What is the Teen Quest?
During this week, teens will each prepare for and experience a personal Quest of 2-4 days. On the final morning, all questers will come together to process their own quest and also share it with the other teens who have quested.The Quest Experience with COTEF;
As children grow up they need some kind of passage into adulthood and
they also need some time to focus on what is authentic to themselves. Tom Brown Jr. wants to see us giving children
a “Visionary” experience, where they can tap into what their heart is telling
them from a pure place. This Quest
experience will be unlike any other program out there because it is coming from
a place of Vision. Part of this will be like a “Rites of
Passage” and part like a “Vision Quest”. In many ways our programs in general are a rite of passage; making fire
or sleeping out in a debris hut can be viewed as a rite of passage. Teens will benefit from council with adults experienced in facilitating the vision quest and discussions with the other teens who have joined them on this journey.
Our recommendation if you are thinking of attending the quest is to have a regular sit spot close to your house, even if it is only 5 or 10 minutes a day. You can get a feel of the quest by doing a sit spot and know more if this is something you are ready for. We will also be sending out a list for preparation once you register for the quest.General Information on the Quest;
The Quest in its outward appearance is simple; it’s a time for solitude in nature. The quester selects an area, approximately a 10 foot circle, in which they commit to staying for the duration of the Quest. Only the necessities of survival are taken including sleeping bag, clothing, water, and for our youth questers, minimal food. The time in the Quest is without the distractions of doing things- no books, journals, games and other entertainment. The time is spent being open and aware of the world around us and inside of us. The Quest that we will run is in the structure passed down from Stalking Wolf to Tom Brown Jr. It is not based on any one culture or religion and is therefore open and beneficial to all.Why Quest?
Throughout time, most cultures have used some sort of quest experience to help people better understand themselves, their place in the world and their spiritual life. The benefits of the Quest are many. Some may think it is about some grand vision that will tell us what we are to do with our lives, but in reality, it is what we learn about ourselves, it is the personal healing that takes place and the understanding and connection to the Earth and to the Creator that we gain that provides the framework for us to choose how to best use our gifts in the world. The experience is profoundly transformative. Imagine your teen facing their upcoming years after dedicating this time to understanding themselves in this way. The confidence, understanding and connection to their spiritual existence will impact every decision they make in their formative years.How do I know if my teen is ready?
Everyone, no matter what their age, will face fears about doing a Quest. It is unknown territory. Will I be able to face the boredom? The dark? The hunger? The animals? The unknown? Each person will face something that frightens them and one gift of the Quest is the experience of facing these fears. One way you’ll know your teen is ready is when the allure of the adventure and what the Quest will bring to them outweighs their resistance to these fears. We will provide ideas about how your teen can best prepare for the Quest before arriving and we’ll spend a great deal of time during the week before the Quest helping your teen to prepare for the experience. It is impossible to fail at a Quest. Even if the quester spends only a short time in the Quest and chooses to come out early, if properly processed, they will find they learned a great deal in a short period of time. If your teen feels called to try, it can only be a positive experience.Will we be safe?
The Children of the Earth will have staff trained in the running and protection of Vision Quests. As part of this process there are means to communicate needs and get help in emergencies. Questers will be out on the camp property, close enough to get help and a group of dedicated volunteers will constantly be watching over this area and be available to help if any need arises.
Why food on the Quest?
Traditionally the Vision Quest is a time of fasting. By removing food, we remove the distraction of the preparation and consuming of food. A fast also helps cleanse the body which supports the work of the Quest. For our youth participants we will be providing some food for the Quest. Young bodies are growing and need to keep some nutrition coming into them. The food we provide, however, will be simple and designed to provide as little distraction to the experience as possible.
What if I’m not sure?
The decision to Quest is a big decision and can bring up all kinds of questions and roadblocks. If you have any questions, have special concerns such as medical conditions or just want to talk more about the what the experience would be please feel free to call and speak with us.
How will we prepare for the Quest?
Once you’ve signed up for the Quest, we will send further
information about what you can be doing now to prepare for the experience this
summer. Our goal is to provide you with as much as we can for your preparations
now and just before the Quest so that you will get the most benefit possible
from your experience.
What if my teen has special medical needs?
We can work with most any medical condition if we have advance notice. The Quest can be modified in any way to make it a safe experience for everyone. This may mean providing daily medications, having walkie talkies for emergency communication or any number of considerations. Please contact our staff to discuss any special considerations well in advance of he Quest.