Residential Experiences

Are you looking to get deeper experience with sustainability, spend more time in nature, or take a break from technology? 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.  We also recognize that it takes a lot of courage to move to a new place (however temporarily), live with new people, and try new things, so we’re diligent about creating a safe, supportive environment here. 

Looking for single-day events? Head over to our events page!

As a participant in our overnight programs, you’ll experience a lifestyle that is likely different from your own, learn useful skills, and where applicable, earn affordable college credit*.  With the guidance of our on-site staff, participants manage a garden, cook for each other, and work on infrastructure to keep our environmental footprint light.  Through group discussions, we explore how sustainability is relevant to participants’ professions, communities, and academic studies.

Our current residential program offerings include:

Summer Interns-in-Residence Program: These 4-week residencies are for undergraduate and graduate students to build skills related to their intended careers while living at Tenderfoot and contributing to mission-critical projects.

Eco Retreats: Open to the general public, Eco Retreats are a way for adults to get a taste of the Tenderfoot experience. Great for working professionals and parents who can’t get a lot of time away but can take a long weekend. When you purchase an Eco Retreat pass, you’re helping us keep our student programming affordable to students of all backgrounds. Tentative 2023 dates are May 5 – 7, July 21 – 23, and September 1 – 4. More details and registration information coming soon!

Spring Break Experience: The original Tenderfoot experience, this week-long opportunity is for college students of all majors. Students spend mornings on a crew rotation, serving on kitchen, garden, and infrastructure crews. Afternoons are spent in group discussions and working on individual projects to build sustainable habits and skills.

Custom programs are also available. We’ve developed sustainability education programs in collaboration with Marietta College, Wells College, and Ohio University’s College of Business. We’d welcome the opportunity to host your students, staff retreat, Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop, or family volunteer vacation.

*Tenderfoot Learning Lab is not a credit-granting institution.  For students seeking college credit, we work with your home institution in advance of your arrival at Tenderfoot to determine how your sustainable spring break/summer residency will be credited. If you represent an institution interested in providing this experience to your students, please visit our Partners page for more information.