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Rites of Passage Foundation - Spring 2015 Newsletter

A word from our founders Jim Horton and Suzi Jessie

With spring coming into full bloom, we at ROPF are gearing up for a new season of Tides and Tracks events. In January of this year we had our first summer Tides and a strong holding with different directors. The year was a challenging one financially, as funding bodies are allocating less money. We are very grateful for all the donations coming from our ROPF community and beyond. It has been heart warming to see a steady increase in our monthly financial support after our appeals earlier in the year. The funding journey isn’t over but we are steering into more stable waters. Hope and connectedness are abundant right now!





Experiences of some of our participants


Full of anticipation I attended the last Tides event with my daughter Trinity. My name is Lolly Dadley-Moore and this was the first time I had been at a ROPF event for the full 5 days.  

My son went through the Tracks rite of passage years ago and I was part of the send-off and welcoming back. When my b oy and partner came home, I saw them shining. They shared such a richness and it had really bonded them.

With my daughter I was fortunate in the fact that she was really enthusiastic to come. The whole week was such a gift. I relaxed and loved not kno wing what was going to happen next. It created space; space in time, space in my head and space in my heart. My life can be so hectic that there is not enough time to reflect and go in or to share so many aspects of myself. That week, I played, I observed, I sang, I had wisdom flowing through me, inspiration all around me and I ate great food. It was a deep process done with such fun and expertise and a great sense of trust. I am surprised how much I got out of it. I feel transformed and have a better sense of who I am in relation to my daughter and to myself. I have a better sense of my journey and the way to go forward and to shine my light.

  It was an amazing opportunity to observe Trinity throughout the week where she was held, nurtured and guided by a group of women of all ages. And vice versa! She observed me who was also held, nurtured and guided. It warms my heart that she had this experience at a young age. It creates a strong foundation for life, to belong to a group of supportive women who have witnessed a profound time in your life. This has been a true rite of passage experience on many levels.




I’m Florence Sorrel and for me, returning to Tides as a Young Leader was about independence and being there for others in such an important time of transition.

I wanted to prove to myself that I was ready for that role by taking the challenge of organising the journey to the treefield on my own. The journey involved organising a lift to Dunedin Airport 1 hr away, flying from there to Christchurch then swapping planes and flying to Nelson. From there I caught a bus to Takaka where I had organised to be picked up by a friends mum and taken out to the Treefield.

This journey was a big undertaking for me, because I had never travelled alone before. I saw it as a rite of passage in itself. I know I would not have had the confidence to take that journey had it not been for my Tides rite several months earlier. The journey boosted my confidence more and made me aware that the only way to learn something is by trial and error. I had to do it myself in order to know that I could.

I see Rites of Passage as being hugely important for everyone. It has had a profound and lasting impact on both the w ay I see myself and my relationship with my mum. It helped us re-connect at a time when our relationship was strained. 

I feel heaps more confident in myself and in my decisions. My ability to cope with things has also taken a boost. I love being involved in such a valuable programme and have every intention of returning as a Young Leader again in the future. As soon as I am able, I’ll be right back up there!
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Another fantastic event!

5 wonderful new young men, Ben, Brynn, Daniel, Lukas and Tasman, fantastic!

Again I’m full of appreciation for another distinct and unique event with it’s own rich tale to tell. No one could have predicted the way a family story, running parallel outside our event would come in, amongst and through our community to deepen and enrich stories so profoundly.

And what a delight to have such a talented and experienced leadership in Aaron Fahey, Steve Porteous and Antony Hodgson. With these three heading up our home groups, you couldn’t wish for better. My mind boggles at the possibilities, should they continue working together for another decade. Congratulations and thanks to everyone connected to this April rite.



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You may have asked yourself this question or it may have been posed to you.

ROPF is a not for profit trust and our events are run largely from the passion and dedication of volunteers. As such, we are always looking to our community to help keep this work alive and ensure it is there for others to experience in the future. We all know that the more people who can access this work, the stronger the whole community is.

You know the value of this work, you have seen and experienced the profound effects of a Rite of Passage and you know it is worth supporting.

Joss, Leanne and Jack Fry have found a creative way to support the community. They have donated apples, pears and kiwifruit collected form their own and other orchards for us to sell at a roadside stall. This generous donation raised $3866.10 for ROPF! This reminds us that there are many valuable ways to contribute when we put our skills and resources together. A huge THANK YOU to the Fry’s!

How you might be able to help your ROP community?

Are you a hunter or do you have meat animals on your property? Do you fish? We’d love donations to help nourish participants during the rites. How about preserves? As we have learned from the fruit stall, there are many ways to contribute. Let us know if you have any ideas!

Isaac Henry and Mañana Raunigg

Isaac and his partner Mañana started donating weekly to ROPF earlier this year. Both have gone through the Tracks and Tides programmes in the past. Isaac has returned many times as a young leader and also attended a facilitator training event. Much gratitude to both Isaac and Mañana.

The reason I was driven to donate to Tracks and Tides is because I have been before and seen the work they do, I know how powerful and magical the work is and I have seen many lives touched and changed in a positive way because of it. Im giving what I can to support ROPF because in my opinion it is an ESSENTIAL part of life, we need to be doing whatever we can as a society to help young women and men to be mentored and supported, to help them be the best they can be and to show them great role models and their own potentials. I do what I can to support the work because I believe the next generation needs what ROPF has to offer more then ever..


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To capture the mysteries and magics of rites of passages we are writing and launching a book with the title “A book of many voices”.

Over the years we have got to know many people doing this work in many different forms from different parts of the world, mainly NZ, Australia, America, Canada and Africa. Some 15 people will contribute to this book telling their stories.

At the next Tracks event some of these contributors will be there at the return ceremony and we will introduce them and the book. They are Arne Rubinstein (Boys to Men), Frederick Marx (Californian movie maker), Paul Henley & Leonie Davis who runs the Pathways Foundation in Australia. With this small interesting group talks will be held in Takaka, Motueka and Nelson in October. Exact dates will be emailed to you. In next newsletters we will share more of the contents of the book.

Jim Horton


September 4th-6th

Please come and help us give back to the Treefield!       

After a winter break our new event season is due to start at the end of September. It’s time to do some maintenance and get set up for another fruitful year of Tracks and Tides events. You are welcome to come for part or all of the weekend. Saturday and Sunday will be our working bee days. Bring food for potluck dinners and lunches. Beverages will be available. There will be sleeping spaces for those who would like for come the whole weekend. We will stoke the fire, connect, contribute and share stories.

Hope to see you there!

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