Welcome to the Hostel in the Forest

The Hostel is a membership organization, please browse through our website before calling us to make a reservation. If you have further questions, we would be happy to answer them over the phone any day between 10am and 6pm, 912-264-9738. We can not accept reservations, cancellations or provide availability by email. If you have a reservation PLEASE check in no later than 7pm


We are always looking for skilled instructors willing to share their knowledge on a variety of subjects that support our vision. If you have some ideas or suggestions, or would like give a suitable presentation or workshop, please contact us..

We are currently looking for a Kitchen manager, please review the staff application or call us

If you are interested in working at the Hostel please review the applications page.*

Our Vision

The world would be a much healthier and better place if all its inhabitants advocated sustainability instead of unlimited growth. Rather than trying to control nature and use it as a resource for development, we should revere it, respect it, and work with it. The Hostel in the Forest is taking steps to manifest this vision. We see that nature’s creatures, including humans, animals, birds and insects share the same land in a unique manner. Inspired by the creativity found in the natural environment, we have transformed our ideas into actions by having an organic vegetable garden used in our dinners each night, recycling our wastes, having a cutting-edge gray-water system, watering plants with a solar powered irrigation system, and using a worm box that composts our table scraps into fertilizer for the garden. Hostel members sleep in tree houses, hike the T-trails through the 133 acre forest, swim and paddle canoes in the lake, take part in the healing process of walking our labyrinth, participate in the sweat lodges held on the nights of the full moon, eat a healthy vegetarian or vegan meal each night, and attend the many educational retreats and lectures designed to teach us how to move toward a wholesome and more sustainable future. We invite you to visit us and be a part of our work in progress; even participate in helping us with our projects, if you so desire. If you are financially able to do so, we would also be most appreciative of any gifts to our 501 C 3 tax-deductible organization in order to encourage and further our goals.


Latest News and Events

Solstice Event: Dec. 18th - 22nd, 2015.

Posted November 7th, 2015

Welcome Back the Light:
A Renewal of Connection at Solstice

As the holiday season approaches, do you find yourself longing for deeper connection with the rhythms of nature and with the ways of our ancestors?

This solstice, join us for a journey into deep connection. Sal Gencarelle is bringing advanced connection practices from several indigenous lineages to the world’s most enchanted environmental educational center: The Hostel in the Forest.

During this event, you will have the opportunity to:

• Deeply connect with Nature, Self, and Community
• Experience traditional purification rites
• Set intentions for your Creative Path in the season of Renewal
• Honor and celebrate the Solstice in a connective circle
• Learn history and theory of a healing lineage of transformative practices

Sal Gencarelle was mentored in an indigenous family healing lineage for over 27 years, and was guided in the art of tracking patterns in nature as related to the human experience. From his elders and mentors, Sal learned how to bring these transformative healing processes to the modern mindset, and earned the responsibility and the vision to accomplish this. What Sal calls “Advanced Connection Practices” are multi-layered techniques of bringing people into a deeper state of conscious and heartfelt relationship with nature, self, and other people. This solstice, we are honored and humbled to welcome Sal to the Hostel in the Forest for the first time.

Founded as an international backpackers’ hostel in 1975, the Hostel in the Forest is now world-renowned for the peace and sense of magic visitors feel at this center for experiential learning. With more than 130 acres of mixed forest, ponds, gardens, chickens, outdoor showers, geodesic domes, treehouses and white sandy paths that connect it all, The Hostel is sure to enchant and transform you.

$275 per adult includes 4 nights of lodging at the Hostel ($110 value), 3 full days and two half days of programming as well brunch and dinner every day. While the Hostel is usually vegetarian, at this event we’ll do our best to meet a variety of dietary diversity, including paleo and vegan. ($60 for children 6 and under, and $120 for youth 7-12. There will be a kids program separate from and integrated with the adult event. More details will be posted soon.)

If you need a lower price to make it possible for you or your family to participate, please contact us through the registration page and let us know. The monetary exchange we ask for covers the lodging, teaching and programming elements of this event. All ceremonial elements are free of charge and open to all without expectation of exchange.

To register, visit here To keep this container intimate, space is very limited. So register now.

Join us on this journey of connection, and feel yourself going deeper.

Testimonials: “The reason I am so eager to get this work to others is the dynamic transformation I have experienced first-hand. The grief work I have done with Sal has enabled me to get out of my own way, allowing my gifts to shine so that I may truly be of service to the Earth and her inhabitants.” ~ Tiffanie (Asheville, NC)

“Sal is such a gifted teacher, and I have been moved deeply and have felt and witnessed such tremendous growth, healing and connection through his masterful facilitation in these practices and mentoring. Yet, what strikes me the most is his personable, humble, and “down to earth” engagement of himself with others. In this age where “shaman” and “healer” can become pop star buzz words and endorse flashy display, I find Sal’s approach to this world and mystery both refreshing, trustworthy and authentic”. From what I have seen, Sal meets you where you are at, and instill a feeling of relaxed confidence and peace.” ~ Wallace (Athens, GA)

About Sal Gencarelle: Salvatore Gencarelle is a cultural bridge between traditional healing ceremonies and the modern world. His intensive mentoring period required both dedication and sacrifice, spending 17 years as a ceremonial guide, creator, singer, and mentor under the direct supervision of a Native American healer, Benjamin Godfrey Chipps, Sr. It was through this process that he earned the responsibility to pass the teachings on.

Salvatore’s initial immersion into a lineage of deep healing has helped him to better understand the universal aspects of advanced connection practices that reach across cultures and time. Salvatore is also an artist, photographer, freelance writer, a musician, and a healer working both the traditions of the indigenous and the modern world. He currently travels across the country and around the world teaching and helping others learn from his experience. Visit his website at: manamongthehelpers.com

Fall Update Oct, 2015

Posted October 13th, 2015

The Forest received a lot of rain this month! The lake and pond have both been replenished to their original levels. The forest experienced a brief period of standing water around the single track boardwalk paths revealing their original intent to keep our feet dry. While the heat and mosquitoes continued we did enjoy a wide variety of guests from all over the world. Members got together for some amazing events including live music, dancing, and the second Forest Fusion event.

We had two fantastic live music offerings this month.

Tina and Her Pony performed in the library singing harmonies and playing the cello, guitar, and ukulele in a southern Appalachian style. It was well attended by members and it was a beautiful experience.

We also had a Tuvan Throat singer perform for hostellers named Jon Errkila. This type of singing is known as Khoomei and is the folk music of Tuva which was a country that existed from 1922 to 1941 before being absorbed into the Russian Federation. Jon performed in the full regalia of southern siberia and it was quite a delight.

The second Forest Fusion event was another success with approximately 28 members in attendance. The classes included survival skills as well as an art class focusing on Animal Totems. We will be hosting another version of this event for Halloween with a costume theme. Please check the facebook for updates and schedules as they become available.

October is sure to be much cooler as temperatures start to drop out of the 90s and the hostel can breathe a sigh of relief and start to welcome the cooler dryer fall months.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff