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Near the culmination of the “Hero’s Quest” weekend, participants experience a drum walk. By this point, they know how to walk safely and silently through the woods without looking down. Their objective is to travel 500 ft. through the woods and touch a drum that is beating once every 10 seconds. Sometimes this drum is below the level of the ground, sometimes in a tree stump, sometimes in the middle of a creek.

Five years after the first “Hero’s Quest” was held, there’s another chance for young men to take on the challenge.

Del Norte County men ages 14-23 can join a three-day coming-of-age “Hero’s Quest” experience in the redwoods July 26-28.

The event is presented by Gateway Education of the Wild Rivers Coast.

“Hero’s Quest” participants spend a weekend at the Redwood National and State Park’s Howland Hill outdoor facility just outside Crescent City, experiencing a series of activities designed to bring greater self-awareness, mindfulness, and personal and community responsibility, said coordinator Ron Cole.

“True rites-of-passage programs are rare,” said Cole. “That our community has one speaks volumes about its feelings towards its youth and its own future.

The program, supported by Buildings Healthy Communities, is directed by local Native Americans in conjunction with leaders and participants in national and international rites-of-passage programs.

The first “Hero’s Quest” was held in 2014 and the young men who participated are influencing the program today, Cole said.

“The promise that a group of men would be prepared to support these young men and hold them accountable to themselves and each other in confidentiality has been kept,” he said. “They have met weekly since 2014 and will continue for the foreseeable future.”

Space is limited; registration applications are due by July 23.

Cost is $300, but scholarships are available based on need. The fee for former Gateway Education and YTA students is $50.

“Hero’s Quest” applications are available in Crescent City at Wild Rivers Market, Griffin’s Furniture and Wild Rivers Community Foundation. Online applications are at gatewayeducation.net or facebook.com/gatewayedu.

For more Information, call Ron Cole at 707-951-7666 or Anthony Trombetti at 707-954-4224.

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