A vibrant place of education, programming, and community.
Over the course of 50 years, Holden Village has been transformed from a copper mining town to a vibrant place of education, programming, and community. Nestled in the mountains of the beautiful Glacier Peak Wilderness, the Village serves as a year-round retreat center.
Located In the remote North Cascade Mountains of Washington state.
About Holden Village
Since its founding, Holden has relied on a tradition of volunteer service. Operations depend on the efforts of hundreds of volunteers annually who stay in the Village between 2 weeks and 1 year. This generous giving of time and talents makes Holden a vibrant and supportive community of renewal.
The Employee Experience
Whether you are a kitchen assistant, accountant, mechanic, or communications coordinator, volunteering with Holden Village offers an intentional community and enriching work experience in a beautiful and rugged setting.
Employees and volunteer staff members are key to creating a place of welcome, celebration, and hilarity in all aspects of Village life. The staff supports Holden’s mission by helping the Village operate in their many work areas.
The commitment of each staff member to personal growth, common work, a spirit of hospitality, and service to others is vital. These shared disciplines strengthen our sense of common purpose. Although Holden Village is a Lutheran retreat center, we welcome staff and guests of all faith and non-faith backgrounds. We commit to creating and maintaining a community free from discrimination or harassment toward any person because of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical condition, or any other status protected by law. In work, play, and conversation – in agreement and disagreement – we offer ourselves to each other in mutual respect and forgiveness.
Room and Board
Whether serving for a week or a year, volunteers and staff are provided room and board and have the opportunity to take part in Holden's vibrant wilderness community.
Generally, long-term volunteers are housed in one of the Village chalets (1930s-era houses) which have simple and comfortable furnishings. All long-term volunteers should expect to share common spaces such as living rooms and kitchens with other volunteers; most bathrooms in long-term housing are shared by at least two volunteers. Short-term volunteers can expect to be housed in a lodge with one or two roommates, with bathrooms down the hall.
Known especially for its homemade soups and fresh bread, The Holden Kitchen provides three hearty and nutritious meals a day. Holden’s diet utilizes mainly local & organic produce, whole grains, legumes, and occasional fish & meat options. The Holden Kitchen is very accommodating to dietary needs. Bread, peanut butter & jams, fruit, and beverages are available around the clock.
Housing and meals are provided for all staff. Monthly stipends are available for seasonal-head positions and long-term volunteer positions. Additional benefits are available for long-term volunteers and employees.
Holden’s facilities include a sauna, library, ice cream snack bar, craft, loom & pottery studios, hiking and skiing equipment, children’s playground, Holden store, post office, historical museum, pool hall, craft, and a bowling alley.
Access to some of these facilities depends on the time of year (the bowling alley, for example, is closed from October-May to conserve electricity). However, during the winter months, Villagers transform the Dining Hall into a vibrant gathering place with board games, instruments, ping pong & pool tables, and lively conversation.
Thinking of bringing your family? The Holden Village School is a public school operated by the Chelan School District under state provisions for schools that are remote but necessary. It meets all state educational requirements and credits earned are transferable. The kindergarten through 12th-grade curriculum meets the educational needs of the children of long-term staff families. If you have questions about the school or would like information about bringing your family to Holden, contact the Staffing Coordinator.
Getting Here and Getting Around
Holden Village is located in north-central Washington in a remote wilderness area. No roads lead to Holden Village, which makes the journey itself exceptional.
Most visitors arrive by a scenic two-to-four-hour boat ride (a "must do" trip according to National Geographic), taking the historic Lady of the Lake ferry from Chelan or Fields Point to the Lucerne boat dock. Public transportation from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to the Chelan boat dock is available. If you travel by personal vehicle, parking at Fields Point is provided at no cost for all volunteers. You arrive at the Village after an eleven-mile (40 minutes) bus ride up the mountain switchbacks in a Holden vehicle.
There are also a small proportion of visitors who choose to complete the pilgrimage on foot – hiking into the Village from trails connected to the Pacific Crest Trail.
There is a great deal of freedom in deciding what you want to do when you are at Holden. Some people spend a lot of time outdoors exploring the wilderness area; others stay close by to take advantage of the outstanding program and educational offerings.
You might want to try your hand at one of the many arts and crafts projects or spend time alone reading. All new and returning Villagers bless this community with their presence. Everyone is invited to join together daily for Sacred Space and quality time in intentional community.