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Spring 2023: Castle Pop-Up & Worldschool Prom

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

FAQs on our castle stay, pop-up, and teenage prom!


NOTE: This event is sold out. Additionally, the castle stay is completely booked including campervan slots. Regardless, please read this article to understand the expectations at the castle if you're planning on attending the pop-up or prom.


We have some amazing plans in Normandy, France, for Spring 2023! There is lots of information here and I kindly ask that you review all of it before you ask questions. We’ll break up this FAQ into several sections:


Château de L’Isle Marie with 80 hectares of grounds! Options to stay in the Castle or the Manor House.

 

Castle Location


We have been diligently working with the amazing Château Coliving in Normandy France to make this event possible for our worldschool families. We will privately rent the castle from April 15 – May 15, 2023, and the facility is fairytale-esque: the 12th century castle Château de L’Isle Marie, the 17th century Manor House (home of one of Louis VIX’s warriors), high-speed internet workspace, 80 hectares (nearly 200 acres) of property including beautiful grounds, forest, chapel, library, tennis courts, river, and more! Check out their website: Château Coliving


Nearby transport hubs:

  • Caen (not to be mistaken with Cannes) 1h away – direct flights from the south of France

  • Dinard 1h 30min drive with direct flights to London

  • Rennes 2 hour drive

  • Beauvais 3 hour drive – low-cost international flights

  • Paris Orly or Charles de Gaulle airports – 3h and 30min drive – many international flights

  • Local train station: Carentan Station is the closest (trains from Paris and other destinations); the castle has pick up or drop off service for a fee.

  • Ferries from the UK landing in Cherbourg (40 min drive), Caen (1 hr drive), or Le Havre (2 hr drive)


The château has beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces.


NOTE: In order for this event to take place, our group needs enough commitment to cover the castle’s expenses for a month. We have until November 15, 2022, to decide whether there is enough interest to forge ahead with the plans. If we cannot cover the expenses by that time, we will cancel with no financial loss for any family (huge thank you to Château Coliving for this kind offer). Currently we believe we have more than enough interest to book the entire facility and rock this whole event...but want to be open and upfront with that slim possibility, we hope to start booking in October. UPDATE: Yes, we have enough commitment to continue with this event!


 

Worldschool Prom


Our prom will be held May 5th for worldschool teens ages 13-19 (sorry, no exceptions for tweens, however if the event is a success, we hope to hold the event again in the future). We will define prom as a “fancy” dance…teens are encouraged to dress in any manner that is fancy for them: of course ball gowns and tuxedos are fair game, there is also the option to rent 17th century formal wear or to don other apparel that expresses their personal styles. We want this dance to be for the teens and we’d love for them to wear something memorable and fancy, whatever that means to them.



The Pop-Up will be held the week during prom: April 30 – May 6, 2023. The Pop-Up is open to all worldschool families, regardless of if you have a teen attending the prom. We’ve chosen these dates, so the teens have a chance to socialize with each other before the dance begins.


There is no obligation to attend the pop-up or stay at the castle in order to attend prom. Each attendee will pay a prom entrance fee to cover DJ, decorations, refreshments, photographer, and rental of the castle space which includes a sound system and projector. Though we do not have an exact amount for the ticket price, please expect 30-50€ per teen to cover expenses. We will also encourage all families to participate in decorating, cleaning up, chaperoning, and other volunteer positions (food/beverage prep, DJs, photographers, etc) to keep our costs down. More details to follow as we get closer to our date.


Also, the castle has connections with the local French teenagers. We will plan a few activities with our teens during the castle stay and Pop-Up for language and cultural exchange. It is possible to have the local kids attend the prom as well!


PS I was asked if prom is open to kids of all backgrounds including those in the LGBTQ+ community. Yes! Everyone is welcome in any way that is authentic to them. Our pop-ups draw diverse and wonderful families and we would never create restrictions to jeopardize anyone's sense of belonging in our community.


 

Worldschool Pop-Up

The Pop-Up dates are scheduled April 30 – May 6, 2023. Families pay a $100 fee to the Worldschool Pop-Up Hub (25% discount for solo parents) for a week-long schedule of local activities and exploration of the area including D-Day happenings, castle history, beaches, architecture, Roman ruins, farmers markets, a day trip to Mont Saint-Michel, and more.


The château is located near D-Day beaches, Mont Saint--Michel, and many other unique attractions!


