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’s preparation to guide quests has included training with The School of Lost Borders, Animas Valley Institute, The Institute for Spiritual Development, Earth Island Expeditions (now MettaEarth Institute), and The Newfield Network. Fran is currently an intern in Clinical Pastoral Education at Havenwood Heritage Heights, in Concord, NH.
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. Fran 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 organizational consultant. Fran is a member of the Wilderness Guides Council.
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.