Our Guides

We are an interconnected circle of guides who share a deep respect for the land, human nature, ceremony, and each other. We extend this same respect and caring to each person who feels the call to join us in ceremony. We take the role of guide seriously. We are not gurus or healers; we are skilled midwives in supporting the natural transitions and initiations of living and dying. Our teachers are the land, the ceremony itself, and each person bold enough to step across the threshold into the unknown and into their true nature.

FOUNDER

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Meredith Little

Meredith Little (she/her) and her husband Steven Foster co-founded Rites of Passage Inc. in 1976 and The School of Lost Borders in 1981, pioneering new methods and dynamics of modern pan-cultural passage rites in the wilderness and creating innovative practices of “field eco-therapy.” She has dedicated her life…

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CORE GUIDES

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Angelo Joseph Lazenka

Angelo Joseph Lazenka (he/him) began guiding vision fast in 1984 and often says that the work grew him up and now he is asking it to grow him down into the rich territory of elderhood. He began working as a guide with the School in 1993 and from 2003…

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Betsy Perluss

Betsy Perluss, Ph.D. (she/her), lover of landscape, story, and myth, grew up as a semi-feral child on Pimu (Catalina Island), where she was ignited with a passion for wild and unbounded places. She stumbled upon the School of Lost Borders in 1998 and since has been involved as…

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Emerald North

Emerald North, visionary, painter, sculptor, gardener and poet, brings years of vital and vibrant experience to the School of Lost Borders. She teaches from the depth of a full and rich life with humor, vision, and love. Emerald values the personal relationships that are forged through ceremony and…

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John Davis

John Davis (he/him) has been leading nature-based rites of passage and related programs since 1984. Over the years, his work in this area has taken various forms, including vision fasts for youth and adults, designing and directing a graduate program in ecopsychology that included wilderness intensives, writing both popular…

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Larry Hobbs

Larry Hobbs (he/him) has served in many ways. From a field biologist studying whales and dolphins, to a psychotherapist working with individual and family systems, to a teacher and naturalist leading wildlife trips worldwide, Larry came to Lost Borders to train and to guide vision fasts. Although still…

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Nancy Jane

Nancy Jane (she/her) is an educator, wilderness guide, and council facilitator. She began her study of wilderness rites of passage in 1981 and has been following this calling ever since. Nancy leads youth and adult vision fasts, has pioneered wilderness rites of passage in school settings, and currently guides…

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Pedro McMillan

Pedro McMillan (he/him) is a queer elder with more than 20 years of experience with rites of passage work. A father, grandfather and environmentalist since childhood, he became an early eco-entrepreneur, founding and running a green business for 26 years before leaving to focus on rites of passage work.…

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Petra Lentz-Snow

Petra Lentz-Snow (she/her) has been involved in vision fasts and wilderness rites of passage programs for more than 30 years. Guide, trainer and active steward of the School of Lost Borders, she served as Executive Director at LB for eight years and is a former Netkeeper for the…

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Ruth “Roo” Wharton

Ruth “Roo” Wharton (they/she), deeply rooted in earth, body, ceremony and a long lineage of guides from the School of Lost Borders, Ruth offers an abundance of love and fierce insight to those Ruth guides and mentors. Beginning to guide wilderness rites of passage at the age of…

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Scot Deily

Scot Deily LCSW, SEP (he/him) is an adoring husband, father and ceremonialist with an ear to the ground listening for what it means to be human in increasingly inhumane times. Scot brings care-filled levity to his commitment of creating safe havens for all peoples to courageously commune with mountains…

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Scott Eberle

Scott Eberle (he/him) has worked as a wilderness guide at the School of Lost Borders since 2003. While he guides an array of programs for the School, he has two special interests. The first is exploring how the symbolic death-and-rebirth dimension of the School’s ceremony is informed by his…

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Silvia Talavera

Silvia Talavera (she/her) has been a guide with The School of Lost Borders since 1993. She is a woman of versatility, passion, and humor, inspiring people towards self- empowerment. She brings to her work a nurturing insight, a deep compassion, a love of nature and teaches from the…

