04.01.2013- Netizen begins serving two-year jail term, journalist freedReporters Without Borders has learned that Sayeed Haeri, a netizen and member of the Human Rights Reporters Committee, was arrested on 12 December after responding to a summons to Tehran’s Evin prison and has begun serving a two-year jail sentence on a charge of anti-government propaganda. Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 ——–Press freedom violations recounted in real time (January-July 2010) News – Hossein Yaghchi, a journalist with the weekly Aseman, freed on 20 February- Keyvan Mehregan, a contributor to various reformist newspapers, freed on 23 February- Emily Amrai and Nargus Jodaki of the newspaper Arman, freed on 25 February- Akbar Montajabi of the weekly Aseman and Rihaneh Tabtabai of the newspaper Bahar, freed on 26 February – Milad Fadai Asl of the news agency ILNA and Porya Alami of the daily Shargh, freed on 27 February.There were released on bail, which in most cases was set at 200 million toman (about 250,000 euros). Five other victims of the latest wave of arrests are still held. They are Sasan Aghai, Nasrin Takhayori, Saba Azarpik, Pejman Mousavi and Soliman Mohammadi.Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all the journalists and netizens detained in Iran. Help us to achieve this demand by signing our petition. ——————13.02.2013- Recently arrested journalist freed on bailReporters Without Borders has learned that Ali Dehghan, a journalist with the daily Bahar who was arrested at his home on 30 January in a new crackdown on media personnel, was released on bail on 6 February.At least 17 journalists have been arrested since 26 January and warrants have been issued for the arrests of others. Only one other is so far known to have been released. It is Motahareh Shafie of the newspaper Arman, who was freed the day after his arrest on 27 January.Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about the conditions in which the 15 other journalists are being held in Evin prison’s Section 209, which is controlled by the intelligence ministry. They are still in solitary confinement and are being denied all their rights, including family visits and access to a lawyer.——————22.01.2013-Two journalists get provisional releaseReporters Without Borders has learned that Rahim Sarkar, the editor of the weekly Hadiss Ghazvin, was released provisionally on 11 January pending trial after being held since 25 December. And Mohammad Kimyai, one of the weekly’s reporters, was released on bail of 100 million toman (100,000 euros) on 14 January after being held for two weeks.———————–11.01.2013-Six-month jail sentence for talking to foreign mediaReporters Without Borders has learned that, Hossein Karoubi, executive director of the banned daily Etemad Meli and son of its owner, Mehdi Karoubi, was sentenced to six months in prison in July 2012 for talking to foreign media about the mistreatment of prisoners in Kahrizak prison.He was convicted on a charge of “disseminating false information designed to upset public opinion.” Normally reserved for non-political prisoners, Kahrizak was used to hold government opponents after the disputed June 2009 presidential elections and several young detainees reportedly died of their injuries after being mistreated.Etemad Meli was banned on 17 August 2009 for publishing articles about torture and rape in Iranian prisons. Three weeks earlier, on 29 July 2009, Mehdi Karoubi had released an open letter in which he said young detainees were being subjected to grave forms of mistreatment including rape.————– IranMiddle East – North Africa to go further December 20, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Press freedom violations recounted in real time ( January-December 2013)from 1st January 2013) Organisation —————–Press freedom violations recounted in real time (January-December 2012)———-Press freedom violations recounted in real time (January-December 2011)—–Press freedom violations recounted in real time (July-December 2010) March 18, 2021 Find out more Information and communication technology minister Mohammad Hasan Nami has meanwhile announced that all citizens will be assigned an email address along with their postcode. “With the assignment of an email address to every Iranian, government interactions with the people will take place electronically,” the Guardian newspaper quoted him as saying. A former PhD student in government strategy at Pyongyang University and supporter of outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Nami is expected to be replaced soon. News IranMiddle East – North Africa June 9, 2021 Find out more News 20.12.2013 – Six more arrests in continuing crackdownReporters Without Borders has been told that Alireza Darvish, a