Building community is what we’re all about Edventure, so you can imagine how excited we were to discover that two students on our last MAKE course are now collaborating with each other to run retreats in France.

When Sam came on the MAKE course in November last year, one of his goals was to expand on his programme of retreats at The Farm, a beautiful 14th-century farmhouse in the Loire Valley. Sam’s family bought the farmhouse in 1988 when he was just two, and every summer since has been spent turning it into a magical space for creative gatherings. This will be the third summer that Sam is running courses at this venue, with many more in the pipeline.

Courses hosted so far have ranged from art and sculpture to Zen meditation and Yoga and aim to balance learning, relaxation, and time to explore the nearby surroundings.

Sam’s 2018 offerings at The Farm have been enhanced thanks to collaboration with Harry Samuel, the green woodworking tutor for the Winter 2017 MAKE course and the upcoming Spring 2018 MAKE (and one of the first Edventure students back in 2012) and fellow MAKE student Lissi Mason.

In June, Harry is hosting the ‘Earth, Fire, Stone and Wood’ retreat. This course will involve learning how to make a cob pizza oven using locally sourced materials, and include a lot of bare-foot dancing in mud! Once the oven is built the group will make a round wood frame over it to protect it from the elements. This is open to all ages and abilities.

Lissi Mason combines yoga teaching with an interest in art and craft activities, and ran impromptu yoga sessions for the MAKE team during the 3-week course – a fantastic way of keeping everyone focused, calm and purposeful during what is undoubtedly an intense experience. In August, Lissi is combining her skills to run ‘Breathe, Draw, Gather’ at The Farm. Each morning will begin with Vinyasa Flow Yoga, and breathing exercises after breakfast. After lunch there’s meditation in the yurt, a walking meditation, or Yoga Nidra followed by a drawing workshop. 

The Farm is a social enterprise, and thus aims to help more than just those who attend the retreats. 20% of the income will be donated to African Vision Malawi – a non-profit charity started by Sam’s mother, helping orphans and vulnerable people in rural Malawi since 2005. For more info visit: ​www.africanvision.org.uk

Harry will be tutoring the 3-week Spring MAKE course, running from 16 April: apply here.