Active Life

A Vibrant and Active Community

Come for a visit at any time, and you’ll find residents on each campus swimming laps, working out in the gym, taking an art class, or enjoying a history lecture. You’ll find others hammering away in the woodshop, working in our raised garden beds, or gathering at The Boulders for duplicate bridge. Still, more will be tending to our goats, walking the trails around campus with their dog, or organizing a group to go kayaking on the river.

We Are Partners Not Parents

From our early days, RiverWoods was different. As an organization created by residents, we take resident participation seriously, and residents have a strong voice in how this community evolves.

Our Residents Co-Create Community with Staff and Leadership

Residents always have a say in what’s going on through the Resident Council, the resident representatives on the Board of Trustees, and our staff and leadership’s open-door policy.

From the libraries and country stores to our campus newspaper and TV channel to the art galleries and window displays — our residents run many of the enterprises at RiverWoods. They organize over 60 different committees, dozens of interest groups, and volunteer for over 100 local causes.

A Community with a Passion for Learning

“The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

~Albert Einstein

Our residents come from a diverse background of professions and personal interests. Aside from the interesting life stories shared among residents, there are organized discussion groups on topics ranging from history and politics to investing and books.

Continue Lifelong Learning at RiverWoods

CLEAR, a program created by our Resident Education Committee, includes presentations by actors, artists, political candidates, and other interesting and influential people and organizations like The Nature Conservancy, authors like Dan Brown, Willie Perdomo, and David A. Kelly, and so many more.

Our residents love learning and pursuing knowledge.

  • Choose from a vast array of resident committees and interest groups
  • Resident-organized field trips to historical, cultural, and entertainment attractions
  • Variety of workshops, classes, and demonstrations held frequently on campus
  • Osher Life-Long Learning Institute (OLLI) at Granite State College.

RiverWoods Cares About Others

Our founders wove the spirit of service throughout the RiverWoods commitments. Employees and residents are known for their charitable work and are involved in many causes throughout the greater Seacoast area. The community has had a tradition of raising money for other local non-profits — from Seacoast Family Promise to Planet Playground, to Seacoast Hospice, and Child and Family Services of NH among others. To date, the RiverWoods Gala has raised over $500,000 for fellow nonprofits in our region.

Our Residents Support Over 100 Local Causes

The RiverWoods Outreach Committee connects our residents with diverse local non-profit organizations. There are numerous outreach opportunities offering multi-generational activities for a wide array of causes. In addition to serving on many local boards and town committees, RiverWoods residents can also be found in these and many more local programs:

  • Arts in Reach A local non-profit that encourages teenage girls to express themselves with art.
  • The Lions Club Eyesight Project Volunteers collect used eyeglasses to be distributed to those in need.
  • Pen Pals Residents exchange letters with students at Lincoln Street School learning cursive writing and practicing their penmanship.
  • Reading Buddies An after-school program in partnership with Great Bay Kids where 3rd and 4th graders come to campus to read and play games with residents.
  • Friends Forever International Empowering youth around the globe by combining their passion to make the world a better place with the skills, experiences, and resources required to do so.
  • St. Vincent de Paul Many residents spend time helping sort and stock shelves at Exeter’s local food bank.
  • End 68 Hours of Hunger Residents collect non-perishable food items for this effort to end childhood hunger.

An Active Community of Friends

Most residents remark that they’ve become more active socially and physically since moving to RiverWoods. Life here brings every resident the opportunity to make new friends who share your common interests.

Local Museums and Galleries

Every month, we handle the logistics for various field trips and outings to points of interest, museums, and other venues on the Seacoast. From Portland to Boston, there are many interesting and educational places to visit like Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Harvard’s Natural History Museum, and so many more.

  • Trips to Boston, Portsmouth and Portland
  • Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • Fine Dining Trips
  • Golf Outings
  • Tennis Clubs
  • Hiking, Kayaking and Paddling Trips
  • Theatre in Portsmouth, Ogunquit, Boston
  • Local Shopping
  • Ski Trips

I never feel alone.

I may be single but I never feel alone here. I have met so many new friends in my aqua-size swim class. I enjoy going with the Lunch Bunch group to try new restaurants every month and dinner has always been a lovely opportunity to sit with new and interesting people.

Life at RiverWoods Cultivates Endless Artistic Expression

Whether you’re an accomplished artist or simply looking to learn a new skill, our residents love to share their talents — from painting and drawing to three-dimensional sculpture and fiber arts.

Even if you’ve never picked up a brush — take a painting class, or get your hands wet throwing a bowl in our pottery studio. Share your love of fabric with one of our quilting or sewing groups, write for our resident-run newspaper, or compose a blog for the website. Explore our well-stocked wood shop, where you can build anything from a jewelry box to a full-sized sailboat. From oils to clay, wood, and stone, our residents have many opportunities to explore and share their talents.

Resident Art Calendar

An annual effort showcasing the artwork of one RiverWoods artist each month, curated by an outside panel of professional artists and designers.

RiverWords Quarterly

Perhaps your medium is not paint or wood but pen. RiverWords Quarterly provides the community with a literary review of both prose and poetry, celebrating the written word and providing additional evidence of the variety and depth of resident creativity.

On-Campus Studios

  • Music Room
  • Pottery Studio
  • Art and Craft Studios
  • Woodworking Shops
  • Nantucket Basket Workshop

Dozens of interest groups and classes for artists and beginners including:

  • Choral and instrumental music groups.
  • Journalism and creative writing for our campus newspaper and literary magazine.
  • Painting with watercolor, oils, acrylic, etc.
  • Drawing: colored pencil, pastels, collage, monoprints, crayon, chalk/charcoal, etc.
  • Photography/digital imaging and video making.
  • Fiber arts including knitting, needlepoint, embroidery, cross stitch, crochet, quilting, and weaving.
  • 3D arts including mixed-media, Nantucket Baskets, sculpture, woodcarving, woodworking, beading, jewelry, puppets, papier-mâché, model building, ceramics, clay, pottery, and more.

Do you have an interest that hasn’t yet been explored at RiverWoods? We’d love to help you make it happen. Whatever your passion, RiverWoods provides a myriad of opportunities to pursue what you love most about life.

Next month I'll be Artist in Residence.

Any resident can sign up for a month at one of the studios on campus. It's a chance to spread out a bit and I love being able to share my love for painting with others who stop by the studio.