We will gather again, for our 6th year, July 28-31, 2016 in Medford, NJ. The event is expanding like a lotus and have lots of exciting new features and events to take this event to a new level of human connection evolution. Get. Ready.
Curating a safe container for transformation of consciousness through education, activation, self-expression, and community.
Return to Roots Gathering showcases over 70 workshops in hoop dance, yoga, meditation, flow arts, conscious living, personal development, health and wellness, ceremony and spirit.
Return to Roots is proud to be a family friendly event, featuring kids activities, a playground, and family camping. Our event is aimed at assisting the transformation of culture and so it is important to offer children a safe and fun experience for their own creative expression.
Finally, the event is rounded out with a marketplace featuring local and national artisans who offer sustainable and organic products for today’s conscious shopper. We offer local and organic food options to support a healthy lifestyle. The Sanctuary Space provides massage and bodywork for participants, as well as a relaxing space for meditation.
Ultimately, Return to Roots Gathering is about returning to our roots, to reconnect with each other, with our bodies, and with our hearts, offering something for everyone. The Vibe
Do you know that feeling you get when you are with your oldest friend?
You know everything about them and can be as silly as you want. Or the feeling you get when you are sad and you talk to your mom (or mother figure) and she just makes everything ok with a few words?
How about the openness a hooper shows to you when you walk up and say, “Hi! I’m a hooper too!” You guys giggle and jump up and down, so excited to meet someone else who gets it.
The feeling you get after a very tough yoga class followed by a long savasana? Calm, cool, blissed out.
What about the feeling you get after learning a new hoop trick?
Dancing to music that is made for you to flow to?
Meeting someone you’ve watched on Youtube for years and they are just as great as you expected?
That’s Roots. And a whole lot more.
Many people who come to Return to Roots have never camped before.
They’ve never taken a hoop workshop.
Never been to a yoga class.
Never been been to a festival.
Many come alone despite all that.
Others are veteran hoopers – they go to every workshop they can, every gathering, know all the tricks.
There are people who’ve been to Burning Man every year for the last 10 years.
There are people who’s kids are old enough that they can get away for the weekend.
Or the family with their little ones, experiencing the magic together.
Basically – it doesn’t matter who you are.
If you want to experience a weekend that you’ll come away from feeling energized, having a renewed love for yourself and the world around you, feeling confident and connected, with new friends and with new inspirations…
If this is something you desire, then Return to Roots is for you.
Woman or man – it doesn’t matter.
You are welcome and you’ll feel at home. This is our mission. This is what drives us to create this event year after year. We welcome you to our tribe. <3
Return to Roots Gathering was founded in 2011 by Meagan Ruppert. The first event was held September 15-19th in Hawley, PA at Vanderbeek Farm.
In late 2010, Meagan had recently returned from living in Thailand for a year and moved from her home on Long Island, NY to the Pocono Mountains to heal and grow stronger after some dark nights of the soul. When she arrived at Vanderbeek Farm to nanny for the 5 kids of her very dear friends, she took advantage of the HUGE indoor horse arena that was under construction on the property. Each night she went up there and hooped as a part of a 365-day Hoop Challenge.
A few nights into this practice, she had a very stark realization while in flow: she had a drug and alcohol dependency. After this realization, and a progression of emotions – from fear, to sorrow, to blame, to happiness – she decided she didn’t need to go into any programs or therapy but rather she would continue daily practice with her hoop and refrain from the substances she had come to abuse for so long. Meagan healed herself, and came to a place of balance in a fairly short time – she owned up to her mistakes, began the process of forgiving those who’d hurt her (including herself), and started to pay attention to habits, eating more consciously and keeping herself in check.
In April 2011, Mike, the father of the kids she was caring for asked when she’d “have the first hoopstock??” Meagan laughed and brushed it off and said, “Maybe next year.” He replied, “Why wait? You can do it!” That night she went home and hooped and during her practice she decided that she would do it. Having been able to regain so much control of her mind and body through her practice – and having had such positive experiences when meeting and sharing time with other hoopers – she felt like this was the perfect opportunity to expand on that and help others realize the power they have inside of themselves.
Meagan began booking some of her favorite hoopers – Baxter of The Hoop Path, SaFire, Brecken, Malcolm Stuart, Nick Guzzardo, Bex Burton… the list goes on. She was joined in planning by an acquaintance from NY, Ted Brancu. She took her experiences at music festivals and Ted’s experiences at Burns and they brought in DJs and a band, had a performance showcase and a fireworks show.
It turned into the most magic (albeit very cold) weekend. Everyone was on the same level – instructors and participants.
It was heart-opening, groundbreaking, and blissful.
In 2012, Roots expanded to include more yoga and flow arts classes and moved to a location that was more conducive to a growing festival. Her best friend and fellow hooper, Meggi Connor took a larger role in planning. Brad Rufio, a Philadelphia fire spinner joined as a production assistant and his brilliant attitude helped Roots really step it up. More people reaching from a wider area came out to experience how R2R was growing.
2013 was the year where things really began to blossom. With an expanded production team that now included Caitlin Rae Keleman and Kat Berry and a larger attendance than ever, the energy that was created at the 2013 event was overwhelming – it’s hard to explain. A burning effigy and a bigger stage were big catalysts in transforming the event into something really special. From start to finish, Return to Roots bloomed into a very classy, safe, heart-centered and fun place for personal growth and community bonding.
In 2014, we only intensified the beautiful and expansive energy the Roots community creates.That year our home was a gorgeous and welcoming Alpaca farm in Stillwater, PA – also land of dear friends of the Return to Roots Community.
In 2015, we moved closer to the Philadelphia area, just 45 minutes outside of the city in Medford, NJ at Indian Acre’s Tree Farm. This beautiful and magical Christmas Tree forest is also an aspiring organic farm that welcomed us with open arms.
In 2016, Return to Roots is stepping into a new era. After 5 years with R2R, co-producer Meggi Connor stepped down to focus on other endeavors, including Best Day Ever, a morning dance party and Brother.ly. Meagan continues as the visionary for the event, along with an incredible group of individuals who put their hearts and souls into producing this incredible event for the community, year after year.
Come be a part of our story! We’re excited for what’s to come and can’t wait to welcome you home!