Who We Are

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 midwifery.

cara barbero
cara barbero

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 awareness.

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 at whitepinebasket@gmail.com.

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cara barbero

Eric Gillard
Eric Gillard

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.

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Erik Gillard

Fran Weinbaum
Fran Weinbaum

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.

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Fran Weinbaum

Hannah Morgan
Hannah Morgan

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.

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Hannah Morgan

Janice Walrafen
Janice Walrafen

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.

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Janice Walrafen

Jen Boucher
Jen Boucher

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.

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Jen Boucher

Susan Atwood
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 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.

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Susan Atwood

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