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Siri Gunnarson

Siri Gunnarson (she/they) was first called to Ceremony with the School in 2009 and was deeply moved by the sense of belonging and wholeness accessible through stripping down and coming into direct contact with the world. Siri apprenticed with Gigi Coyle and others, focusing on the youth programs and…

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Will Scott

Will Scott (he/him) is a life-long lover of the natural world and a dedicated student of the human-nature relationship. He has worked as a guide with Youth and Adult programs at Lost Borders since 2007, and has been a trainer with School since 2016. Will’s lineage comes primarily out…

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GUEST GUIDES

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Bettina Straub

Bettina Straub (she/her) is a creative and rooted Rites of Passage guide. She brings earth ceremony, body awareness, and mindfulness to her work. Counseling in her private practice, as well as teaching graduate students the basics of mindfulness, her intuitive approach is enriched by over 10 years of experience…

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Cate Burnett

Cate Burnett (she/her) has a deep and soulful connection to wild places and all those who live there. She is a naturalist, wildlife tracker and wilderness guide, having spent over 25 years leading expeditions in the Pacific North West and Hawaii. Her devotion to honoring the ‘wild and untamed’…

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Collin Brown

Collin Brown (he/him) is a seeker, healer, teacher, guide who has delved deeply into the mysteries of eros, love, death, and embodiment. His path has taught him to value and trust the wisdom and insight that come from experiential learning whether it’s in a classroom or out in the…

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Cynthia Morrow

Cynthia Eisho Morrow (she/her) is a life-long apprentice navigating wild landscapes, inner and outer.  She discovered the School of Lost Borders in 2003. Having grown up with grandparents who lived in the Owen’s Valley, the School and earth-based ceremony were a natural fit. Cynthia has been shaped by a…

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Gretchen (Grae) Gerlach

Gretchen (Grae) Gerlach (she/her) grew up in rural Montana, where she was raised as much by the wilderness as by her nature loving parents and horse ranching community. Inspired by the Rocky Mountains, glacier fed rivers, ancient forests, and creatures of her homeland she declared her life purpose…

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Marlena deCarion

Marlena deCarion (she/her) is a Professional Certified Coach, Faculty at the Co-Active Training Institute and a teacher of Mindfulness. Marlena’s passion for wilderness began as a child while backpacking with her father in the Sierras. As a former Outward Bound instructor and experiential educator, Marlena loves to create transformational…

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Nick LaHaise

Nick LaHaise (he/him) is a rite of passage guide, teacher, artist, and professional chef. He was called to rites of passage as a teenager, seeking to understand what it means to be a fully alive and initiated adult. He spent over a decade immersing himself in various rites of passage ceremonies and…

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Pınar Ateş Sinopoulos-Lloyd

Pınar Ateş Sinopoulos- Lloyd (they/them + he/him) is an Indigenous multi-species futurist, mentor, wildlife tracker and trans eco-philosopher. They along with their spouse are the co-founders of Queer Nature, an “organism” stewarding earth-based queer community through ancestral skills, interspecies kinship and rites of passage. Enchanted by the liminal, Pınar…

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Ray Hillis

Ray Hillis (he/him) has led and assisted fasts with the School of Lost Borders for the past few years. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from UCLA in 1968, recently retired from a lifelong career of teaching human development and counseling, and has had a psychotherapy practice (presently in…

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Sara Harris

Sara Harris (she/her) is a retired psychotherapist who now serves as a passionate guide and mentor. In 2003, she co-founded EarthWays LLC, a collective of guides in Sebastopol CA. Sara was deeply honored to serve the School of Lost Borders by being on the founding Board from 2007 to 2014. As…

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Stephan Pfannschmidt

Stephan Pfannschmidt (he/him) became a guide in his early 50s with all his passion, ambition and capacity. In the 1980s his mother Irmtraut Schaefer, a Jungian psychologist and one of the first Guides to bring Vision Fast to Germany, inspired him to visit Steven and Meredith in Big…

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Yamin Chehin

Yamin Chehin (she/her) is a Council trainer, facilitator, and doctor of Chinese Medicine, with intimate experience of nature-based practices that inform her work with clients and groups, and help to integrate the healing potential implicit in our stories and our bodies. She facilitates councils in English and Spanish (her…

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