Calleva, Inc. | Bethesda Magazine

Family Business Profiles


Calleva, Inc.

Matt, Alex, and Nick Markoff

13015 Rileys Lock Road

Poolesville, MD



Founded by the Markoff brothers in 1993 as a small summer camp, Calleva has grown to encompass a wide range of programming including, summer camps, wilderness high adventures, environmental education and small-scale sustainable farming. The brothers have built their non-profit around the idea of building a healthy, integrated life that includes adventure, personal challenge, community connectedness and an appreciation for tradition.

Calleva Farm, 165 acres of land in Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve, is one of the organization’s three hubs. It has served as an essential resource for teaching people of all ages about the value of rural land, local farms and the important interdependencies between farm, forest and local water sources, says Alex, director of Calleva’s Farm Operations. In addition to summer camp, year-round experiences are available for people of all ages, including horse riding lessons, Farm & Forest Cubs outdoor preschool, Dirty Dinners (a unique farm-to-table experience that features ingredients from Calleva Farm), summertime Family Farm Nights, and the always popular Markoff’s Haunted Forest. Meanwhile, Calleva’s Liquid Adventures gets kids and adults out on area rivers for introductory kayaking instruction, rafting excursions, plus international trips for kayakers of every age and ability.

In May 2019, Calleva opened a Farm Store in downtown Poolesville, offering a variety of food and gift items from Calleva and other local producers.

“In the beginning, we were thinking about summer camp, getting kids outdoors for some fun in the sun,” says Matt, Calleva’s executive director. “Calleva has grown way beyond what we imagined back then. We’ve become a go-to for people’s bucket lists, and we absolutely love getting people out of the city to experience a little bit of adventure right here in D.C.’s backyard.”

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