Wilderness Vigil 

Aug 23-Sept 1, 2020

Cortes Island, BC
Unceded traditional territories of the Klahoose, Tla’amin, and Homalco First Nations

REFUNDS/CANCELLATION DUE TO COVID-19: We have re-scheduled the program to Aug 23-Sept 1 due to the pandemic. If we need to cancel, you will have the choice of 1) a full refund or 2) to defer your deposit to a following year and be guaranteed early bird pricing for that year. Organizing this program takes great time and effort, so we appreciate deferments to minimize uncompensated administration work. Thank you for considering deferment and contributing to the long-term sustainability of this deep work.












“The experience changed my life, strengthening my sense of self and well being. I felt held, seen, and guided to find my deepest truth. I plan to do it again.” Lisa Hartley

  • Step onto the land and into yourself

  • Surrender to the wisdom of nature

  • Reconnect to your innate vitality

  • Embody soul-rooted resilience and purpose


Often referred to as a vision quest, this Wilderness Vigil is a decolonial, respectful approach to personal and community land-based ceremony. Spend 10 days, including 3 days & nights in solitude on the land, listening to the language of the Earth and awakening the gifts that are uniquely yours to bring forth in this world. If you feel a longing to find direction, make a decision, feel grounded & resourced in yourself, or honour a big life transition, please consider joining us.  This is a time of remembering what matters - a time of slowing down and coming home to ourselves, community, and the more-than-human world. Together with Nature we co-create and collaborate.


Seeking purpose by spending ceremonial time alone in the wilderness is an ancient practice in many cultures. In choosing to set aside your material life of food (by fasting*) and things for 3 days and nights, you are choosing to understand what soulfully or spiritually nourishes you. You are choosing to know your own resilience.


“I had been drawn to do this for years but never felt confident about where or how to begin. Daniella and Elisa held such a beautiful and supportive container for this deep process - they provided exactly what I needed to be able to say yes to this calling. Months later, I still feel the gifts of that time emerging and unfolding within me.” Danielle Bowersock


You will be guided to prepare for your wilderness vigil. When we gather, the first 4 days will be a process of releasing our daily lives and stepping into Mystery through nature connection, group sharing, and ceremonies. Suggestions for personal ceremonies during your fast will also be offered. Your fast - three days and nights alone on the land - happens on days five to seven. Our final three days involve incorporation, harvesting and anchoring the wisdom of your journey so you return to your people embodied in your sacred revelations.


No experience necessary; minimum age 19 years old.


Participants are responsible for their own camping gear and food. Guidance on appropriate camping food will be offered upon registration. We will provide a basic camp kitchen- stove, pots, and basic utensils. Additional details (eg. packing list) will be included in the preparation materials sent out after registration.

*Fasting during your solo time is a personal and possibly significant choice.  Overall, we encourage you to consider what best serves you and your intentions for this ceremony.


Program Dates: Aug 23-Sept 1 2020, start & end in the afternoon 

Location: Cortes Island, BC

Fee: Early bird $1000-$1200 until May 23; $1200-$1500 sliding scale after May 23. We trust people will pay what they can and what they believe is the value of this meaningful endeavour. Paying $1000 gives us an income below Vancouver's living wage; $1500 provides us with a living wage income. Please send a non-refundable deposit of $300 upon registration and the remaining balance by Aug 1st. Payment plans are available.

Camping Fee: by donation to the Children's Forest and the Klahoose Nation, due Aug 1st 

Registration: Deadline is July 15. This program is facilitated by Fresh Air Learning's teachers independent of our organization. Registration and payment will be organized directly by our teachers. Please send $300 non-refundable deposit via e-transfer to elisa.naturework@gmail.com.  

Questions?: Please email Elisa at elisa.naturework@gmail.com or call 604-312-0063.

This work is primarily based on training from the School of Lost Borders which was founded by Stephen Foster and Meredith Little in 1981. The School of Lost Borders was conceived as the first training facility in the methods and dynamics of contemporary initiatory experiences in the wilderness. The School offers nature-based personal development programs and invites participants to add their unique selves & backgrounds through self-generated ceremony and trusting their own wisdom. 


We acknowledge that this program is offered on unceded, traditional First Nations territory that was unrightfully taken from the Klahoose, Tla’amin, and Homalco Nations. Doing nature-based work on unceded, traditional Indigenous land is complex, and we are committed to a social and ecological justice framework in our programs including building relationships with the Indigenous peoples on whose land we work. We are engaged in the process of decolonization and reconciliation, and the ongoing journey of doing this work in a responsible way. All humans have a right to relationship with nature, and we do our best to facilitate this connection while maintaining respectful relationships with the First Nations of those lands. 


Your Facilitators 


                                                                   Elisa Lee, M.A., has been promoting personal development in collaboration with nature                                                                      for the past 15 years. She is a specialist teacher in ecological education, a self-care                                                                              facilitator, and a women’s rite of passage guide. Elisa draws on teachings from Joanna                                                                        Macy, Animas Valley Institute, The School of Lost Borders, The Haven, Nonviolent                                                                                Communication, and her personal sacred experiences in the wild. She holds a Masters                                                                      degree in Environmental Education with a focus on women’s rites of passage. She is the                                                                    founder and lead guide of Fire & Flower, a coming-of-age mentorship and rite of                                                                                  passage organization for girls.


                                                                   Daniella Roze des Ordons, M.Ed., specializes in ecopsychology and transformative                                                                              ecological education. She is a teacher and curriculum designer at Fresh Air Learning                                                                            Elementary, and the founder of Thriving Roots Wilderness School. Daniella holds a                                                                              Master of Contemplative Education and a diploma in Applied Psychology and                                                                                        Counseling. She has done extensive training through The School of Lost Borders,                                                                                Animas Valley Institute, The Haven, Wilderness Awareness School, and The Living Wild                                                                        Project. Daniella is committed to building a life-sustaining world, fostering resilient                                                                              culture, and supporting others on the courageous journey of whole-hearted living.







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