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Family and Community Camp / Rites of Passage

Community life, creativity, contemplation and nature – this is Shambhala Family Camp!

Enjoy sleeping in our comfortable tents under the majestic trees of the Chateau grounds, or stay in one of our rooms, leave your busy life behind and enter true “slow time”. For eight days, you will be happy to simply walk everywhere you go, accompany the children in their games, do your Qi-Gong or yoga exercises in the middle of nature, meditate, meet people from many countries, hang out together outside and enjoy our (mainly) vegetarian cuisine.

For over 25 years, this annual programme has offered adults a chance to meet, practice and exchange with one another, and children the opportunity to experience a natural environment with a lot of freedom and kindness.

Children aged between 3 and 10 years old will be welcomed every morning at the Aloka House from 9:00 am to 12:15 pm and will be taken care of by a childcare professional and younger trainees. They will be divided into two groups: ages 3 to 6, and ages 6 to 10. Children under 3 years old must be accompanied by a parent.

Children aged 8 to 11 have the opportunity to join the Rites of Passage programme. Click here to find out more.

If you have children above 10 years old, they may wish to join Sun Camp (for children aged 10-16), which takes place at a site a one-minute’s walk from Family Camp and at the same dates. Sun Camp offers an unforgettable experience with youngsters of all countries. A week of offline fun for preteens and teens, the camp also introduces them to meditation, living close to nature, learning to take responsibility for themselves and their world.

In the afternoon, the daycare is open for an hour and a half. Parents and daycare staff coordinate to organize this time. This allows parents time for personal activities in the morning and group activities with or without the children in the afternoon.

We serve child-friendly food! 

Daily activities

Morning activities for adults:

  • Meditation, contemplative walking, talks and exercises: art of life and creativity

Afternoon before snack time: for parents

  • One hour with parents with meditation and a talking circle on a topic related to parenting

After snack time

  • Parent-child afternoon activities
  • body expression and world dances workshop
  • 4-hands massage and sound bath workshop
  • “My plate of flowers as a painting” – Discovery walk in nature
  • Collective creation workshop: Calligraphy, comics, art in nature, songs
  • Family Meditation

Evenings for all

  • Night walk, disco evening, campfire and evening market in the surrounding villages

Family Camp Staff

Aurélie de Schoutheete, coordinator

Aurélie is an osteopath who lives in Brussels with her husband and two children.

She is also a meditation instructor and co-organizes an online meditation sangha for moms called “maman-cercle”.  In addition, she has been organizing women’s circles with her sister for the past 10 years, and is active in the “Mères au Front” eco-feminist collective in Belgium.

“For me, the path of parenthood is a real spiritual path. When you become a parent, you don’t have much time to practice meditation or connect with a sangha. Yet that’s when sangha and practice are most important because you need a village and a clear mind to educate a child, that’s why Family Camp is a great idea: it allows us to share with others, to take care of ourselves through practice and to show our children that it’s important to us.”

Herbert Elsky

Each afternoon, artist and Dharma Art teacher Herbert Elsky will lead creative workshops for all. Children are also welcome. Let’s open up to our power of expression.

Herbert Elsky has been teaching Contemplative Art and Shambhala Art all over Europe for more than 30 years. He has created his own theater near Dechen Chöling: Las Balubas Theater, where he presents surprising and magical “sound journeys”.


Family Camp Information Sessions

If you would like to know more about the family camp, we will have two online information sessions:

  • Thursday 4 April 2024 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday 21 May 2024 at 8:30 p.m. 

A great opportunity to meet our coordinator and teachers, learn more about Family Camp and ask any questions you might have!

Register here. Looking forward to meeting you!


Practical Information 

When planning your trip, please note that this programme coincides with the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Arrival day (25 July, Thursday): You’re invited to come from 4 pm in order to register and settle in your room. Dinner is served at 6:45 pm. Orientation talk at 8 pm.

End of programme (2 August, Friday): Closing circle and banquet in the evening

Departure day (3 August, Saturday): You may leave anytime (no programme). You’re welcome to stay for lunch.


(Euro) Adults Children (daycare expense)
 … 4-12 yrs < 4 yrs
Programme price      
Standard 200 100 see *
Early Bird (< 25 April) 170 85 see *
Full board (standard accommodation + all meals)
60 €/night 25 €/night free

* Children below 3 years old are welcome at Dechen Chöling, under your responsibility. You can bring with you a babysitter or an au pair – they will pay 25.- € a day for food and accomodation. 

In the Family Camp we try to accommodate all the languages that are spoken by participants and children, with an emphasis on English and French. There will be an interpreter to help people if necessary. 
Dechen Chöling
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2024-04-17 18:47:32