An Elephant thoughts campus

Riverstone Retreat

An exceptional educational facility and eco retreat serving youth facing barriers. 

SUMMER 2021

Apply today, space limited.

FUN IN NATURE SUMMER CAMP

Week long outdoor camps for children aged 6 -12

Outdoor, Educational, Healthy Fun!

Delivered in partnership with the Municipality of West Grey
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Youth Culinary Internships

Deliveredy by, Chef Zach Keeshig, this is an incredible experience for youth aged 16 - 25

Level Up at Riverstone

Made possible thanks to the Canadian Government Service Corps grant.
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WHAT

THE SPACE

Situated on the banks of the mighty Saugeen River, the Riverstone Campus is located 5 minutes from Durham, Ontario on 136 acres of historic farmstead. The property boasts diverse forests, hiking trails, agricultural lands and several indoor and outdoor facilities for events, overnight accommodations, retreats and educational experiences.  This is a property you really have to see and explore to appreciate the beauty, tranquility and opportunity brimming from every square inch.

The property is designed to host several activities in unique, accessible areas. In the future we hope to see our campus buzzing with energy, hope, excitement and productivity, making the most out of this incredible resource. 

We’ve made mention of just a few of our facility highlights below. Click on any to learn more. 

 

Culinary Arts Facilities

The Riverstone Campus is set up to offer professional culinary education programs and experiences. Led by our resident chef and culinary educator, Chef, Zach Keeshig, students and visitors have access to a stone-fired oven, extensive gardens, foraging grounds, indoor and outdoor kitchens, and professional-grade appliances and tools.
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Art Barn

A wide-open space for students and visitors to explore their creative sides. With glass-blowing equipment, 3D printers, and all sorts of fantastic tools and materials the sky is the limit in the Art Barn.

Retreat Accommodations

At the heart of the Riverstone Campus is the beautiful old stone farmhouse one of several accommodations available. Guests have access to several different accommodation types ranging from indoor bedrooms, to a converted caboose, to comfortable bunkies, to beautiful camping space.

Agricultural Grounds

From the vegetable garden used by our culinary students and Chef Zach to hundreds of acres of farm fields, the Riverstone Campus is an ideal space for fostering responsible and sustainable agricultural practices and education.

Diverse Event Spaces

From our spacious pavilion to a forested labyrinth, maple sugar shack and an outdoor riverfront dining space the property is spotted with many surprises and unique offerings.

Who

THE COMMUNITY

As with every single effort put forth by Elephant Thoughts, Riverstone seeks to serve children and youth facing barriers. These barriers may include physical, mental, emotional, geographical, social or economic. We aim to be as inclusive as possible and offer our resources and programs to a community that benefits from them long term. By serving those facing barriers we aim to level the playing field, improve equal access to quality education and opportunities for future healthy, happiness and fulfillment. 

We also make the facilities here at Riverstone available to other non-profit organizations with likeminded missions. We hope to foster relationships with a large network of organizations and collaborate through shared resources, minds and space to further our goals. 

Our space at Riverstone is a cherished one and we want to be able to share it with as many people as possible. We do provide the opportunity for private groups or individuals to access the space when it is not needed for programming. 100 per cent of proceeds from private use goes back into programming. 

WHEN

THE HAPPENINGS

There is always something happening at our Riverstone campus, find out what’s happening, check out our events calendar or drop us a line. 

The coming summer season is already set to be packed with children’s nature camps, skill building retreats for youth: 

september

No Events

october

No Events

november

No Events

Why

THE PURPOSE

In addition to the three core values at the centre of all of Elephant Thoughts activities – Educational Excellence and Equality, Global Citizenship and Environmental Stewardship – we have some big plans for Riverstone. Riverstone is set to be a buzzing hub of innovation, activity and education in practical environmentalism, sustainability and cultural diversity. 

Riverstone is defined by a collaborative spirit that underpins our values and goals for the campus and our broader organization. 

Responsible Food Production & Sourcing

Acres of fertile soil and the mighty Saugeen River make Riverstone the ideal place for locavores. A focus of this property is the practical teaching focused on food sustainability, food sovereignty, food foraging, and outdoor cooking.

Sustainable Facilities & Operations

From accommodations that maximize on materials sourced right at Riverstone to bunkies that were made from pine milled by a local Amish community, Riverstone is about low impact and locally sourced.

Support for Independent Business & Craft

Every piece of lovingly made furniture and décor supports a local maker from around the world. As part of our global development work we support small local and international business owners at fair market prices in India, Tanzania, Nepal, Indonesia, and Mexico.

Collaborative Policy

We want to break down barriers not only for the communities we directly serve but for those served by like-minded organizations. We believe in sharing this wonderful space with as many other non-profits as can make use of it to benefit children and youth facing barriers. We are developing a model that will conducive to sharing resources, space, talent, and efficacy in the spirit of our (shared) mission.

where

THE LAND

Land Acknowledgement

Elephant Thoughts acknowledges the lands Riverstone campus now sits upon have been occupied for over 8,000 years. These are the traditional territories of the Petun, and later the traditional territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation and the members of the Three Fires Confederacy (Odawa, Potawatomi and Ojibway). These First Peoples are the past, present and future caretakers of this land. We share these lands with many diverse peoples.

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