journalist working for the weekly Amrdad, was arrested at his Tehran home on 9 December by plainclothes policemen, who carried out a search. It is not yet known why he was arrested or where he is being held. RWB has also learned that Revolutionary Guards arrested five young netizens– Roya Irani, Amir Golestani, Fariborz Kardar, Massoud Ghasemkhani and Seid Massoud Seiad Talebi – in early September. Charged by the Tehran prosecutor’s office with “meeting to conspire against national security,” they are still being held in Section 2A of Tehran’s Evin prison and, according to the information obtained by RWB, are being subjected to a great of pressure to make confessions that can be used against them in a trial.—————————-23.10.2013 -Coverage of protests in far-south province censoredReporters Without Borders condemns reinforced media censorship and harassment of news providers in connection with a wave of protests involving thousands of demonstrators in several cities in the far-south province of Hormozgan since 10 October. The media have had to ignore the protests, which were triggered by a decision by President Hassan Rouhani’s government to separate part of the province off into a new administrative entity. More than 100 people, including several news providers, have been arrested in the course of the demonstrations.The demonstrators have also been denouncing the failure of the official media, especially state radio and TV, to cover the protests. The international media present in Iran have also chosen to ignore them for fear of government reprisals. ————————————17.10.2013-Two journalists released on completing jail termsReporters Without Borders has learned that Alireza Roshan, a journalist who worked for the Tehran-based Sufi website Majzooban Nor and the book review section of the newspaper Shargh, was released on 15 October on completing a one-year jail sentence.Arrested during a raid on the website’s office on 8 September 2011, Roshan was also given a four-year suspended jail sentence to follow his year in prison.Several other people who worked for Majzooban Nor – including Reza Entesari, Hamidreza Moradi, Mostafa Abdi,and Afshin Karampour – are still in prison. Four of their lawyers – Amir Islami, Farshid Yadollahi, Mostafa Daneshjo and Omid Behrouzi – were also arrested and jailed.Reporters Without Borders has also learned that Mojtaba Daneshtalab, the editor of the Daneshtalab (http://daneshtalab.ir) blog, was released on 6 October on completing a six-month jail sentence for insulting government officials and Supreme Leader Ali Khameini. He was arrested on 9 April to begin serving the sentence, which was imposed by a court in Apple in January and which also included a fine of 100,000 toman (70 euros). Help by sharing this information RSF_en ———Press freedom violations recounted in real time (June-December 2009) ————————09.10.2013-Two journalists freed, pro-Rouhani journalist arrestedReporters Without Borders welcomes the recent release of a number of prisoners of conscience, including two journalists, and other signs of a political opening since the moderate conservative Hassan Rouhani became president in August.But Reporters Without Borders continues to monitor the situation in Iran closely and to demand the immediate and unconditional release of all the other 40 or so journalists and netizens who are still serving unjust prison sentences.Several prisoners of conscience have been freed or had their sentences considerably reduced since the start of September. Most of them were arrested after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed reelection as president in June 2009 and some were serving their last months in prison.Reporters Without Borders is particularly relieved to learn of Issa Saharkhiz’s release on 3 October. The editor of several independent newspapers including the now-closed monthly Aftab (Sun), Saharkhiz was arrested on 4 July 2009 and was sentenced two months later by a Tehran revolutionary court to three years in prison on a charge of anti-government propaganda. In August 2011, Saharkhiz was given an additional two-year jail term in connection with his journalistic activities prior to his arrest. He had serious heart problems while detained in Rajishahar prison and had spent the past 20 months in Tehran’s Shariati Hospital. According to Iranian law, he should have been freed in August.Reporters Without Borders has also learned that the journalist Masa Amrabadi was officially released on 18 September. Originally arrested on 14 June 2009 and freed on bail of 200 million toman (150,000 euros) on 22 August 2009, she was sentenced to a year in prison by a Tehran revolutionary court on 14 October 2010. Sentenced to another two years in prison on 9 May 2012, she