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Experiential Education

Learn by doing 

By offering students an opportunity become fully immersed in their education, CFHR captures the potential in experiential learning and community building. Through our programs, we empower students to engage in their own education and join our local community to build common ground. We give our community members a chance to be part of a big idea, and they respond with commitment, coming back year after year to build themselves into the China Folk House. 

Camp Wholesome

At Camp Wholesome, students work together to reassemble the China Folk House. Students engage in a range of activities from rebuilding the Folk House and learning Mandarin to canoeing the Shenandoah River and hiking the Appalachian Trail. We give students tools, materials, and a little guidance, and then they use teamwork to organize themselves. Students can sign up for as short as one week and as long as all six weeks!


Educators talk about global citizenship, environmental stewardship, community building, problem-solving, risk-taking, creativity, leadership, but at CFHR we go beyond talk, and give the kids a chance to do it! Since our first session in 2019, over 150 high school students have worked together to complete the China Folk House facilities, and learned the craft of traditional building in the process. 

Applications for Camp Wholesome 2023 are now open! 

What do students say about Camp Wholesome?

Check out our past sessions!

Coming Soon: Tailored Workshops 


Once essential facilities on the CFHR site are completed, CFHR will host a series of workshops that focus on themes directly related to the China Folk House, using our facilities and our staff’s expertise. In the future, you can look forward to learning about: 

Botany, agriculture, food, and healing

Hands-on workshops using the China Folk House gardens to learn about ethnobotany of northwest Yunnan; herbal medicine; Chinese garden crops and traditional agricultural practices, and Chinese cooking using the Folk House woks and kitchen tools. Spring programs would include learning about native plants and local biodiversity.


Sustainable building

Drawing on our expertise developed in the rebuilding of the China Folk House, we offer workshops on building traditional rammed earth and hempcrete walls to enclose the courtyard; using traditional joinery techniques to build garden structures, gatehouses, and camp buildings. 

Retreats, symposia, and interfaith dialogue

The China Folk House is an ideal site for hosting all kinds of retreats, from intimate academic seminars to spiritual retreats fostering dialogue between religious traditions (Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, including Quakers, Catholicism, and other Christian sects).

Chinese culture programming

CFHR can sponsor day-long weekend workshops on different aspects of Chinese culture, from cooking jiu da wan (“nine big bowls”) dinners in the courtyard followed by an outdoor screening of a Chinese film, to taiji quan and martial arts classes, to programs on tea, calligraphy, traditional Chinese painting, fengshui, gardening, festivals—all aspects of culture.

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