The beauty of a city rests in its ability to reveal humanity’s dual capacity for healing and harm and of all the cities in the United States, Camden might be one of the most ideal for understanding our collective environmental impact. Here, industries and practices which form the foundation of our society but create so many undesirable by-products sit adjacent to households, gardens, and schools where life is springing up and blossoming daily.
And we couldn’t think of a better place to call home – a place where our past missteps and future potential are laid out with equal clarity. Alongside some remarkable partners and allies, we’re moving our neighborhood forward towards a more sustainable and just end, one we’d love to have you come and join with. Whether you’re an educator, a student, a gardener, or are simply interested in the work we do, we’d love to host you at our retreat center. The opportunities we offer are founded on a combination of service, education, reflection, and relationship building.
Preview the Retreat Experience at CFET:
Housed in a former convent lovingly restored to life through the dedicated efforts of many volunteers, our Retreat Center is open year-round to groups both near and far and sits within a few blocks of our many urban gardens. We’re capable of hosting up to 24 people at a time in our comfortable and homey accommodations.
All groups have access to our fully equipped kitchen, dining room, community gathering rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms and during their stay, though bed linens and bathing towels are not currently provided.
Day-trips serve as our easiest point-of-entry for groups seeking to connect with our local efforts. Lasting between 2-8 hours, these trips typically focus on a specific environmental issues or service project. Schedules for such trips are highly customizable and often augment orientation programs and classroom lectures, provide annual service opportunities to educational institutions, or serve as capstone experiences for team-building projects.
We are currently booking groups between 5-25 people. Larger day-trips may be coordinated with advanced notice. The cost of a trip is based on a group’s size, length of stay, and operating budget. Financial assistance may be available for groups from Camden. If you have any questions, please contact Angel@cfet.org for more information.
By gaining a better understanding of Camden and participating in our progressive efforts, it’s our hope that groups will:
- Develop a better understanding of the environmental impact they have on their home communities, be they urban, suburban, or rural
- Understand links between human action and the whole of ecology
- Contribute to the long-term development of our local sustainability efforts
Immersion groups spend their days working on service projects at a variety of locations throughout the city. Groups can expect to work on projects connected to our urban gardens and with our partner organizations, whose activities focus on topics like education, homelessness, food access, and community development. During the evenings, we offer a number of educational sessions which help groups contextualize their experiences and better understand their connection to the environment.
We are currently booking groups between 10-24 people and offer our trips at a cost of $75 per person, per evening. If you have any questions, please contact Angel@cfet.org for more information.
Groups who are interested in renting our Retreat Center can do so on a day-by-day basis, pending no other events are scheduled during their stay. Pricing varies based on a group’s size, needed amenities, and length of stay.
Groups not looking to prepare their own meals often have their stays catered by Cathedral Kitchen, an innovative Camden non-profit and partner of ours. Meals options and contact can be found in this this brochure.
For more details, please contact us at Angel@cfet.org.
If you’re interested in booking an experience or a facility rental, please reach out Angel Perez at Angel@cfet.org.. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible with details on availability and pricing.
Feedback from Participants
La Salle University students created this video about their time at CFET, May 2015
Hear it from our guest!!!!
“I learned how my own experiences and interests related to things I heard from the community partners”
“I enjoyed all the work sites but I especially enjoyed Mighty Writers and the Camden County Youth Services because they taught about the importance of language. They also taught me about the history of Camden and the various systemic issues that are impacting the Camden community.”
“They were great, every person I’ve encountered in Camden has been so welcoming and truly so kind. I’ve never once felt like I didn’t belong, because the people of Camden have such good hearts and evidently care for their surroundings.”
“Just wanted to say thank you so much for being so welcoming and so thoughtful during our visit. We all learned so much and had an amazing experience. The kids can’t stop talking about how great of a time they had, so thank you!!”