Educational entrepreneur Caitlin Hoffman and her company, Academic Coaching Works, announced today BiCoastal Retreats, a two-week digital detox summer retreat in Maine to support Silicon Valley teens and adults as they ditch their devices and connect with life. The summer retreat runs from Monday, June 17, 2019 thru Sunday, June 30, 2019 at Rossport Farms in the city of Eastport, Maine located on the farthest most eastern point of the United States on the Atlantic coast.
“Parents and students frequently discuss with me their constant tethering to technology, which ranges from staying up all night playing games, to being immersed in social media 24/7, to avoiding face-to-face meaningful conversations,” said Hoffman, co-founder of BiCoastal Retreats, and founder of Academic Coaching Works and All Minds Matter. “Technology addiction is our new reality, and research shows that the direct result is low motivation, loneliness, depression, anxiety, and sleep deprivation.”
At BiCoastal Retreats, Silicon Valley teens and adults will ditch their digital devices together as a community, in Eastport, Maine and then mindfully develop a healthy relationship with technology plan for when everyone returns home.
“Are face-to-face relationships in peril or redefined?” asks Hoffman. “We need to generate a community-oriented space, free from technology, where cooking, laughing, hugging and discussing are at the heart of the relationship. This is our desired, intentional retreat experience.”
As part of the 14-day digital detox, participants will take turns shopping and cooking communal meals. Each day, they will also work at Rossport Farms, doing chores such as feeding the chickens, cows, and pigs; gardening; and gathering driftwood for bonfires. In the afternoons, participants will be outdoors clamming, canoeing, hiking and fishing. They will also explore downtown Eastport. At Rossport Farms, some participants will help design a labyrinth or create an underwater sculpture. There will also be opportunities to go on mini field trips to Canada to visit Eleanor Roosevelt's summer house on Campobello Island.
Hoffman started working with the Eastport, Maine community in 2015 when she launched the first Unplugged retreat with Ross Furman, Eastport resident and owner of Rossport Farms. That summer retreat had Silicon Valley teenagers unplugging from the internet, working the farm and performing community service. The teens quickly realized that they didn’t miss their phones and that adventures were engaging without the use of any technology.
"As a teenager, I lived close to Eastport, Maine. Decades later, I was inspired to create the Unplugged retreat for teens so that they, too, could experience the beauty and pull of this remarkable place," said Hoffman.
The 2-week retreat costs $3000 for housing, community meals, group activities, art projects and community service options. Register for this remarkable transformational experience here. Plans are in development for a weekend BiCoastal Unplugged retreat in Northern California as well as one-day retreats in Silicon Valley during the school year.
About BiCoastal Retreats
BiCoastal Retreats leads unplugged retreats for teens and adults in Eastport, Maine and Northern California. Co-founded by Caitlin Hoffman, Elizabeth Grant, Ross Furman and Deborah Train, the goal of BiCoastal Retreats is to offer teens and adults the opportunity to unplug from technology and connect with life. Hoffman is also the president and founder at Academic Coaching Works and All Minds Matter where she offers academic coaching, academic intervention and educational services. Hoffman founded All Minds Matter in 2004 after working in Silicon Valley school districts. Hoffman speaks frequently on the need for educational reform, ADD and ADHD, stress and anxiety among teens and parents, and technology’s impact on our lives.