aBOUT jOHN rITCHIE, oWNER/oPERATOR
I am John Ritchie, owner/operator at Hideaway Adventure Grounds & Family Retreat and a development consultant with more than 20 years of business experience in planning, financial management, marketing and managing tourism business operations.
Hideaway has been my dream as I have always wanted to create a space where people could participate in unique experiences in the great outdoors. It makes me proud to offer visitors a place to camp and enjoy a new experience from roasting bannock to making your own leather bag or learning through story from an Elder.
Hideaway is on a 160 acre property that is largely undeveloped and left to grow on its own with minimal disruption. The camping and programming areas have been created to reduce impact on the environment and reduce carbon emissions. In other words: cleared by hand.
John proved to be a competent and knowledgeable host to our team and we were very pleased with the activities; Fire-starting, Shelter Science, and Bannock on a stick making. The site was clean and well organized!
- L. Thompson
My 8yr old daughter and I had an unforgettable time at Hideaway Adventure Grounds. Our host John, was extremely knowledgeable and attentive, and his passion for sharing his story was very well received. We were completely immersed in the elements on this beautiful birch-dense property, and yet felt cozy and safe with having John and his K9 Buddy close by.
A wonderful experience to connect with nature, culture, family and make new friends :)
Thanks John & Buddy! See you next year!!
- C. Dean
Cool camp sites, tucked into the landscape. Being on a Metis Settlement is a unique cultural experience. The trails offer great learning experiences about nature and the Metis way of life.
Splitting cracks echo in the poplar woods around us, as John Ritchie and his guests break long sticks down to uniform size to begin the structural supports of a lean-to shelter. Using the sticks they form tripod supports, one on each end, to prop up the cross beam.
Building a basic survival shelter is a simple skill, but the knowledge of how to build one has declined in recent years - like so many outdoor skills. Ritchie’s mission is to restore connections with, and confidence being in, our natural environment.
Of Metis descent, Ritchie has spent over a decade learning bush crafting and reconnecting with his cultural roots. At Hideaway Adventure Grounds, he channels that traditional knowledge to share with his guests.
“That’s why I like to have grass, open spaces, so people can get dirty, get their fingernails dirty again, get some of that positive energy back from Mother Earth,” he says. “Let the land heal us - if we give it a chance, it will.”
It was realizing the power of that connection and that heritage that led Ritchie to establish Hideaway Adventure Grounds on his ancestral lands at the Kikino Metis Settlement.
He offers workshops, school programs and rustic camping experiences, with activities like making shelters, learning bush-craft or leatherworking. Just spending a few quiet hours here together, sun filtering through the tall poplars, is enough to feel that healing power.
Jeremy Derksen for ZenSeekers’ #TakeItToTheLake, Jul 10/19