get a dose of that Ekone magic everyone’s always talking about.
Kayla received her dual BS/BA degrees in telecommunications and sociology from the University of Florida in 2016, and hasn’t done anything remotely related since! She’ll be happy to share one (or all) of her tales of adventure over a meal at the YT, but loves more than anything hearing and collecting stories from everyone else who pops up throughout the summer. In fact, her absolute favorite part of Ekone is all of the amazing people it attracts and the stories they have to share.
It’s hard to say where the most likely place to find Kayla on the ranch is. She’s been known to go on early morning runs with Julia, get into all of the mischief with Adela, sing along out of tune to the Moon Song, hold meetings of the Tender Hearts Weeding Society in the garden with Michelle, Shampoothie in the bath house, stroll to Mizar’s Bluff with Caitlin, or maybe dig a grave in her spare time!
Morgan enjoys sharing her love of music and song as powerful tools for storytelling, for weaving community and for bringing joy.
Morgan first came to work at Ekone in 2014. Never having been to summer camp as a kid, she feels extra lucky to be living out the dreams of her 8 year old self by playing in the woods, riding horses all day, and singing songs at Ekone Ranch.
Morgan grew up riding any/all horses that she could climb on. When she was eleven, she and her mom adopted a wild Mustang and began the long process of training through building a relationship built on trust and communication. Along the way she discovered that horses ask humans to develop sensitivity, patience, empathy, self-confidence, and a leadership style that is both gentle and firm. Morgan holds a degree in Visual Art/Art Education from the Evergreen State College. When she's not at summer camp, she enjoys cultivating creativity in kids of all ages, writing and performing music, and traveling.
Her favorite Ekone activity: helping to facilitate relationships between kids and horses, and watching the magic that inevitably happens.
Ruby first came to Ekone Ranch for a horse camp in 2016 and after the first day, they knew that Ekone would always have a special place in their heart. They have returned every year since, first as a camper, then a youth volunteer and now as a staff member. Ruby lives for Ekone's camp community and is happiest when working alongside campers and staff. Ruby prides themselves on their attention to detail. You will often find them bustling around the ranch making sure everything is in order.
When not at Ekone, Ruby enjoys hiking, reading, and tending to their various farm animals.
Ruby is from Olympia Washington and will be attending Warren Wilson College starting fall 2022.
Ruby’s favorite camp activity is music night!
Charlene brings her love of nature and poetry and intuitive way of working to her programs at Ekone.
Charlene Ray has been a therapist, mentor, and guide for over 30 years. She has studied Alchemical Healing, guided imagery, voice dialogue, grief work, nature-based soul work, and vision quest work and blends all of the traditions and techniques, along with her intuitive and Spirit-led work, to create an individualized and powerful experience at Ekone. Along the way, she was called again to the ministry to serve the dying and the grieving. Charlene is also called to minister to the living, at points of transition and celebration, such as births, weddings, blessings, memorials, and rites of passage. For the past 13 years, she has led Passage groups for youth and since 2010 has led Vision Quests for youth and adults. One of the highlights of every year is Passage camp at Ekone.
Charlene loves life and enjoys spending time in nature, reading, writing in her journal, cooking, walking, traveling and spending time at Ekone!
Check out the the slideshow from Passage for Girls 2017!