had been on parole since late June. Her husband Masoud Bastani, a journalist who used to work for the daily Farhikhteghan, is still in Rajishahar prison.Arrested on 4 July 2009, he was tried along with many other journalists in the Stalinist-style mass trials that the government began holding in Tehran in August 2009 and was given a six-year jail sentence.Mostafa Faghihi, the pro-Rouhani editor of the Tehran-based news website Entekhab, was meanwhile arrested on 7 October after responding to a court summons.The summons was issued in connection with a complaint about comments posted on his website referring to the rapprochement between Iran and the United States. He was released on bail of 100 million toman (90,000 euros) yesterday.———————————–16.07.2013-Total of 56 years in prison for seven netizensReporters Without Borders roundly condemns the harsh sentences ranging from seven and a half to 10 years in prison that a Tehran revolutionary court passed on seven contributors to the Sufi website Majzooban Nor on 13 July on charges of anti-government propaganda, insulting the Supreme Leader and endangering national security.Hamidreza Moradi was sentenced to ten years in prison, Reza Entesari was sentenced to eight and a half years, and Mostafa Daneshjo, Farshid Yadollahi, Amir Islami, Omid Behrouzi and Afshin Karampour were each sentenced to seven and a half years.The court also banned all of them from practicing any kind of political or journalistic activity during the first five years after their release. The defendants, who have been held in Tehran’s Evin prison since September 2011, and their lawyers refused to attend the trial on the grounds that it was unfair—————-12.07.2013- Freelance journalist Fariba Pajooh arrested at her Tehran homeReporters Without Borders condemns the arrest of Fariba Pajooh, a freelance journalist who works for reformist newspapers and edits a blog (http://www.after-rain.persianblog.ir). She was arrested at her Tehran home on 9 July after a search by intelligence ministry officials and was taken to Evin prison.Pajooh was able to contact her family to say she was “all right” but did not explain the reason for her arrest. She was previously arrested on 22 August 2009 and was released pending trial on 23 December of the same year after 120 days in solitary confinement in Evin’s notorious Section 209. When finally tried, she was given a one-year suspended sentence for her journalistic activities.—————–08.07.2013-Two netizens arrested for insulting officials on FacebookReporters Without Borders condemns the arrest of two netizens, a 35-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man, by the Iranian cyber-police, the FTA, in the southern city of Semnan for insulting government officials on their Facebook page. “They confessed to their criminal actions under interrogation,” the city’s police chief, Ali Mir Ahmadi, told the Mehrnews agency. February 25, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Iran News Receive email alerts Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists Detainees who had been let out of prison on various grounds have been told to report back to prison. They include the following journalists and netizens: Bahaman Ahamadi Amoee, Masoud Bastani, Shiva Nazar Ahari and Hossein Ronaghi Maleki. All of them have been told to return to prison by today at the latest.Most of these prisoners had been given medical leave. Maleki, a human rights activist who was arrested on 13 December 2010 and was given a 17-year jail sentence, has undergone several kidney operations and is in extremely poor health. Nonetheless, he has been ordered to return to Tehran’s Evin prison today.A court in Tabriz, the capital of the northwestern province of East Azerbaijan, sentenced Maleki to an additional five months in prison and a fine of 50,000 toman (32 euros) on 29 April on a charge of “endangering public health” for something he did while on medical leave.On 11 August 2012, Maleki participated in an initiative by civil society activists and Internet users aimed at helping the victims of an earthquake in East Azerbaijan, after the authorities blocked the circulation of any information about the disaster for several days. Ten of them were arrested a week later.