Be Still. Listen. What in your life is calling you?
 Be Still.       Listen.       What in your life is calling you?

Fran Weinbaum has been guiding wilderness rites of passage and retreats since 1996.  Her growing commitment is to the weaving of soulful community in North Central Vermont through community-created and held ceremony including rites of passage.  


Fran has found that the essence of each teaching has been to listen “with the ears of your heart” to all that is speaking within and around you.  She trusts that the power, the beauty, and the authenticity of going out on the land and listening will bring people what they need to live their lives with deeper passion, meaning, and purpose.  Part of the purpose implicit within each person’s story is what is brought back to their most immediate relationships, to the work they do in the world be it paid or service, to their broader community, and increasingly, as a seed for cultural change that leads to human being and doing that is in balance with the Earth and the Other Than Human world.


A mother and grandmother, she lives in East Montpelier, Vermont, with her husband, Peter, balancing the tending of goats, garden, and hearth with work as a spiritual life coach and wilderness quest guide.  She trained with  The School of Lost Borders, Animas Valley Institute, The Institute for Spiritual Development, Earth Island Expeditions (now MettaEarth Institute), Naropa University Authentic Leadership, and The Newfield Network - Ontological Coaching. In the past two years, Fran completed one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education, End of Life Doula training and Hospice Volunteer Training. Fran is a member of the Wilderness Guide Council.  

Susan Atwood


Susan Atwood has guided for the Central Vermont Women’s Wilderness Quest since 2013. Her work in various capacities as teacher, mentor and guide has centered on helping people explore their edges with courage and curiosity, to “en-courage” all to connect with their deepest aspirations and interests. Enacting this work within the container of the natural world provides an opportunity to explore self beyond the influences and expectations of human community.


Susan has trained with Fran Weinbaum and with The School of Lost Borders. In 2015 Susan completed the Yearlong Soul-Craft Immersion Program with Animus Valley Institute led by Bill Plotkin and Geneen Haugen. She has a MA in Education with an emphasis on teaching writing and is currently enrolled in the Clinical Mental Health masters degree program at Northern Vermont University. Susan has been a student of Buddhism for twenty years, and she is a member of The Wilderness Guides Council.



Jen Boucher lives with her family in Northeast Vermont. For the last 20

years she has rooted herself deeply on the land - growing vibrant food on their homestead, watching the maple and ash trees (and so many others) grow larger in the forest, tending the cattle that graze the



Jen has been engaged with Central Vermont Wilderness Quest since it's first year in 2010 and acted as guide and participated in support roles through the years. She has felt the soul of the land enliven as the numbers of wilderness questers fasting on this land grows.Jen loves to bring song into this work to connect us all and to connect us more deeply to ourselves and to the land.



2020 - 2021

Mirror of Nature Programs 


Find details on the Program Page


The Embrace of Nature 


October 24 and 31, 10 AM - 12 Noon Eastern with preparation and follow up.  See Details under Programs.  


By Still Water   Cancelled.  Will schedule for Fall 2021 See description under programs.  With Fran Weinbaum   


Journeying with the Seasons  Four weekends throughout the year exploring ourselves in the mirror of each season.  We are revising this program to offer it virtually.  An informational meeting will be held in January 2021 and the program will begin in Spring 2021


Rooted Action 


Virtual Program Winter 2021

In Person  Summer 2021 




Contact Us

For information and to register for any Vermont Wilderness Rites Programs contact:


Fran Weinbaum

128 Bliss Road

Montpelier, Vermont 05602



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Art Credits


The art work and photographs that appear on this site are copyrighted. Please respect the work and the generosity of the artists and do not copy or reproduce any images on this website.  Contact the artist for more information about purchase or use of their work.  


Photograph in Rooted Action by Zach Reiner found at


Selections from Portraits of Nature by Corinna Stoeffl


Soaring and Leaping Ecstasy are by Jeannie Lindheim


Lady of the Land and Women in Leadership logo drawn for Vermont Wilderness Rites by Sara Grace. 


The Mirror of Nature watermark photograph by Tomasen Weinbaum.


Photographs shown in the Gallery from the October 2012 quest on Green River Reservoir by Arthur Hynes