Episode 18: Pete Young


It is a goal of this podcast to extend understanding of Holistic Education beyond schools—holistic, alternative, homeschooling, or others. To that end our podcast today centers on a remarkable organization dedicated to Rites of Passage, a great and mostly ignored holistic learning opportunity. Pete Young is the designer of the Raven weekend, a Rite of Passage for children between 9 and 12. In existence for 10 years, Pete has recently pioneered a coed Rite of Passage using the Raven format. It is, to our knowledge, the first intensive coed Rite of Passage.

Pete has travelled an unusual path to becoming one of the most creative leaders in the field. Of course it starts and is continually nourished by Pete’s intense desire for self-knowledge and the awakening of consciousness. The led to two critical engagements—the Mankind project and Natural Learning Relationships. Mankind put Pete in touch with coming-of-age Rites of Passage for young men as well as a community dedicated to self-growth. Natural Learning Relationships gave Pete the understanding of how children organize their world and the structure and dynamics of Rites of Passage.

There are those people who engage Natural Learning Relationships and just get it. The appreciation of a child’s consciousness—of how they see and organize their world—clicks with their intuitive and experiential knowledge of themselves and the children in their lives. Often they become Natural Learning Relationships enthusiasts and apply it in their homes, life and schools. Pete became a Natural Learning Relationships enthusiast.

He applied it to his family and saw excellent results. He facillitated Rites of Passage for male teens with the Mankind project and saw the many ways Natural Learning Relationships accurately described how teens organize their world. And then he created the Raven Training, a Rite of Passage for males, at first, and then for males and females together under the umbrella organization Alliance of Generations. Pete added follow up meetings so that the learning of the Raven weekend could grow in all participants.

If that was all Pete did he should be celebrated near and far. But Pete became a leader in Restorative Justice in his home county and regularly works with adjudicated youth in the Oregon penal system.

Pete Young lives holistic insight and practice. That he brings to diverse venues is simply an extension of his life and practice.