Environmental Living « Claude Moore Colonial Farm

Environmental Living

18th Century Environmental Living

Who participates?

This Program is designed for school and scout groups. Groups will often work for weeks ahead of time, preparing for their overnight experience. The staff of the Claude Moore Colonial Farm is not involved in each group’s program; rather, we train the adults in each group, who then lead their own groups. Both children and adults sleep on straw in cotton tents, cook meals over an open fire and learn skills necessary to life in Virginia in 1771, such as spinning wool, woodworking, leather working, candle making, butter churning, bread and cheese making, and sewing.

Where is this located?

The Environmental Living Center for the program is adjacent to, but not visible from, the office area of The Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run. Directions can be found on the Farm’s main webpage,

cook fire pit

wooded areas for pitching tents

inside the storage building

barrels for water storage (not potable– wash water only)

root cellar– lid is strong enough to stand on

inside the root cellar

What training is available?

In order to participate during the calendar year, you must fill out and return the ELC-Application-2014 and at least 3 adults in each group must attend the mandatory training in late April. Training takes place on a Wednesday evening and all day the following Saturday. At least 3 adult leaders in each group must have attended this training, and at least 1 adult leader must have attended the current year. By completing the training you assume complete responsibility for both supervision of your group while they are on the Farm’s property and the care of the ELC, its equipment and adherence to the program rules.To receive an application for the current year’s training program please click:  ELC Workshop-Application-2014 or  email

Below are the training Dates for the 2014 Encampment:

Wednesday April 23; 6-8 pm  ELC Training (Day One)

Saturday April 26; 10-4 pm ELC Training (Day Two)

Encampment Availability:  Any 3 days – May through October

For more information, an application, availability dates or other questions about the program, contact

If you are interested in an overnight program but are not part of a group, we offer the Colonial Living Experience program for individuals and families.

What does each group need to bring?

  • Consumables (toilet paper, fire wood, food, straw, craft supplies, lime, and more; a complete list is provided at the training)
  • 18th century clothing

What is provided?

  • Pavilion shelter, storage building, root cellar, cookfire pits, potable water
  • Cooking utensils, eating utensils, some tools (draw knife, saw, wooden mallets, chisels, shovels, rakes)
  • Wool blankets, canvas tents and support poles
  • Plenty of woods in which to dig a latrine

What is the cost?

  • For the adult training: $75 per person
  • For the overnight program: $10 per person (minimum of 25)

How many can be in each group?

  • Minimum: 25
  • Maximum: 45

When can we do this?

The site is open 7 days a week, from May through October. Groups sign up for their overnight programs on a first-come, first-served basis. The Following dates are NOT available due to Federal Holidays or other Farm Events:

May…………..17, 18 & 26

June…………25, 26, 27, 28, 29

July………….4, 19, 20


October…….13, 18, 19

History of the Program

The 18th Century Environmental Living Program at Claude Moore Colonial Farm was established in 1976 to provide students an opportunity to live and experience the colonial period as represented at the living history farm. In this multidisciplinary, curriculum-based program students learn history, environmental science, and agricultural practices and processes through the cultural laboratory of an 18th century farm.


Moon Guidebooks Top 10 DC

Moon Guidebooks:

Rates Claude Moore Colonial Farm One of the

This spring break, Patricia Nevins Kime—respected journalist and author of the first edition of Moon Washington DC—offers her selections for ten can’t-miss activities, perfect for kids and their chaperones.

"7. Claude Moore Colonial Farm: Something’s always being grown, harvested, dyed, dried, or crafted at Claude Moore Colonial Farm in McLean, Virginia, a rendition of a modest circa-1771 frontier farm."