Rites of Passage

About Rites of Passage

Rites of Passage Wilderness Therapy is an all-inclusive weight-loss camp for kids and teens located in Shelton, Washington. The wellness camp is an 8-week program (or longer) focused on outdoor activity and holistic nutrition designed to improve the overall health of participants, with weight-loss as a natural side effect. Rites of Passage Wilderness Therapy provides wellness services to kids and teens age 11-17, with program start-dates running from February through October.


The weight loss program at Rites of Passage is focused exclusively on outdoor activities, rather than gym exercises. Guests will experience land and water activities around the Puget Sound area of northwest Washington, including:

  • Trekking
  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Navigation
  • Swimming
  • Kayaking
  • Other outdoor activities

In addition to these planned activities, the program inherently involves a large amount of physical activity, including camping behaviors such as fire-building, meal preparation, and camp set-up and tear-down.

Rites of Passage boasts that no two days are the same, and each visitor’s plan is customized based on the individual obesity treatment and therapy plan generated in the first few days of their stay.


The nutrition program at Rites of Passage is focused on holistic and natural food choices. This means that ingredients are organic, whole, fresh, and free of added sugar, white flour, and excess additives or preservatives. The menu for the entire stay is planned by a registered dietician. Calories are not strictly limited at RoP, but portions are light enough to carry in students’ day packs and portioned to reduce spoilage.

Throughout the program, students will learn to prepare their own meals for preparation for their return home, to be able to maintain a healthy weight through the lessons learned at camp. In addition, meal planning and grocery strategies are taught as part of a complete nutrition plan. Rites of Passage also provides students with a recipe book to take home, complete with 100 healthy meals.

The entire nutrition plan at Rites of Passage is designed to help guests lose weight naturally without even thinking about it. The program boasts that by detoxing the body off of sugar and fat, the metabolism will naturally speed up; this combines with the daily fitness activities to transform students’ lives.


Therapy plays a big role in the obesity treatment camp program at Rites of Passage. Guests will participate in cognitive therapy sessions, role-play difficult situations that create poor decisions, learn problem-solving skills, and aim toward self responsibility. Students have their first meeting with a therapist right away at orientation, for a clinical assessment and treatment planning to customize their individualized weight loss plan.

Rites of Passage Wilderness Retreat also treats kids and teens with other issues, such as anxiety, depression, self-harm, and behavioral issues. Because of this, the program at RoP is more intense than other FitStay camps, but may be appropriate for guests looking for a transformative weight loss treatment.


Rites of Passage is located in Shelton, Washington near Puget Sound. Guests will participate in activities on the property, as well as all around the region in the mountain, forest, and ocean environments provided by the Pacific Northwest.

Guests will typically fly into the Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, roughly 90 minutes from the camp. Transportation from the airport is included in the program, as Rites of Passage staff will pick up students at SeaTac and bring them to the Operations logistical center at the Shelton campus. All other transportation needed for the program is provided by Rites of Passage.


Pricing for an eight-week stay at Rites of Passage starts at $21,000 to $26,500 for a typical obesity treatment package. Kids and teens wishing to stay beyond the standard eight weeks can expect to pay more for each additional week. All food, fitness, accommodations, therapy, and airport transportation is included in the package price.


Rites of Passage Wilderness Therapy is an intense obesity treatment program in Washington for kids and teens serious about weight loss. The program focuses entirely on outdoor activity as a form of fitness, through hiking, swimming, and other gym-free adventures. Students will learn to build fire and prepare and cook their own meals, as part of the program’s “holistic nutrition” philosophy.

Program start-dates run from February through October, and the minimum program length is eight weeks. Visitors looking for a high-intensity, wilderness-focused FitStay for kids and teens may wish to consider the Rites of Passage Obesity Health & Wellness Camp offering.

Rites of Passage Pros

  • Weight loss without realizing it – Because of the exclusive focus on outdoor activity, as opposed to gym-based exercise classes, Rites of Passage boasts that guests will lose weight without even intentionally trying.
  • Outdoor environment – Students at the program will spend most of their time outdoors in the Pacific Northwest, enjoying hiking, navigation, mountaineering, swimming, and more in this environment.

Rites of Passage Cons

  • Intensity – Rites of Passage provides intense therapy programs, including treating behavior and emotional issues in addition to weight issues. While students in each program are not completely intermingled, the general intensity may not appeal to all FitStay guests.
  • Expensive  – Starting at $21,000, this option may not work for everyone. Although the per-week price is not out of line, the minimum eight-week stay requires a serious financial commitment from guests or parents.

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