Enjoying adventures in the wilds, even multiple month-long expeditions, can help anyone make great leaps in their health, in all aspects of their being- physical, psychological and mental, especially someone dealing with trauma. At River House PA, one of our most important goals is to get our participants to the point where they are able to make a long journey and get the maximum benefit of time spent in the healing power of nature.

But we can’t stay on the long trails forever. We have to come home. When we heard that 24-year old  Ranger Veteran Zach Adamson of Georgetown, Ohio hiked the entire Appalachian Trail last year, then returned home and committed suicide, even after spending 5 months in the lap of nature, we at River House PA knew there needed to be another huge component to our mission besides introducing our participants to the wilds. We also had to help them design an authentic and purposeful life.

Cindy Ross and her husband Todd Gladfelter, are both Triple Crowners, meaning they successfully hiked the entire 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail and the 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail national scenic trails (the later with their young children and llamas). They learned first-hand that in order to stay truly happy they had to adopt those same qualities and principals that they gleaned from the trail and incorporate them into their lifestyle.

So they created a life where they live close to the earth, growing their own food, raising animals, building a log home from scratch, designing self-employed occupations where they could be creative and expressive, staying out of debt and remaining independent and in charge of their lives, living simply and staying well connected to the natural world. For over twenty years, they have presented Voluntary Simplicity Workshops to traveling universities at their rural home.

We have instructors in writing, music, body arts (massage, acupuncture, reflexology), yoga etc. dedicated to helping River House participants continue their healing and discover what is their personal bliss and how to craft a lifestyle which embraces it. There is no limit.  Nearby Delaware Valley College and Rodale Institute have designed a program called Growing Warriors, which helps veterans suffering from PTSD become organic farmers.

If we can’t bring in an instructor or design a workshop, we will network and help you create your personal authentic life where you reap great value and self-worth.

Todd Gladfelter, Lifestyle Workshops

He is here to privately instruct Veterans in the skills of: log building, fine furniture making, blacksmith arts, chainsaw carving, gardening, orchard tending, putting up and preserving food, animal husbandry, and on and on.


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