—————–10.04.2013 – Two bloggers arrestedReporters Without Borders has learned of the arrests of two bloggers in the past two weeks. Mojtaba Daneshtalab, a blogger Daneshtalab, who supports President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was arrested yesterday to begin serving a six-month sentence on a charge of insulting regime officials and the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini.Daneshtalab was originally summoned and tried by a Tehran revolutionary court on 10 May 2012, but the prosecutor objected to the outcome. It was when he was tried again in January 2013 that he given the six-month jail term and was fined 100,000 toman (70 euros).He is one several pro-Ahmadinejad journalists and bloggers who have been questioned or prosecuted at the behest of the Tehran state prosecutor for criticizing Ayatollah Khamenei’s allies or taking controversial positions as part of their support for the president. More and more conservative news providers are falling victim to the rivalry between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad factions.Reza Akvanian, a blogger based in the southwestern city of Yasoj who edits the Good Dog Years blog , was arrested on 29 March. After visiting him on 6 April, his family reported that he was in a “deplorable state” and that “his body bears the marks of blows.” It seems he has been mistreated since his arrest with the aim of extracting a confession. He was previous arrested in February 2010 and was given a six-year sentence on a charge of insulting senior government officials.——————-11.03.2013 – Paper closed, journalist arrested, another freed on bailReporters Without Borders condemns the closure of the daily Maghreb today, one day after it published an open letter to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, protesting against “illegal and arbitrary newspaper censors.”The closure was ordered by the Press Authorization and Surveillance Commission, an offshoot of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.It came five days after Maghreb managing editor, Mohammad Mehdi Emami Naseri, and its political editor, Alireza Aghairad, were arrested at the newspaper by officials from the Tehran prosecutor’s officer, who released them on bail the next day pending trial.Reporters Without Borders has learned that Masoud Kurdpour, a contributor to the Mokeryan news website, was arrested on 8 March after being summoned for interrogation by the intelligence ministry in the northwestern city of Mahabad.This was one day after his brother, Mokeryan editor Khosro Kurdpour, was arrested at his home in Mahabad for still unknown reasons and was taken to a still unknown place of detention.Reporters Without Borders has also learned that Etemad journalist Ehssan Mazandarani, who was arrested at his Tehran home by intelligence ministry officials on 20 February, was released on bail yesterday pending trial.——————————-08.03.2013 – Kurdish journalist arrested, newspaper editor and netizen releasedReporters Without Borders condemns yesterday’s arrest of Kurdish journalist Khosro Kurdpour, the editor of the Mokeryan news website. His family said intelligence ministry plainclothes men with a court warrant arrested him at his home in the northwestern city of Mahabad after carrying out a search.Kurdpour is accused of “publishing reports about the situation of prisoners and human rights.”Mohammad Mehdi Emami Naseri, the editor of the daily Maghreb, was meanwhile released on bail yesterday in Tehran pending trial.Reporters Without Borders has also learned that Hanieh Sate Farshi, a netizen detained since July 2010 and sentenced to seven years in prison on 16 April 2011, was released on 24 February because she is very ill.—–28.02.2013- One journalist arrested, ten “Black Sunday” detainees freed on bailReporters Without Borders has learned that Ehssan Mazandarani, a journalist with the newspaper Etemad, was arrested at his Tehran home on 20 February by intelligence ministry officials, who searched his home and confiscated his computer, hard disks and CDs. Mazandarani was taken to Evin prison.At the same, Reporters Without Borders is relieved that 10 of the “Black Sunday” detainees have been released during the past 12 days pending trial. They are:- Fatemeh Sagharchi, a journalist with the Jamaran website, freed on 16 February- Javad Daliri, the editor of Etemad, freed on 18 February After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists Originally arrested on 20 December 2009, he was released conditionally on 11 March 2010 on bail of 500 million toman (500,000 euros). In September 2010, a Tehran revolutionary court sentenced him to two and a half years in prison and 74 lashes. An appeal court reduced the sentence to two years in prison six months later.Two other members of the Human Rights Reporters Committee are already in prison. They are Shiva Nazar Ahari, who was arrested on 8 September 2012, and Sayeed Jalali Far, who was arrested on 30 July 2011. Ahari is serving a four-year sentence while Far is serving a three-year sentence.Reporters Without Borders has also learned that Reza Ansari Rad, a journalist who worked for several reformist news outlets, was released on 15 December after being deemed to have completed a