River’s Edge Retreat was developed to provide the local community a peaceful spiritual haven on six serene acres. Our Goal is to share the Love of God to every child. We are surrounded by dense woodlands, privacy fence, and the Saluda River. All of this rustic beauty; and still just one mile from I-20 off Bush River Road. The perfect setting for your child to experience Summer Camp. We offer an Olympic Size New Pool, a New IT Lab (offering STEM projects), Art Cottage, Movie Room, Challenge Course, Volleyball Court, Regulation Basketball Court, Tennis Court, Waterslides, Playground and more...
Our mission is simple. To change lives, no matter one's financial or social status, through inspiring hope, and reflecting the Love of God.
Our vision is for every child, regardless of their present circumstance, to achieve a sense of well being Physically, emotionally, academically, and spiritually.
Our focus is on: P.E.A.S.: P-Physical E-Emotional A-Academic S-Spiritual
Through the generous financial support of our partners and members, River’s Edge Retreat is a facility dedicated to seeing that every child, no matter their financial or social background, has a chance to create a bright future. We offer families that qualify for the free- or reduced-lunch program scholarships to our RER Academy and Summer Adventure Camp. These scholarships are made possible by redirecting a portion of fees we receive from memberships, facilities rental and fees. River’s Edge Retreat also applies donations specifically targeted for scholarships to help serve as many families as possible.
Located on 6+ acres along the Saluda River in the heart of Columbia, South Carolina, the River’s Edge Retreat center is the ideal location in the Midlands for your next retreat, conference, seminar or camping trip. You will find us 1½ miles off of I-20 on Bush River Rd.
Formerly the Gardendale Tennis and Swim Club
River’s Edge Retreat was the former home of the Gardendale Tennis and Swim Club. Mr. Ware purchased the facility in 2008 and spent the next two years renovating the property, seeking rezoning and reopened the facility in 2010 as a nonprofit summer camp. The initial summer camp program was made possible with assistance from Dr. Brad Smith, professor for the University of South Carolina. Dr. Smith is the Director of Challenge Horizons, an award winning after school program. This initial camp had just 9 kids attend each week. In 2012, over 5,000 kids participated in the various events, programs and activities held at River's Edge Retreat.
The Learning Center (The Castle)
Sometime in the 70s, the WIS radio station moved from their home located at "1 WIS Lane" a facility located just off Bush River Road, to their current location located in downtown Columbia, South Carolina. The street was renamed to "Radio Lane" some years later and the station was sold to Clear Channel radio. The radio station at this location sit on pilings like a beach hours since it's location in the flood plain adjacent to the Saluda River.
The Clear Channel management team, especially General Manager Ron Hill, have been instrumental in assisting River's Edge Retreat in providing an academic learning center for the youth of South Carolina.
Today, other than housing storage for Clear Channel's engineering equipment, the facility is leased by River's Edge Retreat and is known as The Castle. The Castle is equipped with games and multiple academic classrooms, an ideal facility for the retreat center's after school and summer camp programs. Outside groups and churches use this facility for retreats and conferences as well as for breakout sessions and study groups.