About School of Lost Borders

For over 40 years, the School of Lost Borders has provided vision fasts, guide trainings, and other programs that offer initiatory, transformational experiences to those seeking growth, insight, and restoration. Our participants are of various ages, lifestyles, and cultures.

Our headquarters are in Payahuunadü, also known as the Owens Valley in California, which is ancestral and contemporary land of the Nüümü and Newe people. Our courses expand from the deserts of California, New Mexico, and Arizona, to the Rocky Mountains, to diverse landscapes across continents. Please visit our Cultural Relations page for more information about the School's commitment to regenerative relationships with people and place.

The School of Lost Borders has an organizational model of representational governance that incorporates guides, administration, and Board perspectives in its decision-making and evolving vision.

The School resides in the living room of each guide and on the land of each basecamp.

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Our Roots reach back to the civil rights and environmental movements of the 1960's which called out the need for initiated adults and elders. This led Steven Foster and Meredith Little to reintroduce modern day nature based rites of passage.

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We deeply trust the wisdom of the land, the ceremony, and the innate beauty and wholeness of every human. Our nature based initiation ceremonies and programs support profound transformations individually and collectively.

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We believe in generosity and accessibility. Thanks to our donors, not a single person is turned away for lack of funds. Please support our efforts to offer programs and trainings to everyone called to this ceremony. Donate today to continue the legacy of the School of Lost Borders.

ADMINISTRATION

TESS HOWELL

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Tess Howell (she/her) is Operations Manager at the School of Lost Borders. Tess has been managing not-for-profit organizations for the last 17 years. She is skilled at shape-shifting between the realms of accounts, business planning, policies & procedures -and- those of community, contribution and moving with mystery of life. Tess is also an accredited 5 Rhythms Teacher who specializes in dancing outdoors; a Soma Source movement based Rites of Passage Guide; a Spirit Rock trained dharma & yoga facilitator and a Buddhist Eco-Chaplain. Tess is UK born and now lives in Northern California (indigenous Coastal Miwok territory). Tess relishes and cherishes space, sky, sea and stillness. She finds refuge in dance, the dharma, badass basslines and beautiful boots. Tess is delighted to be supporting the School in offering its heart-felt and much needed work in the world.

JO BOTELHO

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Jo Botelho (they/she) serves as the School’s Accounts Administrator & Operations Assistant. A mother, multidisciplinary creative, passionate advocate, and lifelong student, Jo brings with them over ten years of administrative and management experience. Making home and cultivating community in Payahuunadü, the "land of the flowing water" and traditional, ancestral, & contemporary lands of the Nüümü and Newe people, Jo is always remembering their deep belonging and connectedness to the land and its beings.  A knowledge keeper of birth, life, and death, Jo acknowledges the deep importance of rites of passage, ceremony, and ritual. With an open heart and their Indigenous ancestors at their side, Jo is active in dismantling systems of oppression, decolonization, and nourishing cultural relevance and remembrance - to move towards a more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive way forward. Jo lives in support of regenerative work that brings essential and soulful practices back to all beings.

BOARD

KATIE TEAGUE

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Katie Teague (she/her) is an award winning documentary filmmaker, timelapse photographer and somatic-based philosophical life coach. She’s an eclectic mystic philosopher with a Masters degree in Depth Psychology. Katie has followed the jagged arc of a destiny path that eventually led her to fasting with the School of Lost Borders and assisting in the month long training in 2021. Katie’s play/work lies at the intersection of digital sovereignty, conflict transformation, regenerative storytelling and sense-making for the emergence of a prosocial, thrivable world space.

KEN CROCKER

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Ken Crocker (he/him) has been concerned about and addressing climate change for 20 years through serving as a board member for the GeosInstitute.org, including 18 years as the board chair.  The Geos Institute helps communities nationwide build resilience in the face of climate change using a holistic approach that prioritizes the needs of ecosystems and those on the frontlines of climate change impacts.  Ken has been active in his local community through a number of activities, including restorative justice work with boys and young men who have been convicted of crimes (resolvecenter.org) and using the power of personal stories to develop and foster community, connection, and healing (theHearthCommunity.com).  He has also worked with families and organizations as a mediator, organizational consultant, trainer and facilitator. Ken has been involved in the work of the School of Lost Borders since 2108 when he participated on his first course.  He has since participated on three courses and been an assistant guide on five more.  While he had an earlier career in high tech, his most rewarding has been as a stay at home dad for his two daughters who are now amazing young women.  

SELENE FOSTER

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Selene has an MFA from Mills College in Oakland and has spent the last 20 years working for arts and arts education non-profits, most recently as the contemporary art curator for the city of Palo Alto. She has also directed her own art and science non-profit, bringing the work of artists and scientists together in San Francisco. Her current position is as mother to six and four year old humans, a grumpy chinchilla, and various other creatures able to cling to life on the volcanic tableland where we have staked a claim. As the daughter of Meredith Little and Steven Foster (founders of the School) she has spent a significant amount of time in the wilderness, much of it alone, and is deeply in awe of how transformative such a simple act can be.