one-year sentence on a charge of anti-government propaganda.Imposed in 2010, the sentence was upheld by a Tehran appeal court in March 2012 and Rad began serving it on 4 May. The US Internet surveillance company Blue Coat has again been criticized in a report released by Citizen Lab on 9 July. The Washington Post quotes the report as saying Blue Coat devices used for Internet monitoring have been detected on government and commercial computer networks in Iran, in violation of US regulations banning the sale of such technology to authoritarian regimes.For more information, read: The Enemies of the Internet—————-04.07.2013- Arrested arbitrarily, held incommunicadoReporters Without Borders condemns freelance journalist and netizen Ahmad Asghari’s arbitrary arrest by intelligence ministry officers on 20 June when he tried to interview a political prisoner’s brother in a Tehran park.Asghari, who writes for several Tehran media, was escorted to his home, where the intelligence officers carried out a search and seized personal documents. They then took him away to an unknown place of detention. It is still not known where or why he is being held.Arbitrary arrest and illegal detention are commonplace in Iran. Khosro Kourdpour, a Kurdish journalist who edits the news website Mokeryan, and his brother, Masoud Kourdpour, who writes for the site, were finally brought before a court in the western city of Mahamabad on 26 June after being held incommunicado by the intelligence services for three and half months.After being charged with “publishing information on the situation of prisoners and human rights,” they were transferred to the city’s main prison. They were arrested on 7 and 8 March, respectively.Reporters Without Borders has also learned that Fatemeh Khardmand, a journalist who used to work for the monthly Gozaresh Sanat Chap, has received a one-year jail sentence from a Tehran revolutionary court. Arrested by plainclothes men at her Tehran home on 7 January 2012, she was released on bail of 50 million toman (45,000 euros) three weeks later.——————-27.06.2013 – Blogging cleric released, now faces internal exileReporters Without Borders has learned that Ahmad Reza Ahmadpour, a theologian and editor of the “Silent Echo” website, was released on 22 June after serving almost two years of a three-year jail sentence.Known as the “Blogging Mullah,” Ahmadpour will now have to serve the second part of his sentence, which is ten years of banishment from his home town, the religious city of Qom.Arrested on 18 July 2011, he was given the two-part sentence – three years of jail followed by ten years of internal exile – on 26 September 2011 on a charge of spreading false information about the government.Ahmadpour was previously arrested in December 2009 and was given a one-year sentence on a similar charge. While held, he sent an open letter to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to draw attention to his arrest.24.06.2013-One journalist released, another sentenced to six years in prisonReporters Without Borders is relieved to learn of journalist Jila Bani Yaghoob’s announced release after the authorities deemed that she had completed the one-year jail sentence she received from a Tehran court on 22 October 2010.Bani Yaghoob had been held since 2 September 2012, when she was summoned to Tehran’s Evin prison to begin serving the sentence. She is now subject to a 30-year ban on working as a journalist, the second component of the sentence imposed in October 2010.Bani Yaghoob and her husband, fellow journalist Bahaman Ahamadi Amoee, were originally arrested together on 20 June 2009. Yaghoob was released on bail on 24 August 2009 but her husband remained in detention and was given a five-year jail sentence for articles critical of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration.Bani Yaghoob’s “We are journalists” blog was awarded the “Reporters Without Borders Freedom of Expression” prize in 2010 in the BOBs (Best of Blogs) competition that German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle organizes in Berlin. In 2009, she won the International Women’s Media Foundation’s “Courage in Journalism Award” as well as the International Press Freedom Award from “Canadian Journalists for Freedom of Expression.”Reporters Without Borders has meanwhile learned that Foad Sadeghi, the editor of the Baztab Emrooz news website, was released provisionally on 16 June, a month after his arrest on 18 May. Ali Ghazali, the site’s publisher, who was arrested on 4 May, has also been released.Said Madani, a sociologist who had written dozens of articles for independent media, was sentenced by a Tehran court on 18 June to six years in prison followed by 10 years of internal exile in the southern city of Bandar Abass.Madani has been held since 7 January 2012, when plainclothes men arrested him at his Tehran home. He spent a year in solitary confinement in Evin prison’s notorious Section 209.