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 try to check in by 7pm or let us know if you can’t. and please bring a valid ID with you.

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


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..

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

This seminar will introduce Daoist Nei Gong, a process of internal transformation. We will use the method of Qi Gong, which are short precise movement sequences and standing postures, as the vehicle for initiating this process. Participants are encouraged to wear loose fitting clothing appropriate for stretching.

This course will be taught by Mark Reichert and Erin Marie Johnson.

Erin is a movement teacher, Licensed Massage Therapist, and Qi Gong teacher certified through Lotus Nei Gong International. She is an avid student of Nei Gong under the tutelage of Damo Mitchell.

Mark is a certified instructor with Lotus Nei Gong, and has been training with Damo Mitchell since 2012. He also holds a 4th degree black belt in Aikido.

What is Nei Gong? Nei Gong is a Daoist process of internal change and development which uses Qi Gong and Dao Yin Exercises to progressively target stages of development. Nei Gong is a fluid practice with many aspects to it. Some adhere to the principles of seeking inner stillness whilst others seek internal awakening and movement. The balance of these two qualities is what the Daoists were seeking when they developed their internal training systems. These ideas will be explored along with practical work involving the Dan Tian, channel system and breath work to help initiate development of Jing, Qi and Shen – the three ‘treasures’ of Daoist Alchemical Practice. For much more information, check out the most recent book by Damo Mitchell, A Comprehensive Guide to Daoist Nei Gong. The Nei Gong process shared at this workshop has been taught by Damo for over 10 years and is based on experience with courses taught in Europe, North American and Canada to enable students to move through the process in the safest and most efficient manner.

Disclaimer: The Nei Gong process taught by the Lotus Nei Gong syllabus is a classical process and is, at times, very strong. For this reason we do not wish for anybody with psychological disorders or those with serious medical issues/needs attend these events. There are many ‘medical’ Qi Gong schools out there that would be more appropriate for these kinds of needs. Nei Gong is also not suitable for pregnant women or anybody under the age of 18 years old. Lastly we reserve the right to ask any student to leave the training immediately if we deem the training to be unsuitable for them or a risk to their well-being.

What’s included: Accommodations for two nights (Friday March 1st and Saturday March 2nd) at The Hostel in the Forest, Vegetarian/Vegan dinner on Friday and Saturday night, brunch on Saturday and Sunday Morning. Multiple workshop sessions on Saturday and Sunday.

What does it cost? The cost of your all-inclusive 2 night, 3 day stay is $300 per person. A $100 deposit is required to make your reservation. There are only 15 spots total available so reserve yours as soon as possible!

Madre Tierra Retreat March 21-24th, 2019

Join Ella Dufrene, Katie “Pinto” LeBrun, and Ryan Bean for our 4th annual Madre Tierra Spring Equinox Retreat. This retreat offers a 4-day eco-getaway in which you will take a break from daily routine to quiet your mind, connect with nature, and tap into your inner peace. Our intention for this weekend is to provide a safe space which promotes well-being and self-care through various alternative, holistic, and expressive therapy teachings such as Yoga, Art Therapy, and Hula-Hoop. More info here

Price: $439 USD per person

Retreat Includes:

Daily Yoga classes. 3-night accommodation at Hostel in the Forest Linens & Towels Daily delicious and healthy vegetarian brunch and dinner (3 brunch, 3 dinners) All workshops Use of Hostel property and all amenities (Glass house, library, screen porch, labyrinth, trails, kitchen, refrigerators/supplemental food storage, pools, lake, fire pit, garden, art space)

PAYMENT OPTIONS In order to register for a this retreat, participants must call the Hostel at (912) 264-9738 to sign up, at which time the Hostel collects a $100 deposit (refundable up to 10 days prior to the event, you can pay for the event in full when registering if you wish). Spots are limited. Please send an email to ellarapha.art@gmail.com to confirm registration.

What to bring:

While the retreat offers basic supplies, please bring your personal art supplies. Snacks. There is a kitchen space to use between meals-please label and store in the community fridge if you get hungry in between meals. Organic bug spray and flash light. Long sleeved items that are light to cover up in case of mosquitos. Linens and towels will be provided, you can bring additional blankets. Cash to spend at the Hostel, there is a teacher/art gallery vending space with products for sale, or to pay for Hostel Coffee and merchandise. Cell phone use is not permitted in the common areas. Remember, we are here to unplug, destress, recharge, and connect with one another and nature. Please only use them in your lodging areas.

Visionary Goddess Retreat April 18-21

Join us for a Full Moon weekend in celebrating the sacred divine feminine and art as a spiritual practice- with visionary art workshops, sacred sweat lodge and meditation/healing activities at the beautiful Hostel in the Forest. This is the 4th annual Visionary Goddess Retreat, and we can’t wait to create with you all. For creative women and feminine spirits. No art experience necessary.

