Like many of you, I recognize how much screen time has impacted the way our kids communicate, relate, and develop.
There is no denying some of the benefits of technology and increased connectedness, but there's also no denying the hazards of the digital world. I want to ensure that our kids are able to grow into strong, healthy individuals without the growing anxiety, distraction and isolation caused by misuse or overuse of technology.
The whole team here at River Mountain feels passionately that the natural world is the perfect place for young people to tackle the tough issues surrounding tech’s growing influence in their lives. Blocking out the constant stream of notifications and nonstop streaming media allows kids the opportunity to slow down and think critically about how tech is impacting them individually and in their relationships. Even a short time removed from this constant digital stimulation quickly provides a contrast to what for many is a new state of digital reliance.
But our goal at River Mountain wasn’t just to take kids’ phones away for a couple of days and send them off to run around in the woods.
Every element of the River Mountain experience was intentionally designed for kids to have a fun and safe experience in the great outdoors, and to participate in thoughtful and engaging conversations about technology. It’s a lot easier to discuss technology “hooks” and the pros and cons of social media when those hooks aren’t dug into us throughout the conversation. And it doesn’t hurt to have those conversations under a blanket of stars while eating s’mores with a group of new friends either!
The biggest difference between a traditional camp and a River Mountain retreat is the purpose-driven approach River Mountain staff takes to everything we (and your kids) do. River Mountain retreats are more than canoeing trips and nature hikes. While we have plenty of both of those, we also have a pretty special curriculum that we developed in conjunction with experts in experiential education from Penn State University and Outward Bound to create engaging, mindful experiences. Our curriculum was designed for young people to “come as they are” and jump in where they feel most comfortable connecting with nature and each other.
The mix of guided activities, interactions, conversations, outdoor adventures, reflective discourse and time for internal meditation combine to make the River Mountain experience one that will last well beyond the limits of kids’ time here. At River Mountain, we believe in young people and their ability to understand the pros and cons of technology and create real change in their lives. We look forward to helping each of them on their journey of positive discovery of themselves and the natural world.
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.Read More
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.Read More
Conveniently near Arlington County, Montgomery County, and Fairfax County families, River Mountain summer camps are ideal for DC parents’ busy schedules.Read More
From the beginning of the River Mountain land development process, we’ve had 3 goals in mind…Read More