Summer 2013 at Chateau vert in France

New: 2 high-school camps for all 14 to 18 and 1 camp for all ages.

Click below to view or download:

2013 summer camps

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Registration form

To register online for Chateau Vert summer 2013 camp 1, 2 or 3.

click below to download and print

registration form CV camps 2013


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Eventhough we have not written anything since our apprentices have returned from France last July, we have been very busy working on the chateau, programs and projects. Our five “kids” came back from France enchanted and completely changed. The pilot program has been such a success, it has exceeded our expectation and the kids have been examplary. Now at least 2 of them , Sharon and Abraham, are ready to continue with the Chateau Vert full nine month apprenticeship. Myles is persuing his dream of becoming a chef, working as a sous-chef in a fine restaurant in Pasadena, Victor working full time and training to become a phlebotomist and Mike working as a full time employee for Hillside helping foster youth in art projects







Abraham, Myles, Patrice and Sharon enjoying a “mousse au chocolat” in a French cafe, Nicole’s in S Pasadena.











Myles, Leigh Torgerson, a supporter and donor, Sharon and Abraham going to our church to hear Leigh singing in his choral.


Please come to our Chateau Vert Benefit Faire

MARCH 31 (saturday), from 10:00 am to 5:00 PM, at the end of HIGHGROVE TERRACE, LOS ANGELES 90042

General admission: $6.00 including one door prize raffle ticket. Kids under 12 free

We will have a taste of a typical 17th century village fair, with period music, period costumes, French food, demonstrations of old trades, performance of singing, dance and poetry, celebrity appearances, testimonials of our apprentices’ experiences in France, sale of garage sale material to fine antiques, a live auction and many other surprises.

Come with your period costume








Abraham, Sharon and Karen in an assembly line situation, printing, sorting, cutting and binding our new Chateau Vert calendar.

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Free time and duties at the chateau

Mike testing his musical abilities at the saxophone









Aside from working 6 hours a day as paid apprentices, (mainly our poor fountain restoration project and the game room), we had many hours of free time to explore –both at the chateau and in the village.  Some of this free time was spent learning to play musical instruments such as the piano, saxophone, guitar, and hurdy guirdy.

Victor and Mike trying 2 hurdy guirdies  (instruments going back to the middle ages)








Our sacred daily walks lead by Monique and Karen (sometimes more than 10 kilometres) around the area of Le Blanc were a time of good conversation and introspection.









Patrice taught everyone how to play the French game of petanque.

Mike, Myles and Victor playing “petanque”









Each one of the apprentices had ‘kitchen patrol’ to help with the daily meals and also learn a thing or two about food prep, cooking and nutrition.

Abraham making lunch for the group










The group scarfing the lunch








Bon appetit!



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Bastille day in Le Blanc!

All of us celebrated Bastille Day – (the French equivalent to our 4th of July) with the townspeople of Le Blanc at the rivers edge for the most incredible firework show. Honestly, the fireworks rivaled those at the Pasadena Rose Bowl, plus it was set against the 14th century Chateau Naillac, and it was a full moon.  It seemed like all 7,000 inhabitants of Le Blanc were there…celebrating, watching the fireworks, eating, drinking and dancing.  It was a magical night.

Myles, Victor, Mike, Patrice, Karen, Sharon and monique




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It’s not a bird, it’s a plane!!!






Le Blanc is known as one of the best skydiving areas in all of Europe.  From the chateau, we can hear and see the planes and even the skydivers with their brightly colored parachutes.  Very tempting…especially for Victor and Abraham who decided this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  So, after having a mandatory physical exam from a local doctor, signing release forms and taking a morning skydiving lesson from an expert who has completed  over 10,000 jumps, the two were ready to go.  Abraham was first. We all watched from the ground as the plane quickly ascended 5,000 feet or more in the air. First were the single jumpers, then at an even higher altitude (12,000ft) came Abraham jumping tandem with one of the instructors.  Then it was Victor’s turn.







Abraham landing in tandem with instructor







Abraham with instructor









Victor being fitted with a tandem harness










Victor at target pad with instructor







They both had a near perfect landing and said the experience was too cool for words.

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Dead birds in the wall, or… We found the missing link

Victor insisted he found some bones in an old fireplace pipe within the stone walls.  We of course didn’t believe him, until he and Myles pulled out a creature, still intact and looking as freaky as ever.  They managed to also pull out this creature’s entire family.

















What is this thing? How and when did it get stuck and meet such a grim end?


Patrice’s explanation: The former fireplace was removed one day (not one night!) and was filled and covered with bricks and plaster,  and the chimney was also obstructed, therefore trapping several sleeping owls. The beak and talons are those of a small prey bird and the eye sockets are quite large.



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Rainy Day Lessons

The apprentices spent a rainy afternoon learning  about the ‘process of design’ from one of  Karen’s current landscape architecture projects.







After a grueling morning picking plaster off old stone walls, the apprentices took much needed break to have a French language and history lesson from Patrice.     Our classroom for the time being: the formal dining-room.








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Vive le tour de France!

It has been almost two weeks since our last blog.  Sorry for the delay…we almost got away with not seeing the emergency room on this pilot program…we will explain that story in another blog. But first, here are a few interesting things that happened in between…

Chateau Vert is very fortunate to be located only 40 minutes from a major city called Chateauroux. This year this city was part of the route of the Tour de France. Naturally, this was a must see for our apprentices.


Monique, Sharon and Mike enjoying lunch from one of the Tour vendors







Abraham, Myles, Victor, Patrice and Karen







Top sprinters almost at finish line







It was so exciting to see the “peloton” (big group of racers) ride in to the finish line going upwards of 45 miles per hour! There was so much energy in the air, so much noise from the crowd and so many promo items being tossed in the crowd – from foam fingers, hats, beer, candies to even salami. We don’t remember who won the stage and for us it didn’t matter.


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Well, after 2 weeks of digging to reach the bottom of the fountain of youth, and not finding the bottom yet, we all decided to take a break and work to clear a path in the forest.








While Abraham, Patrice and Victor were busy using the ancient scythe to clear the wild raspberry, stinging nettles and ivy, the rest of us were clearing ivy from the banks of the creek, dangerously close to a mysterious looking  extremely large flat stone entangled in a root of a big tree.








Karen wandered why that stone would be there (roughly 6′ by 6′) and thought it might be the base of an old well. Marianne and Karen discovered a small round hole in between the stone and the tree.









Marianne put a long stick in the hole and it disappeared. Myles with his brute strength, removed a large stone resting on top of the stone base to discover indeed it is a well. We have discovered a well!!! Patrice and Abraham took a whole day to remove the tree with many large roots and we measure the distance to reach the water and it came to roughly 75′!









This well we think could be 400 years old.

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