Your stay includes Lodging of three nights and three days in a tree house or cabin/bunkhouse on 133 acres of lush Forest. Two delicious vegetarian meals per day prepared by a holistic chef. (Brunch and Dinner) Access to all art classes/workshops.

Basic art supplies Canvas, easel, work space, limited paint and drawing supplies. (Please bring your personal paint/art supplies) Participation in sweat lodge and cacao ceremony. Access to Hostel space and amenities: lodging and cabin space (linens included) access to the geodesic dome library, art studio space, outdoor showers, glasshouse, private lake access, hiking trails and walking labyrinth.

Workshops and events Beginning Acrylics and painting techniques with Veronika Rose. By the Goddess: Capturing female power in paint,” 2 day workshop w/featured artist LeVar Carter. Discovering spirits in wood- painting workshop with Veronika Rose. Yoga Gong/sound healing with flower essence experience w/ Drea Silvestri Cacao ceremony with ecstatic dance with Zulaika Alvarez. Visionary discussion with Julie Wilder. Sacred Sweat Lodge and tobacco prayer. Easter flower banos and blessing with John Moore.

PRICE: $360 per person

TO REGISTER Call the Hostel in the Forest at (912) 264-9738 and pay a $100 deposit to reserve your spot. After confirming with the Hostel, please email Veronikaroseart@gmail.com and let us know you’ve signed up. The remaining $260 is paid when arriving to the forest. Cancellation and refundable up to 10 days (April 8th) prior to the event.

This is a pack it in, pack it out, leave no trace environment. Please take any trash you bring out with you.

Traveling with a friend or small group? The Hostel has rooms that fit up to 4 people. Let the hostel know who will be with you.

Food allergies? Let the hostel know as well.

First time sweat lodge? Check out the link here- http://foresthostel.com/sweat-lodge

What to bring: *For painting- Please bring your personal art supplies; Acrylic paints in Primary colors and black and white, portable Easel, (2) 16”x2canvas or wooden panels, set of brushes, rag, water cup and sketch pad with pencils or colored pencils. Please bring printed reference photos as we will not be able to access a printer or have internet during the classes. This is a cellphone and Wi-Fi free area.

Snacks. There is a kitchen space to use between meals-please label and store in the community fridge if you get hungry in between meals.

Organic bug spray and flash light.

Long sleeved items that are light to cover up in case of mosquitoes.

Linens and towels will be provided, you can bring additional blankets.

Items to add to the creativity altar, like crystals, feathers, offerings, tobacco etc, tapestries etc.

light cotton dress, skirt and shirt/towel for the sweat lodge.

Portable water bottle.

Cash to spend at the Hostel, there is a teacher/art gallery vending space with products for sale, massage treatments or to pay for Hostel Coffee and merchandise. (Limited credit card purchases for individual artists) Cell phone use is not permitted in the common areas as to respect those who are in meditation and prayer. Please only use them in your lodging areas. More info coming soon! Stay tuned for schedule and instructor info.

Winter Update

Posted January 5th, 2019

Winter Update:

As the leaves begin to drop with the changing of the seasons, so does the temperature. The birds and mammals of the forest have been busy collecting their winter food supplies and building warm sleeping areas. Similarly, the humans of the forest have been cooking up hearty soups and stews, while getting cozy at night with piles of blankets. Chilly days bring about long conversations around the warmth of the campfire, which is further enjoyed with hot beverages and musical instruments. And thanks to our well-loved wood stoves, the main dome and library are kept toasty warm with roaring fires throughout the season. Movie nights in the library and game nights on the screen porch are not uncommon this time of year. And while the lake may be too cold for swimming, it’s still a favorite spot for folks to take our canoes and kayaks onto the still, peaceful water.

With less hours of daylight, the chickens have been laying fewer eggs, while using this time to molt their old feathers in order to grow beautiful new ones. The ducklings we raised in the summer, have grown into full-fledged adults and spend their days lounging at the pond and exploring the puddles after it rains. Fall brought the migration of hawks through the forest, and many woodpeckers were seen frequenting our dead trees for tasty insects. Thanks to the cold temperatures, mosquitos and flies are now a thing of the past, and it is pleasant to get out and walk the T-trail without such distractions. Bats have also become a more common and welcome sight in the early evening hours, especially over the lake.

Winter has brought nights below freezing that narrowed our options from the garden. But thankfully, with a little love and care, our gardens have provided us with an abundance of unique greens, which are combined with wild foraged edibles to create some truly tasty salads! It’s been such a blessing to continue to eat fresh produce year-round, especially straight from our own soil! As we move toward spring, we look forward to growing a wide assortment of veggies in our main garden as well as the solar field gardens.

In summary, the winter is a very special time of year in the forest. A time for quiet reflection. A time for observation. And a time to gather in the warm company of new friends