Eco Retreat

Have those memes about moving to the forest and growing a garden spoken to you lately? Try it on for a weekend by indulging in a true celebration of Labor Day, giving yourself and the Earth a break. Enjoy meals from scratch, optional sustainable skills workshops, screen-free recreation, yoga, forest walks, campfires, swimming, and ample downtime. Our pricing is all-inclusive, with no surprise add-ons later.


Food is the center of any Tenderfoot experience. Starting with lunch on Saturday and ending with brunch on Monday, all meals will be prepared for you and served family-style at our hand-made dining table. We use ingredients from our own garden and local farms as much as possible, eating the freshest flavors of the season. We believe food is a great entry point to sustainable living, and you’re welcome to hang out in the kitchen to ask questions or share your own wisdom.

Classes & Workshops

You might choose to spend the full weekend relaxing by the pond, in a hammock, or strolling the trails – sounds wonderful. But if you’re looking to give your outdoor & sustainability knowledge a boost, we’ve got options for that, too.

Fire Building. Learn techniques for building fires for different purposes and apply your skills while building our evening group campfire. Led by Travis Harding.
Food Dehydration. Learn the basics of dehydration as a food preservation method. Give those brown bananas longer life, delight your kids with fruit leather, and learn to make gourmet camping meals. Led by Lindsey Rudibaugh & Travis Harding.
Journaling. Take advantage of life’s slower pace this weekend and make time for your thoughts. Respond to a few prompts, try out a variety of reflection techniques, then write or illustrate on your own for a while. Led by Lindsey Rudibaugh.
Plant Walks. Explore the edible and medicinal foods of our forest. Led by Sierra Hinshaw of Rural Action.
Sustainable Living Tour. On this interactive tour, take a deeper look at Tenderfoot’s facilities to explore the ways we incorporate sustainability into our daily lives. Get ideas for your own home life or work life. Led by Lindsey Rudibaugh & Travis Harding.
Yoga. Yoga classes, led by Sierra Hinshaw, will be offered Sunday and Monday mornings at 7:30 am.

Downtime & Recreation

Students and guests consistently tell us that Tenderfoot feels like a retreat, that they feel rejuvenated after being here and hope they can keep their newfound clarity when they return home. It comes from a combination of time outdoors, time spent using our hands to create things, nourishing food, less screen time, and purposeful downtime. So, while we offer some structured activities, we also encourage you to embrace play and pure relaxation — without technology. We have lots of options for tech-free fun: board games, card games, puzzles, pond floaties, floating dock, hammocks, instruments, and books galore.


With both indoor and outdoor options, there’s something for all comfort levels and budgets. Indoor guests stay in doubles or quads. If you’re coming with a friend, you can name your roommate during registration. All linens, both bed and bath, are provided. All rooms are furnished with bunk beds, and guests share two bathrooms. Total indoor capacity is 8 people.

Outdoor guests bring your own tent or hammock and stay in one of three designated camping areas. Water is provided at an outdoor spigot, and an outdoor shower and privy are available. Outdoor guests are welcome to use indoor bathroom facilities at non-peak times and charge devices at the lodge. Camping capacity is limited to 8 people.


Transportation is not included, but if you’re coming from an Ohio town along the GO Bus route (largely the Cleveland, Columbus, or Cincinnati areas), we encourage you to consider reducing your carbon footprint by taking advantage of this affordable public transportation. Choose the Athens – Ohio University stop as your destination, and we’ll happily pick you up to bring you the final few miles to Tenderfoot. Carpooling with other attendees from your area is also a great option.

Packing List

What to Bring

  • Clothing for 3 days plus a few extras in case of wet or cold
  • Medications or special food items you require
  • Closed-toed shoes suited to the outdoors
  • Rain coat if you have one
  • Sunscreen
  • Toiletries
  • Electricity-free fun: puzzles, card games, board games, books, musical instruments
  • Outdoor guests: tent/hammock, rain fly, bedding, towel, biodegradable soap

What to Leave at Home

  • Indoor guests: bedding & towels
  • Contagious illnesses – If you’re not feeling well, please stay home. We’ll be sad to miss out on the unique contributions you could make to the group, but we want memories and skills to be the weekend’s souvenirs, not germs.

Dates: September 2 – 4, 2023
Check-in: 10am – 12pm, Saturday, September 2
Check-out: 1pm, Monday, September 4
Cost: $350 per person
Included: 6 meals, 2 nights of lodging, 2 yoga classes, 3 workshops, unlimited outdoor & tech-free recreation opportunities

Questions? Email