“Most spiritual life calls for times of sudden radical transformation brought about by powerful initiation and rites of passage. For modern young men and women this is a desperate need. If nothing is offered in the way of initiation to prove one’s entry into the world of men and women, it will be done unguided in the road or the street with cars at high speed, with drugs, with weapons.” ―Jack Kornfield, Crossroads
I woke up with anticipation. I was at ReTribe. I didn’t know what this day would bring but I knew that I would face great danger and risk everything, my life, or far worse the fate of my people. I ate a hurried breakfast and gathered my things before hurrying up to my hideout near the gazebo on the hill. As I crouched beneath the small canopy of trees I waited for the horn to blast and it all to begin again. I bided my time checking to make sure I was prepared for this perilous journey. I opened my satchel and rummaged through it all…truth potion, check…heal wounds, check…alchemist book of magic, check,…lastly, Garandel’s glowing eye, check… Reassured, I closed my pouch, drew my cloak around me to conceal me from any foe who may cross my path and sheathed my sword. I was ready. I could do this. Last night, I never thought it would come to this. That I, a mere alchemist, with little magic, the youngest and smallest of Lord Sean’s men, would carry the fate of the world…the fate of my people, of the Fae, and of the elven kingdom. I shivered, and looked down at my pouch where I concealed the dragon’s eye. The eye we had stolen from the dragon in the forest in the dark of the night; where three of my comrades had lost their life in battle. I must get the eye to the high Mage before the beasts find me. I knew I wouldn’t last the day. I knew I was no match for the beasts, but I must complete this final task before I died. The horn blew, once, twice, three times. I heard a rustle in the trees and pulled my sword, gripping it tightly with both hands.
At ReTribe the days are never ordinary. ReTribe is not an ordinary camp. It is a Rite of Passage experience. Through our unique programming, we are joining the 94% of cultures worldwide who have provided their youth with Rites of Passage experiences that assist in their growth from childhood to adulthood. Our process is built on the wisdom of these Rites of Passage ceremonies, worldwide and includes all of the same elements that lead to deep transformation.
Unlike the majority of cultures around the world, our modern day society lacks this crucial experience. Daniel Siegel, M.D., eminent psychologist and author of Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, says “In modern culture, our Rites of Passage are often missing or minimized in importance. We seem to have lost many of our communal and sanctioned ways of taking risks and acknowledging the transition from childhood to adulthood.”
At ReTribe, teens look deeply into themselves, and connect deeply with others. We use two very different retreat formats, both of which create a space for teens to experience non-ordinary states of consciousness that they so desperately seek through drug use and other dangerous means. In the safe and supportive community of mentors and elders, they can heal childhood wounds, learn to connect respectfully and deeply with others, explore issues around sexuality and gender, and begin to identify the unique gifts they have to offer the world.
Our two summer teen retreats are very different and thus attract teens with different interests.
For those who enjoy theater, fantasy, gaming, and wildly roaming the woods, our Adventure Game Theater retreat uses live action role playing and improvisational theater to enable teens to experience the sense of “danger” as they enact the part of heroes on important quests. (See story above from our past retreat.) It also allows the teens to let go of their everyday persona in order to try on new personalities as they discover who it is they want to become.
For those who prefer a more internal experience and aren’t as drawn to theater or role playing, but are attracted to nature connection, music, and spiritual/ transcendent experience our Inner Journeys retreat is a better fit. At Inner Journeys we use practices such as Breathwork, Meditation, Wilderness Solo, Trance Dance, Group Sharing, and Ceremony to enable teens to journey deeply within themselves and discover a whole new world of insight, memories and visions that they never realized was inside of them. This retreat is designed for a slightly older and more mature age group. As we go on internal journeys together, and celebrate together, we build a sense of trust unlike you can experience anywhere and strong long lasting friendships are formed.
Teens who have gone through our program have expressed that it’s the most fun they’ve had in their entire life. Teens will both go through deep healing and intense experience, and also have a blast. We have plenty of time to hang out, swim in the ponds, make music and poetry, cook, journal, hike, play capture the flag with foam weapons, have dance parties, and hang out in puppy piles.
ReTribe is a community with a culture that is intentionally created based on open acceptance of all, including our differences, our weaknesses and our strengths. It is a place where we can all belong. Come join us. For more information you can visit www.ReTribe.org, email ReTribetransformation@gmail.com or call 802-371-5027.