Holden Village is an intergenerational community that welcomes people of all ages into the wilderness. YOU are welcome here whether you travel by yourself, with friends, with a group, or with your family.
We understand that traveling with children requires extra care and attention, especially somewhere so remote. If you’re thinking about visiting Holden with your family, here are some considerations to help keep your kids healthy and happy at Holden.
Holden is committed to being a welcoming, safe, and educational place for children. The entire community cares deeply about everyone’s safety, but parents/caregivers have primary responsibility at all times for supervision of their children and teens. We ask you to be as diligent here as you are at home regarding your children’s safety, playmates, and caretakers.
While Holden takes responsibility for the safety of our programs and the training of our staff, we cannot take responsibility for your children’s activities outside of our scheduled Children and Youth programs. Please be aware of the physical dangers in our wilderness surroundings, such as the creek, forest, and wild animals. Keep in touch with your children and teens; know where they are at all times.
Holden Village is not a traditional children’s summer camp. The majority of each day is spent with your family and you can customize your daily plans to best meet your needs. There are many family-friendly activities, such as art classes, hiking, reading in the library, and much more. During the summer season, structured programs for children are offered in the mornings so you can attend teaching sessions, go for a hike, or relax!
Children and youth are integral to Holden Village’s community and vibrancy. Through its youth programs, which serve community members ages 4-17, the Village aims to support the next generation of leaders to craft a more just, sustainable, and compassionate world. At this time, Holden Village does not offer a structured childcare program for children ages zero to three.
Community members ages four to eleven can participate in Holden’s structured Children Program, Narnia, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon during the summer season. The Narnia program facilitates play and creativity, encourages curiosity, fosters a sense of place in nature, and commits to justice.
Holden Village’s Youth Program, which serves community members ages 12-17, seeks to foster independence, belonging, mastery, and generosity, values of the Circle of Courage model of development. This model, which draws from the wisdom of indigenous communities, aims to support the needs of participants and encourage engagement.
Each week begins with free Snack Bar and bowling for teens, so they won’t want to miss out! Other activities for teens can include art and pottery classes, naturalist sessions, service projects, bonfires, ping-pong, and more. Meeting times and places vary and are posted on the Children & Youth Program schedule on the Kiosk. Please encourage your middle school and high school aged children to participate in these activities.
Children of all ages are welcome to participate in appropriate programming with parental supervision.
Many of the summertime activities at Holden Village are designed to be family friendly. Check the daily schedule for kid-friendly crafts, pool hall & bowling hours, games, naturalist sessions, and festivities that are fun for the whole family. Children under 12 must be accompanied by parents when participating in these sessions.
With fewer staff during the winter months, Holden Village’s ability to provide family friendly activities is limited. There are more options available during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays than in other off-season months. Activities that may be offered include kid-friendly crafts, stories, and games. Check the daily schedule for special programs offered for children and teens in the winter months.
Holden Village is surrounded by natural beauty and provides easy access to miles of trails both in and out of the Village, at varying degrees of difficulty. In the heart of the Village, right behind Koinonia, the Nature Walk is an excellent trail for families. You can learn more about nearby hiking here. Tips on other good family trails are available from the Hike Haus. Always check the winter info board in the Dining Hall for up-to-date info about weather and avalanche conditions. Backpacks and outdoor strollers for carrying small children may be borrowed from the Hike Haus.
When it comes to planning food and snacks for the whole family, we have you covered. The Holden Kitchen provides breakfast, lunch and dinner at set meal times, all included in your nightly rate. Additionally, the Dining Hall offers around the clock access to snacks like fruit, bread, cereal, peanut butter and jelly, milk, and juice, ensuring everyone is well fed and ready for adventure!
Holden Village asks that children ages 11 and under be served by an adult at meals due to Washington State health code. This helps reduce the spread of germs in our remote community. Booster seats and high chairs are in the Dining Hall in the west foyer. In the summer, a guest refrigerator at the west end of the Dining Hall is useful for storing bottles, baby food, medicine, etc.
Popcorn and candy are occasionally for sale in the Pool Hall during the summer. Ice cream may be purchased in the Snack Bar in summer and is occasionally available in winter in the Dining Hall. The bookstore sells candy and snacks.
Please note that the Holden Village kitchen is NOT a peanut-free or allergen-free kitchen. We have certain processes in place to minimize the likelihood of cross-contamination, but we cannot guarantee that cross-contamination won’t take place. If you have a severe food allergy, please contact the Food Services Lead and the Medic for more information.
Many families visiting the Village have small children who take naps during the day. Please encourage older children to play outside or in non-residence buildings. Quiet hours in the Village are 10:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. We ask that these hours be observed. The Registration Office has a limited number of baby monitors available for checkout.
Pack and Plays with a mattress, mattress covers, and crib sheets are available. Please email the Registration Office before you arrive (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to borrow any of these bedding items.
Depending on your room assignment, you will likely have showers at the end of your hall. If you are visiting in the summer with young children that need access to a bathtub, you are welcome to bathe children in the Lodge 3 bathtub room on the first floor, even if you are not staying in Lodge 3. In winter, inquire with Registration if you need access to a bathtub.
If you need to wash any personal clothing items during your stay, a Guest Laundry room is available to you (location changes depending on the season). Due to limited power supply in winter, dryers may not be available. Soiled bedding and towels may be taken to the Village Laundry in Agape and exchanged.
The Holden laundry offers a free diaper service, providing cloth diapers, diaper covers and diaper pails. You can also bring your own cloth diapers.The diaper service is available through our laundry in the mornings, or make arrangements at the Registration desk when you arrive. You are expected to rinse used diapers in toilets, thoroughly cleaning dirty diapers of all fecal material before exchanging them in the laundry. The Village discourages use of disposable diapers, because all landfill waste must be shipped downlake. If you bring disposable diapers, you must pack out all disposable diaper waste. We can help provide you with buckets and supplies to do so, if needed. Learn more about Diaper Service here: Diaper Services for Babies & Toddlers.docx.pdf
We certainly hope you stay healthy and well throughout your visit, but Holden Village has a First Aid Station equipped to handle basic needs should they arise.
If your child takes medication, be sure to bring more than enough for your stay including an extra 5-10 day supply in the event of possible delays leaving the Village.
Don’t forget to bring other supplies that help you stay well including sunscreen, bug spray, layers for varying weather conditions, proper footwear, helmets for children to go sledding, etc. Learn more about Health & Safety at Holden Village.
If you are interested in serving on the Holden Staff with your family, please check out the following options:
Family Option is a program that was developed to allow families with school-age children (ages 4-17) to serve on staff in the summer for two weeks at a time.
View Open Positions to see how your gifts and talents might help meet the Village’s needs. For families interested in being on staff for 1+ years, please first contact email@example.com to inquire about this possibility. Housing for families is limited and capacity for families to serve on staff varies. During the school year, children of long-term staff attend the Holden School, a public K-12 school operated by the Lake Chelan School District.
Holden Village is a community where your questions are valued and encouraged. Most programs led by visiting teaching faculty occur during the summer months. However, Holden also invites faculty to teach sessions for special events and retreats throughout the rest of the year.
Check out a list of the 2024 Summer Faculty.