——————————22.05.2013-IRAN – Crackdown on newsWebsites blocked, journalists and netizens under pressureReporters Without Borders condemns a week-old wave of censorship targeting Iranian and international websites in the run-up to the 14 June presidential election. Websites that support various presidential candidates and online services such as Google and Yahoo! have been blocked.The site blocking was indicative of the tension among the various conservative factions prior to yesterday’s announcement by the Guardian Council of the list of approved candidates. The regime began reinforcing its system of Internet filtering on 4 May and network cuts have been becoming more and more frequent since then.Four websites that support outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government and provide information about his top aide and preferred candidate, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei – Meyarnews (http://meyarnews.com/), Roshanaee (http://roshanaee.ir/), Baharana (http://www.baharna.ir/) and Bahaaronline (http://www.bahaaronline.ir/) – were closed on the orders of the Working Group for Determining Criminal Content.The Working Group also ordered the closure of two websites – Aftabnews (http://aftabnews.ir/) and Ayandenews (http://www.ayandenews.com/) – which support former reformist president and current Expediency Council chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, another would-be candidate. The daily newspaper Bar’s website (http://www.baharnews.ir/) has also been inaccessible since yesterday.At the same time, many journalists based in both Tehran and the provinces have been summoned for questioning by the Revolutionary Guards or the intelligence ministry. Most of them support either Mashaei or Rafsanjani, the two most prominent figures whose candidacies were blocked by the Guardian Council yesterday.Journalists who support other independent candidates or government opponents were also summoned and questioned for several hours. During interrogation, they were asked to stop supporting “candidates who do not follow Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s line.” Other journalists – mostly former political prisoners – were summoned by the intelligence ministry and told to “choose between prison or taking a vacation until the elections are over.”Foad Sadeghi, the editor of the news Baztab Emrooz, was arrested on 18 May after being summoned by the Tehran prosecutor’s officer. Ali Ghazali, the site’s manager, was already arrested on 4 May.
A parent starts letting go (but still holds onto the rope) Cliff jump: Check. I’m not convinced my son is actually going to walk off the cliff until I can’t see him anymore. There are so many opportunities for him to back out between the point where he gets clipped into the rope and the point where he backs off the edge of the cliff, and I wouldn’t blame him for reconsidering. Rappelling off a 100-foot cliff sounds like a great idea when you’re in the van heading to the trailhead, but standing on top of the ledge, looking straight down into a deep river gorge, things get real. Fast. But I’m also not ready to let my kids explore the world on their own yet, so I’m going to summer camp with them. Does the fact that I never got to swim in a race against Camp Mohawk have anything to do with my decision to insert myself into this de-facto camp experience for my kids? Maybe. I’m not a psychologist. But I’d argue the factor that’s more in play here is that I’m a super controlling parent who wants to teach my kids everything. I want to teach them how to catch a fish, how to whittle a stick. How to whittle a fish? If that’s a thing, I want to teach them how to do that too. How to rappel and how to keep their feet together when they jump off a cliff into a lake…I want to imprint on them, the way mama ducks imprint on their babies or kidnappers imprint on their victims. Stockholm Syndrome. That’s basically what I’m after here: a bond so strong that even logic can’t break it. Because I’m going to have to let them go. Eventually it will be college and study abroad and spring break in Cancun and marriage…the separation is on the horizon and that separation will start with a legit summer camp experience where they go off for weeks at a time without me, learning how to whittle a fish from some camp counselor barely out of high school. Make new friends: Check. And this is the way life will go as my kids get older. Every little step will create distance between us. They’ll leave me and go out into the world. I can only hope I’m doing a good