At this "Summer Camp for Grownups," Stressed-Out Adults Unplug from their Devices, and Tune in to Nature

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RiverGuidess Adventures brings a "transformational twist" to the traditional river rafting trip, as grownups blow bubbles, swing from trees, play with hula hoops, get into splash fights, and reconnect with their "inner child." Retreats combine "retro" summer classics — like s'mores and campfire singalongs — with conscious dance, mindfulness meditation, yoga, personal growth workshops, and organic healthy food.

At a new wave of “adult summer camps,” stressed-out professionals leave their day jobs and responsibilities behind to get “unplugged,” returning to simpler times, before their lives became dominated by cell phones, Twitter, and 24/7 communication.

Adult summer camps like San Francisco-based “Camp Grounded” by Digital Detox, “Campowerment” in Malibu, and “RiverGuidess Adventures” in Northern California each offer unique perspectives on this trend.

Entering their 21st season, RiverGuidess Adventures’ retreat-like summer camps include gentle river rafting, along with gourmet healthy meals, transformational movement and yoga classes, mindfulness meditation, inspirational playshops, and dancing under giant old-growth oak trees, with featured musicians and guest DJs from the Bay Area's popular "Conscious Dance," "Ecstatic Dance," and "5Rhythms/Sweat Your Prayers" dance scenes.

This summer, Gail Orchier, executive producer of RiverGuidess Adventures, and her team will offer two “camp sessions” at a private estate on the banks of the Stanislaus River, over the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends.

As One We Flow - 4th of July Weekend, July 3-6

The Fourth of July holiday “As One We Flow” retreat, held from July 3-6, includes “retro” classic American Independence Day summer camp traditions, including sparklers, bonfire singalongs, s’mores and talent shows. Various “adventures in consciousness” will also be provided, such as Yoga, Biodanza and 5Rhythms dance classes, as well as ecstatic evening dances with leading DJs from the San Francisco Bay Area. Children can enjoy activities in the kid's camp, supervised by a professional Montessori teacher.

River of Bliss - Labor Day Weekend, August 29 - September 1.

This Labor Day weekend, August 29–September 1, the “River of Bliss” retreat on the Stanislaus River is being offered as a “Burning Man” alternative for those who want the magic of the mythical festival without the dust, packing ordeal, and long haul out to the desert.

Known around the Bay Area as “the RiverGuidess,” Gail Orchier is an experienced river guide who has been leading holistic river trips since 1993, when she moved to the Bay Area from her native New York City. She says, “At the river, we gather together in community, support each other in our exploration of life and creative expression, and remember how to play and have fun again. We like to quote Tom Robbins, who said ‘It’s never too late to have a happy childhood!’”

Russian River Day Trip - May 18

On May 18th, a daylong canoe paddle will be offered on the Russian River in Healdsburg, CA, in the Sonoma wine country, about one hour north of San Francisco. With music, healthy snacks, and Nia (a popular movement form that blends dance, yoga, and the martial arts), this day trip offers a taste of more summer fun to come.

For more information and reservations, visit or call 415-937-TRIP.


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Giselle Bisson

Lea Saslav
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