Colonial Living Experience

Colonial Living Experience

At the Colonial Living Experience (CLE) you will be able to step back in time to see what colonial life was really like. You can experience a weekend in an outdoor 18th century campground, complete with cooking fires, tents, and the clothing of the day. This program is designed to immerse participants in 18th century life, without compromising health and safety. Approximately 25 participants will spend the weekend in the year 1771. Farm Staff and volunteers will be on hand to guide participants through 18th century chores and activities.

With a major focus on food preparation, this is a tasty and relaxing way to get away from the stress of normal life while spit roasting, planking, baking, smoking, churning and fermenting your food!

Program Dates for 2018

The program begins with a Wednesday evening training session, from 6-8pm on the Wednesday before the weekend program. The weekend program begins at 6 pm on Friday and ends by noon on Sunday.

CLE Training

Wednesday, June 27
6:00pm – 8:00pm

CLE Encampment

Friday, June 29 beginning at 6:00pm to
Sunday, July 1 at noon

Program Details

Food: Food is cooked by the participants over an open fire.  A root cellar is available for cool storage.
Water: We drink clean municipal water from a tap; it is located discreetly in the woods, and we fill pottery vessels with this water periodically.
Toilet Facilities: As in the 18th century, we use a hole in the ground, with surrounding tarps for privacy. We allow the small anachronism of toilet paper, though participants are welcome to use leaves if they desire.
Sleeping: We all sleep in cotton A-frame tents; wool blankets are also provided. Additional simple sleeping equipment may be provided by the participants.
Materials Provided: A small storage building holds all the equipment we will need for cooking, eating, and setting up tents. Some tools (draw knife, bow saw, splitting maul) are provided; participants may bring their own hand tools if they desire.
Light: We dip candles during the day so that we will have light at night. Candles are made of beeswax and tallow, and placed in tin lanterns.
Shelter: A large timber frame open pavilion is available for shelter in case of rain; tents can be moved under this shelter.
Fire Safety: During the night, we hold a rotating “fire watch”– everyone, in pairs, signs up for a 2-hour slot during the night to keep the cook fire and candles burning.
Activities: These depend on the participants’ wishes. Past activities have included hand spinning wool, candle making, woodworking, making natural cosmetics, farming on the nearby recreated 1771 farm, and going for a nature hike in the surrounding woods.
Surroundings: The Environmental Living Center is located in a wooded area, near but not visible from the Claude Moore Colonial Farm’s office. Please note that it is a primitive campsite that is not handicap accessible not be suitable for the mobility impaired.
Clothing: All participants must wear some approximation of colonial clothing. (We are happy to give guidelines and suggestions.) For a $25 fee, participants may rent a set of clothes from the Farm


The fee for this program is $100 per person. Anyone not able to provide their own 18th century clothing can rent it from the Farm for an additional $25. A non-refundable deposit of $30 is required with your application. The remaining $70 is due by the Wednesday training prior to the weekend program.


Families are welcome but children must be at least 6 years of age. Minors aged 16 and up may participate unaccompanied, with parental consent. All must be able to physically participate in colonial activities at a primitive camp site. All are required to attend the Wednesday training session prior to the weekend program. Paid reservations  are required. For further information or for an application to participate, contact

We reserve the right to cancel the program due to insufficient participation; anyone with a reservation for a cancelled program will receive a full refund.