We are a group of friends and colleagues who live in Central Vermont dedicated to helping others realize and
deepen their relationship to the natural world. We have been trained in Wilderness First Aid and in spiritual
cara barbero's connection to the central Vermont quest community spans the past
decade, and various roles: from a freshly hatched quester exploring new connections to self and place,
to sister, guide, and base camp holder, to their present role of co-creating land-based quest
opportunities for folx beyond the gender binary.
cara is, in words of self and others, a word-weaving, song-slinging, authentic relating, unfettered
moving, base camp logisticizing, hearth-protecting, queer connecting, conformity resisting, fire-tending
momma, grandi, of the land open-hearted wise human. Their work involves exploration of the four shields
and their connection to all aspects of life on this beautiful, treasured, weeping earth, while
respecting and honoring the indigenous occupants of this place, with historical and contemporary
cara views their connection to this work as a precious gift from the land and community, and sharing it
with others as an act of love.
In expectation of future offerings, cara is available to answer questions and share stories with anyone
interested in a community quest for folx drawn to a less binary framework. cara can be reached by email
Erik Gillard (also known as e-rok!) is an artist, activist, poet, storyteller and
wilderness guide living in the Western Abenaki homeland of central VT. For the past 5 years he has been
guiding community based wilderness fasts for men. Also a long time youth mentor and a naturalist, Erik
sees his guiding as part of the deep work to uproot oppression and domination while simultaneously
renewing connection to community.
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, the Animas Valley
Institute, The Institute for
Spiritual Development, Earth Island Expeditions (now known as the MettaEarth Institute), Naropa
University Authentic Leadership, and The Newfield Network - Ontological Coaching. Most recently, Fran completed
training in Clinical Pastoral Education (1 CPE), End of Life Doula, and Hospice. Fran is a member of the
Wilderness Guide Council.
Hannah Morgan has always felt a deep ache to belong to the plants and wild places. As
a mother, clinical herbalist, writer, organizer and wilderness guide she aspires to weave community
together around beauty, magic, healing and justice. Hannah lives with her husband, two young children
and beloved dog Freya, on a verdant homestead in the Western Abenaki territory of so-called Plainfield,
VT. Hannah has been a youth nature mentor for 15 years and is passionate about creating meaningful rites
of passage. She has been part of the Women's fast community since her first quest on the mountain
in 2014 and is grateful for her elders and mentors in this community who have held her as she has
stepped into a guiding role. To learn more about Hannah's work and read her blog you can visit rabbitwarrenherbals.com.
Janice Walrafen lives is a tall pine forest on the banks of the Winooski River in an
off grid cabin with her beloved dogs, ducks and geese, and sweetheart Jason Mallery, who is a guide for
the Men’s Quests. She is an artist, and community celebrate organizing seasonal celebrations with puppet
pageantry, and teaches art to people of all ages. She has been a co-guide in the CV Community Quests
since it first began in 2010.
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 fields.
Jen has been engaged with Central Vermont Wilderness Quest since it's first year in 2010 and acted
as a guide and participated in support roles through the years. She has felt the soul of the land
enliven as the number 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.
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 the Animus Valley Institute led by Bill Plotkin and Geneen Haugen. She has a MA in
Education with an emphasis on teaching writing and a MA in Counseling. She currently has a private
therapy practice in Central Vermont. Susan has been a student of Buddhism for twenty years, and she is a
member of The Wilderness Guides Council.