About Rites of Passage
Rites of Passage (ROP) is a ceremony that marks the transition from a phase of life into another. There are many thresholds, endings and beginnings that we pass through in our lives, but there are just a few major ones that have been marked throughout human history as a true ROP, such as: birth, adulthood, marriage, and death.
Traditionally, one of the Rites of Passage that many of our ancestors and indigenous peoples went through was to mark a coming of age - from child to adult. An adult was someone who knew their traditions, their culture’s stories, and knew their purpose and place in their village. Yet in today’s villageless culture, we have an increasingly long phase in-between called, adolescence, which offers no guarantee that we will become true adults who know their place in the world.
Because of the times we live in, we have found that it takes an ongoing, intentional container and mentorship to prepare for a true ROP or initiatory experience. At the request of our participants and families, our preparatory programs start during the children’s golden years of 10-11 (in most cases) and continue through the turbulent waves of adolescence. Our work is to prepare our youth for a ROP when their individual time comes.
We are educators and ceremonialists trained in soul-centric human development, Rites of Passage through the School of Lost Borders and SOMA Source, wilderness education, and most importantly (we believe), are fortunate to be guided by the wisdom of our elders who have walked before us in this work.
Meet our Guides…
JOHANNAH REIMER - Director & Girls Group Leader
Johannah is a Waldorf certified teacher, ceremonialist, teen mentor, and artist of many trades. Johannah has been working with children of all ages for over 15 years and holds a particular passion for tweens/teens and meeting their developmental needs for mentorship and initiation in a culture that has forgotten how to do so.
An apprentice of visionaries: Sage Hamilton and Melissa Michaels of SOMA Source, Johannah has worked for many years as a Waldorf teacher under the guidance of her elder Sage, and as an embodied leader for international youth in movement based Rites of Passage with Golden Bridge.
For more info visit: www.visionsofjohannah.com
DUSTIN BIONDI - Boys Group Leader
Dustin is natural-born enthusiast and lifelong student of the Natural World. Dustin’s initiation into supporting others ensued from countless hours of primitive skills and hunting, as well as his deep spiritual inquiry within the deep forests of Pennsylvania at a very young age. These initiatory experiences truly raised him and have guided him into becoming the Nature-Based Mentor, Teacher, Life Coach, and Wilderness Guide that he is today.
Dustin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology and Engineering and has been trained by the School of Lost Borders in Rites of Passage and Wilderness Coaching from the Earth based Institute. Additionally, Dustin is a Wilderness First Responder.
Meagan Chandler - Girls Group Leader
Meagan is an expressive arts educator, and performance artist. She has travelled the world pursuing her interests in music, movement, and service to community and the next generation of youth.
Her studies and experience include Estill Voice Training™, Jazz, Western Classical, Pop, Spanish Flamenco, Arabic, and many other styles of ethnic music. Her other intensive studies have been in theater, playwriting, and various martial art forms. Meagan has studied Rites of Passage with Melissa Michaels and is certified through Soma Source®. She is also a professional performer and recording artist, and offer therapeutic and creative voice sessions to youth and adults across the United States.
Sage Hamilton - Elder
Sage has been devoted to cultivating a soulcentric community through education and the expressive arts for over four decades. A true elder and wise woman, she is our deepest resource for the work we do with our children.
A deeply seasoned educator from both the public school and Waldorf world, she now runs her own homeschool program inspired by Nature’s “Wheel of the Year” curriculum and the healing power of theater and the expressive arts. Sage has been facilitating women’s group, and previously girls groups for over 20 years to provide opportunities for women and girls to to know herself better thus cultivating skillful means at conflict resolution and right relationship with others and the world.
Gratitude for Our Teachers:
We bow deeply with our hearts full of gratitude for the wisdom and sparks of inspiration that have deeply informed our work from our mentors, teachers, and wisdom holders:
Sage Hamilton - Gateway Apprenticeship
Stephen Jenkinson - The Orphan Wisdom School
Melissa Michaels - SOMA Source & Golden Bridge
Bill Plotkin - Animas Valley Institute
Jon Young - 8 Shields
School of Lost Borders