enough job during our time together to imprint on them. Fingers crossed that my baby ducks have Stockholm Syndrome. COOPER AVERILL PREPARES FOR HIS RAPPELL OFF BRIDGE BUTTRESS IN THE NEW RIVER GORGE. / PHOTO BY GRAHAM AVERILL Day one has us on a pontoon boat exploring the serene waters of Summersville Lake, which sits at the head of the Gauley River. We join forces with two other families, both with kids about Coop and Addie’s age and they become fast friends, peering over the edge of the boat looking for fish. They don’t have much in common—they’re from different towns, play different sports—but it doesn’t matter. They’re kids. Kids get along. And the entire scheme seems to culminate with this rappel off the Bridge Buttress, in the heart of the gorge. You can see the steel bridge in the background as my son slowly inches backwards towards the edge of the cliff. We’re so high up; it’s equal parts beautiful and scary. My daughter has already rappelled and is waiting patiently on the floor of the canyon for her brother to make the leap. She’s only scared of the ridiculous: zombies in the toilet. But my son has real fears: Heights and sharks. Rappelling is the sort of thing that he’ll say he wants to do, but decide against it when the time comes. I watch him work through it all: Pulling the gloves onto his hands, adjusting his helmet, listening to the guide explain how the whole system works. How he’ll have to lean away from the wall and let gravity do the work. I watch him inch backwards and I know any second he’ll quit. He’ll ask me to get him off the top of the cliff, out of the harness and to take him home where it’s safe. That’s why I’m here, to be a cushion for the world. I’m already preparing myself to be kind. To not push him. But he doesn’t quit. He gives me one last look, a little bit of fear in his eyes, but also an eagerness, like he knows if he can just sidestep his fear, life will be amazing. He takes two small steps down the rock wall and then I can’t see him anymore. He’s gone. Later there are half eaten dinners in the cafeteria and s’mores and stories around a campfire (check), then a wild trip down the Upper New River in duckies where my kids point to the biggest rapids and say, “There, Dad! There!” During the deep, calm stretches of the river, the guides flip over a boat and the kids wrestle on top, king of the hill style. We’re in the New River Gorge, that deep slice of rock and whitewater in West Virginia that has inspired so many men and women to put down roots on the edge of the chasm and live the adventure life dream. I’m here with my two 9-year-old kids, Cooper and Addie, pursuing a different dream: the ultimate summer camp experience. The idea is to spend a few days ticking off a list of summer camp-style adventures in the gorge. Whitewater rafting, cliff jumping, campfire stories, cabin v. cabin shenanigans…I never went to summer camp as a kid, but I’ve seen Meatballs a dozen times, so I know summer camp is a key part to personal growth. It’s where you make new friends who have different backgrounds and cultural experiences. It’s where you stick up for yourself against the bully, and climb the rock face called “Certain Death,” and swim the winning leg in the race versus Camp Mohawk, where the rich kids go…Summer camp is important and I want my kids to experience it. There’s a ropes course that my daughter zooms through, and games of hide and go seek. I hear my kids telling the other kids that they’ll have to meet back at the gorge again next summer. So, a family summer camp at New River Gorge. And so far, it’s been amazing. We staged the camp at Adventures on the Gorge, partly because of its location (as the name implies, it’s “on the gorge”), partly because it has a summer camp vibe with a bunch of cabins on a sprawling campus stacked with ropes courses and climbing walls and its own system of trails, and partly because they have guides that can lead us through a suite of adventures that would make up a badass summer camp: whitewater rafting, climbing, lake shenanigans…The guides can handle the logistics while I focus on quality time with my kids. Summersville is lined with tall, sandstone cliffs, so we idle beside a shady rock wall and one of our guides sets up an easy top rope for everyone to climb. Later, we paddleboard into concave amphitheaters with waterfalls and find a beautiful 20-foot tower sticking out of the water like a giant thumb. The kids help each other climb the tower and gather the courage to leap (“I’ll do it if you do it.”). And their form is perfect. So are the smiles on their faces. “That’s basically what I’m after here: A bond so strong that even logic can’t break it.” Push out of your comfort zone: Check. Cabin-versus-cabin shenanigans: Check.