Marilyn Foster Hendee

My Vision Quest experience spans 3 ½ decades, during which I led vision quests and related programs, formed a vision quest company, became the founding Netkeeper of the WGC, was a vq student,  teacher and author.

In 1979 I became Youth Program Director for “Rites of Passage, Inc. (RoP) in Novato, CA, a new organization founded by my brother and sister in law, Steven Foster and Meredith Little.  This was an exciting time as wilderness VQ’s and rites of passage were just emerging in the public’s awareness. With RoP I led many Quests for youth and adults, marketed programs to schools and other client sources.  At that time these were the front lines in public education about wilderness vision questing.

In 1983 I left RoP to form my own VQ program, which evolved with my business partner, Betty Warren, into the non-profit, “Wilderness Transitions Inc.” [1987-2003]. From 1985-87 I took time to earn a Masters Degree in Psychology at Sonoma State University, writing my thesis on “The Psychology of a Modern Vision Quest”[Riley M. 1986]. During these 24 years I led 100 vision quests plus many related programs, and from my own experience and work with clients, I learned the importance of “walking the spiritual path with practical feet.” And I found my greatest joy seeing clients find a close connection with nature as a path to their own truth in a life transition.

Seeking colleagueship, I participated in all the early gatherings of VQ guides from 1988 going forward. In 1992 I volunteered as Netkeeper for that fledgling group, and in 1994 was named Netkeeper for the new organization “The Wilderness Guides Council” [WGC], a job I held until 2001. I loved representing the WGC, watching it grow to a peak of 204 members, and I’ve continued my membership, serving with occasional mentoring, advice and council participation.

In 1997 I married John Hendee, a Professor at the University of Idaho [UI].  We commuted between our jobs until 2002, together did a study of the long term impact of vision questing on Wilderness Transition’s clients from 1988-1997 [Riley and Hendee 2000], and taught a course in vision questing at UI. Today we’re still happily married, belong to WGC, and pursue our wilderness interests alone and together, including the spiritual community Wakan, led by Dr. Tom Pinkson with whom Steven Foster led his first quest for vision in 1974. My favorite role now is being a grand-mother, but it is also rewarding to help other guides with advice and mentoring.
Contact Email: