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Field Trips at River Mountain

As our summer sessions continue to fill up, the River Mountain team is now booking school and homeschool field trips for next fall. We have two groups already set to visit, and we hope to partner up with as many schools and homeschool groups as possible in the coming months.

Field Trip Programming

We've worked with Penn State and Dr. Pete Allison to create unique and innovative educational programs for young people. Our location's rich environmental and history educational opportunities are the ideal backdrop for our digital wellness programming. The differences between the technology that Native Americans used as they traveled along Warriors Path in 1650 is a lot different than the devices we use today! And orienteering our way down spring fed creeks, through natural wetlands, and into Sweet Root Creek is a great contrast to our daily GPS-driven interactions!


Our goal is for every child to have a better understanding of technology and greater appreciation for the outdoors when they leave River Mountain. Below are some of the outcomes we strive for, for all students, during and after their visit:

1. Express their experiences with exercise and outdoor adventure and contrast it with apps and video games.

2. Express their experiences of ‘in person’ human interaction and contrast it with their social media apps and multi-person, live games.

3. Reflect on their current digital life and identify daily habit goals that will create more tech-life balance. A great example of this is committing to not sleeping with their devices at night.

4. Articulate clear goals and aspirations for their relationship with technology for the future – short term and long term.

The River Mountain team believes digital wellness is crucially important for young people to begin thinking about at a young age. The average young person now receives their first cell phone at approximately 10 years old; and kids now spend over 6 hours a day on screens and various forms of media and less than 13 minutes a day outside.

To think deeply about tech's impact on their lives, young people need to be separated from it for a short period of time. This is the key difference between River Mountain and many of the in-school speakers and programming that's popping up more and more. Kids can listen to in-school speakers until they're blue in the face, but until they separate from tech for a period of time and think deeply about it's impact on their lives, it's very hard to change habits. And that is our ultimate goal at River Mountain - to provide young people with the experiences, knowledge, and self determination to create more balance in their lives.

To enroll your school in one of River Mountain’s programs, or to learn more, contact Ryan Tyrrell. I'm happy to work with you on all pricing, programming, or special food requests. We look forward to you visiting beautiful Black Valley!

Ryan Tyrrell


Becca G – Faces of River Mountain

By Meghan | April 1, 2020

Meet Becca Gurney, Founder of Design Choice, a boutique graphic design studio in Washington, DC. Becca and her team work with progressive clients to make the world a better place, by encouraging entrepreneurial endeavors, advancing social justice and women’s causes, and supporting women in leadership positions. She’s also the creative genius behind our print designs and an absolutely awesome human.

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National Day of Unplugging

By Meghan | March 5, 2020

Tomorrow is National Day of Unplugging. Take time to unplug from your phone and reconnect with each other and the world around you at River Mountain Digital Wellness Retreat!

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The Benefits of Camp

By Ryan | February 6, 2020

There’s a lot of great research about the benefits of camp experiences for young people. Over the past 12 months, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several of those researchers, including our own team member Pete Allison from Penn State, and I’m grateful for their work establishing a greater understanding of camps’ impacts on child development.

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Restorative Vision – Nature and Wellness Retreat Design

By Meghan | February 3, 2020

Every element of River Mountain Retreat is intentionally designed to add to the restorative experience of our guests. One key aspect of this is in the design of our cabins and wellness retreat facilities.

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Summer Camp near Washington D.C., Yet a World Away

By Ryan | January 17, 2020

Conveniently near Arlington County, Montgomery County, and Fairfax County families, River Mountain summer camps are ideal for DC parents’ busy schedules.

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Best Summer Camp for Active Pittsburgh Kids

By Ryan | January 9, 2020

Only 2 hours away from the Steel City and featuring all the outdoor activities that kids love, River Mountain is the best summer camp for active Pittsburgh kids.

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A Decade of Technology

By Meghan | December 31, 2019

Looking back on the past decade of technology – rapid developments, rapid adoption and rapid optimization. It all happened so fast.

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Reconnecting Over the Holidays

By Meghan | December 20, 2019

As a parent, the holidays are hectic. Parties, presents, and of course, the kids being off from school. With all of the running the season brings, it’s easy to forget that this is a time of year where we can pause, exhale, and find joy in what surrounds us.

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The Benefits (and Accessibility) of Nature

By Ryan | November 23, 2019

A lot has been written in recent years about the “benefits of nature” — fantastic books like Florence Williams’ The Nature Fix and ground breaking research like the work being done by Utah professor David Strayer.

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Design and Development – A Restorative Relationship with Nature

By Ryan | November 6, 2019

From the beginning of the River Mountain land development process, we’ve had 3 goals in mind…

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Upcoming Camps