Summer Retreat "Making Health Fun" - vegan holistic retreat - Pinecrest Lake, California, USA


United States

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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    The Vegetarian Educational Institute is a non-profit organization offering holistic health classes and a 100% plant-based menu retreat for all ages. We are hosting a Summer Retreat this summer, July 13 - 20, 2019 at Pinecrest Lake, California.

    This will be the 4th annual Summer Retreat, taking place at beautiful Camp Sylvester near Pinecrest Lake in the mountains of Central California. Continuing the tradition of the French Meadows Macrobiotic Summer Camp for the 50th year in a row. We will be celebrating at camp this year!

    Nestled between Pinecrest Lake and the slopes of Dodge Ridge ski resort, Camp Sylvester is an ideal setting for family vacations. With updated cabins and recreation halls sprawling over nearly ten acres of the Stanislaus National Forest. Camp Sylvester provides the fresh air, green pines and excitement of an outdoor adventure with all of the comforts of a rustic resort.

    The picturesque, natural surroundings are an ideal setting to go "on retreat" and provide a unique environment in which to relax, study, and play.

    This is a non-profit dedicated to educating people on the benefits of a plant based diet. Any proceeds from our events directly support our scholarship program. Making camp possible for individuals or families in need of financial aide with registration fees to attend the event.

    Our Summer Retreat features vacation plans with a healthy plant-based menu that is 100% vegan, gluten free and offers oil free, nut free and no salt options. Enjoy and get empowered with natural health classes, activities and entertainment, key ingredients for a happy life.

    For many campers, the unforgettable meals are what keep them coming back - delicious and naturally healthy in quality. Organic, 100% plant based, vegan, seasonal whole foods prepared fresh daily - from scratch - meals, snacks, desserts and beverages. Prepared in our fully equipped commercial kitchen, a teaching environment for a hands-on experience in vegan, seasonal cooking.

    Our Executive Chef for Summer Retreat 2019 is Patrick based in San Diego. Patrick is a professionally trained French Chef with a strong background in macrobiotics, vegan cooking and more. He will be educating staff in our retreat kitchen, sharing his extensive knowledge of truly healthy food.

    The major emphasis of our Summer Retreat is education for better health and longevity through the natural practices. The daily schedule includes lectures, cooking classes, workshops, movement sessions and meditation groups. All sessions encourage participation, dialogue and questions.

    Not in the mood for educational classes, there are activities and opportunities to just chill too. Come spend time at the lake, we host space on the beach with all kinds of water toys, paddle boards, kayak, water float, life preservers and more. We have staff on duty to help you get set up. Relax and renew on the beach, take a hike, go for a swim, breath in the fresh air and enjoy.

    Wishing all a fabulous summer!

  • Type of help

    Type of help


  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Our camp offers many classes and activities - you are welcome to attend whatever you like. Or go for a hike, visit the lake, there is lots to do and campers/teachers from all over the world to meet and hang out with.

  • Help


    We have two types of positions available for helping out...

    One is in the main kitchen helping with cleaning and dishwashing. We have a commercial dishwasher, it is easy to operate and there will be guidance for learning its simple operations. Our kitchen is a teaching environment so there is a lot of interesting things happening. This job entails two 2 - 2.5 hr shifts twice a day for five days of the event. Please be aware that there will be heavy lifting so we suggest only applying if you are in good physical condition and are comfortable with carrying weight around.

    The other position is a beach assistant, we need someone to hang out down at the beach with our kayak, paddle boards, life preservers, water toys and save our "spot" at the public beach. Campers from our event come and go, the responsibility is to keep track of the gear in use and properly store things overnight. One needs to be confident in the water and a good swimmer, the kayak and paddle boards get stored overnight on the lake attached to a floating buoy. The hours for this position are five 4 hours shifts at beautiful Pinecrest Lake.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, French, Japanese, some Spanish - in the main kitchen

  • Accommodation


    Camping & Housing
    There are eighteen sleeping cabins available. Each private cabin sleeps 8 to 13 guests in twin-size bunk beds. Each unit includes access to bathroom, dining, and recreation facilities. The cabins have full power and lighting and are gas heated if the weather turns unusually cold.

    No linens are provided. You need to provide all bedding (sheets, blankets, sleeping bag and/or pillow), hygiene products, and bathing towel.

    Participants are required to keep their assigned space in cabins clean.

    Private Tent Space: Bring Your Own
    There is room for about fifty tents between the cabins and other buildings. Most of these spots have ample afternoon shade with a reasonable amount of open space.

    Notify us if you prefer to tent and we will save a place near your cabin. There is no change in fees for choosing to stay in a tent. Every registration includes bunk space.

    Bathrooms & Showers
    Camp Sylvester features running water with flush toilets, sinks, and showers with hot and cold running water conveniently located near all cabins and tent spaces.

    Filtered Water
    We use filtered water for all of our kitchen needs and is available to all campers. Feel free to bring your own water bottle to fill.

    Phone Service
    Verizon and Sprint phones have the best reception at this camp location. Cell phones are not to be seen or heard; you can have them and use them privately but we ask that you do not disturb any other campers when using your devices.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Organic, 100% plant-based, seasonal, whole foods. Featuring a menu with two choices - "simple" and "seasoned". The simple side has no oil, low salt, no nuts. All our food is gluten free and vegan. We balancing food according to the seasons and natural healing practices.

    For those coming in from out of state we have a transportation coordinator that can help you make your travel plans.

    Pinecrest Lake is a great place to go hiking or enjoy the day at the lake. A small town just above Yosemite National Park, fresh air, beautiful sights and more.

    This is a holistic retreat for all ages. People coming together to learn more about living happy, healthy lives for one peaceful world.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4 hours a day, 5 days

We have target arts classes and archery range.
Dance party!
Yoga, gong immersions and shiatsu classes in the great outdoors!
Pinecrest Lake is a leisurely walk away...
Our whole menu is organic, plant-based foods, made-from-scratch and gluten free.
We have a lot of campers who have been coming for years... this is our 50th anniversary this year.
Cooking classes and natural health presentations everyday.
Stellar teachers from all over the world coming together to educate on the benefits of a plant based diet for a happy, healthy life.
We have paddle boards, kayak and other water toys available to share at our beachfront space.
Enjoy nightly camp fires with new friends and music.
Amazing, powerful, delicious food to enjoy all week long... meals, snacks, desserts, beverages... yum!
Spend free time at Pinecrest Lake or go for a local hike. The national forest all around us is breathtaking!
Join us for a fabulous week of making health fun!
Host ref number: 786271329329