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Camp Wholesome 2023

Camp Wholesome is back for a 5th year of building common ground, learning by doing, and wholesome fun. 

About Camp Wholesome 

"Camp Wholesome" is a summer craft school for high schoolers working together to rebuild the China Folk House. Students engage in a range of activities from traditional building arts and sustainable architecture, to Chinese language and handicrafts, to canoeing the Shenandoah River and hiking the Appalachian Trail. We give students an immersive experiential learning session and a chance to be part of a big idea, building themselves into the China Folk House.


Program Overview

At Camp Wholesome, our motto is "learn by doing."

Campers who attend Session 1 will gain experience with a variety of different building techniques by participating in teamwork activities to rebuild the China Folk House homestead, such as tamping rammed earth walls, masonry projects, and constructing a hempcrete wall for the moongate, and working on our gardens and courtyard projects.


Campers who attend Sessions 2-6 will also learn the craft of timber framing through carpentry apprenticeships and building timber frame bunkhouses.


Campers in all sessions will spend the mornings learning the craft of building on the China Folk House site. In the afternoons, campers will attend cultural activity sessions with experts. Our cultural activity sessions change daily, ranging from hikes on the Appalachian Trail and canoeing on the Shenandoah River, to research seminars on Chinese culture, to kungfu and traditional craft classes. After cultural activities, campers of all language levels are encouraged to take optional Chinese class with an experienced teacher. In the evenings, campers and staff share a meal before heading to a wholesome evening activity, such as a soccer game, board game, bonfire, or hootenanny.

Program Overiew

A Day at Camp Wholesome 

Campers spend the morning learning the craft of building, followed by a session for activities related to Chinese culture and traditional architecture and a Chinese lesson, and outdoor activities or free time in the late afternoon. We eat all of our meals together and provide a fun evening activity after dinner such as movie screenings or game nights. Cultural activities and evening activities change daily.  

7:30 AM Breakfast 

8:00 AM On-Site Work

12:00 PM Lunch

1:00 PM Cultural Activity: Yunnan architecture seminar, basket making, hiking, food class, etc.

3:00 PM Chinese Class 

4:00 PM Free Time

6:00 PM Dinner 

7:30 PM Jam Session 

10:00 PM Lights Out!

Our Site & Staff


Site & Staff

Our staff includes a camp director,  a program coordinator, college-age counselors, a Chinese teacher, and instruction by craft masters. Our counselor to camper ratio is 1:6, allowing counselors to give each camper the proper care for their physical and emotional needs at all times.

Our Site

Campers and staff create a unique community at the CFHR homestead. We stay on site at a 1,600 acre nature reserve in rustic accommodations. We build together, garden together, cook together, and eat meals together. Three fresh and healthy meals, with options for vegetarians and meat-eaters, are prepared on site by our team of talented cooks.

CHFR lives at the Friends Wilderness Center (FWC), a beautiful 1,600-acre nature conservancy connecting the Appalachian Trail to the Shenandoah River. Our access to the outdoors allows us to craft robust, hands-on educational programs and fosters campers’ sense of environmental stewardship. Students will engage in service work by helping to maintain the trails running through Rolling Ridge Conservancy.

Enrollment is limited to 18 campers per session.


Dates and Rates

We offer one-week sessions, but campers are welcome to sign up for more than one week. Our first week is for students who want to try out many different building and teamwork activities, such as tamping rammed earth walls masonry projects, and constructing a hempcrete wall for the moongate. Sessions 2-6 will focus more on the craft of timber framing through carpentry apprenticeships. Rising 9th graders to graduating seniors are eligible to register for Camp Wholesome.

Enrollment is limited to 18 campers per session. 


  •  Session 1: June 11th-18th 

  • Session 2: June 18th-June 25th

  • Session 3: June 25th-July 2nd 

  • Session 4: July 2nd-July 9th

  • Session 5: July 9th-July 16th 

  • Session 6: July 16th-July 23rd

Dates & Rates


1 week session=$1850 

Financial aid is available. Email us at for more information.

Apply for a Full Scholarship

Thanks to a grant from CultureShock, we can offer students with an opportunity to receive a full scholarship to attend one week of Camp Wholesome. Rising 9th graders to high school graduates of 2023 who would otherwise not be able to attend camp due to financial barriers are eligible to apply.

Applications for this scholarship close April 1st, 2023. Please feel free to email with any questions!

Get a glimpse into camp



Camp Footage
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