When I’m here I feel like there is no pressure to be pretty or anything. This is a community that I can always trust.

– Rite of Passage Participant

Gaia Passages FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Read more about our COVID-19 Health and Safety PROTOCOLS.

You can also watch a video explaining the protocols here

Are all instructors First Aid/CPR certified and background checked?

Yes. There are several organizations through which our guides become First Aid/CPR Certified, and one of them is Bay Area CPR: Safety Training Seminars provides American Heart Association CPR, BLS, ACLS, PALS in the SF Bay Area.  www.bayareacpr.org

 

Where do the groups meet?

Exact locations are TBD depending on permitting and availability. Locations of groups also may change so that students can learn about different ecosystems. The lead guide for the group will send out a schedule that includes locations once the group has a confirmed start date.

  • East Bay groups typically meet in Berkeley and Oakland parks for afterschool gatherings (ex: Live Oak Park, Berkeley, Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland)
  • Marin groups typically meet in the San Rafael / Fairfax area (ex: China Camp, San Rafael, Lake Lagunitas, Ross)
  • Peninsula groups typically meet in Kenwood area (ex:  Sugarloaf Park, Kenwood)

 

What are the schedules / dates for the groups?

Groups typically meet afterschool from 4-6:30pm weekdays and on Saturdays (10am-2pm Wildflowers, 10am-4pm Rite of Passage)

 

Note on built in alternate days: 

Days marked as alternate in the schedules are extra days that we have added in case we need to reschedule. Reasons for rescheduling might include excessively wet weather, smoky air from fires, and/or possible exposure from one of our group to COVID-19. 

 

What is the difference between the after school groups and the custom mentoring option? 

  • Afterschool groups currently have a ratio of 6:1 students per instructor. They meet on scheduled days and times and follow our Gaia Passages curriculum
  • Custom groups can have 1-4 students with any age range. Families interested in starting a custom group can determine the best timing and frequency of the group (during the day, afterschool, weekends etc) and also share about what types of skills and practices they would like their children to learn. You can fill out a custom mentoring form here.

 

I am interested in starting a new group for my child and some friends. What are the steps?

  1. Visit our Custom Mentoring page to learn more about what we can offer. 
  2. Fill out our Custom Mentoring Interest Form
  3. If forming a group, reach out and confirm interest with other families so that when we reach back out to you, we can all easily coordinate communication and planning.  

 

What is expected for parent/caregiver participation in groups?

We ask that each caregiver sign up for at least 1-2 days to be the on call person in the unlikely event of a physical/emotional emergency during one of our gatherings. We ask that on the day that you volunteer you commit to being within 5-10minutes of the site where we are gathered, and have your cell phone with you and the volume turned on at all times.

Explanation of Tuition

Our programs are priced through a tier system. Read more about our pricing and tuition tiers here. 

 

Scholarships 

Gaia Passages’ goal is to turn no one away for lack of funds. We do provide scholarships and work-trade positions. These are available based on the dynamic and fluid needs and abilities of Gaia Passages as an organization. You can find more information on our scholarships here (scroll down to the purple box on the right). To access our scholarship and work-trade application form, click here

 

Refund Policy

Read our Refund Policy here.

What is covered in the curriculum for groups? 

Our curriculum covers four Central Social Emotional Learning (SEL) themes as well as Nature Connection themes / skills (outlined below). You can also watch a video explanation of our curriculum elements here

Four Central Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Curriculum Themes:

  • Personal Identity and Ancestry
  • Self Awareness, Literacy and Resiliency
  • Puberty, Sex, and Gender – Body, Heart, Mind Changes
  • Society / Cosmology / Social and Environmental Justice

Nature Connection Curriculum Themes / Skills:

  • Firemaking and Carving
  • Tracking and Bird Language
  • Plant Identification and Wild Harvesting
  • Herbal Medicine Making
  • Earth Based Crafts (basketry, beading, weaving, etc.)

 

What is a Rite of Passage experience?

A rite of passage experience is a 3 year journey from 6-8th grade we have developed to support and honor the growth and development of youth from childhood into adolescence. The rite of passage years build and deepen many of the same nature connection and social emotional skills that are covered in the Wildflower (elementary age) groups. Each year we prepare the participants for different group and solo challenges that support them to explore their edge of growth and honor and mark the transitions happening for them personally. The challenges often involve learning how to be in the dark, being able to make and tend a fire without supervision, and using natural navigation as a team to build collective leadership and decision making.

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