Families who stay on-site will have full access to the grounds. Families staying off-site will pay a 150€/week per family for grounds access (or 500€/month). The Access Fee includes usage of the indoor living space, grounds, restroom facilities, community activities, and parking. Note: The off-site Access Fee does not include the kitchens, laundry, or high-speed internet workspace, if workspace access is required, it is available at 10€/person per day.


 

Castle Stay

A huge shout-out to the castle owners and staff for making this event possible for our worldschool community! We’ve jointly worked on all these details to create the best circumstances for our extended worldschool family. You can always visit the castle’s website, Château Coliving, for more information.


All double/triple château rooms are quite spacious and the property has two kitchens plus a dedicated high-speed workspace.


The castle has been operating as a digital nomad’s paradise since May 2021. If your family wants to stay at the castle, there are a number of amenities included in the rates, you can check their website here for more information: Castle Amenities.

  1. Two breakfasts per week: Saturday local French pastry spread (or overnight oatmeal bar and other options for GF or vegan families) and Sunday homemade crepes (savory, sweet, and gluten-free varieties).

  2. Weekly cleaning of all rooms including fresh linens.

  3. Twice weekly grocery pickup (order online).

  4. Kitchen access (two kitchens) and daily coffee/tea.

  5. WiFi throughout the facility including a workspace dedicated for digital nomads.

  6. Laundry facilities (charges apply, 5€/load for wash & dry).

  7. Weekly “Family Meetings” with staff to set up activities for the week (both paid and complementary) including skill shares, yoga classes, thematic games, bonfires, property tours, tournaments, movie night, trivia games, language/culture exchange with local teens, field trips, wine/cheese tastings, private chef dinners, etc.

Château de L’Isle Marie was built in the 12th century as a family residence, so it’s more than fitting to have our families stay at the castle. Château Coliving will privatize the entire grounds for our castle stay, pop-up, and prom… and we have permission to surpass their normal maximum capacity.


Terms for the Castle Stay

This may be their biggest event yet! However, with this privilege comes extra responsibility for all of us. Here are the parameters to stay on-site, please read carefully (maybe even twice):

  • Families who want to stay on the grounds (in the castle, in the Manor House, or on the property in campervans), are required to purchase tickets to the pop-up. You don’t need to attend the pop-up, but the thought is that families staying at the castle will be present during the pop-up and will benefit from the pop-up activities and community.

  • Monthly stays will be booked before any shorter stays. Month-long bookings include arrival on April 15 or 16, 2023, with a departure date of May 15th. On arrival, there will be a debriefing on the building grounds, safety procedures, building access and etiquette, etc.

    • Shorter stays are required to join on a Sunday (first opening is April 16) and book week-long stays.

    • Guests are welcome to depart early if necessary, but arrival dates are set.

  • The castle has made major concessions to their policies to allow a new maximum number of guests co-residing at the property. Because the castle was originally built as a family home, they are happy to welcome us as an extended family. However, to offset wear & tear on the facility, we expect all resident families to agree to the following:

    • Cleaning Responsibilities: Families agree to help with daily kitchen and common space clean-up. The castle offers a deep-clean of the facility each week, but we’ll set up a schedule to take care of daily unloading of dishwasher, counter cleanup, fridge/microwave wiping, common space straightening, and other random duties (sweep if floors are dirty, put remote controls back where they belong, create a pile of lost-and-found belongings, etc).

    • Shoes: Families agree to wear slippers or socks indoors, all shoes can be placed in shoe racks by the doors or carried upstairs to private rooms.

    • Kitchen Usage: Families are asked to lessen usage of the kitchen by forming groups of like-diet families (the Worldschool Pop-Up Hub will help facilitate): vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, no-restrictions, etc. We will trade off food prep to limit the number of cooks in the kitchen for any given meal. This is not required, but it is highly encouraged to join a kitchen cohort to reduce kitchen traffic at mealtimes. Note: families staying in the Manor House will have private kitchens and will not need to comply with this provision. Campervans using their own kitchen also are exempt.

    • Mindful Consumption: Families agree to be mindful of WiFi usage, electric usage, water usage, trash production, and other consumption during the month. The castle has plenty of space for us, but we need to be respectful, responsible, and observant during our stay.

      • WiFi: There is some concern that the workspace will get crowded with digital nomads or that the children will overload WiFi with joint gaming, streaming, etc. Though the WiFi is high speed and super reliable, we may have more users than a typical month. Initially we will not instill restrictions. However, we will monitor internet speeds to ensure our digital nomads and scholars have proper speeds and access. If we need to set parameters, working adults will take priority and pleasure usage will be restricted to certain hours each day.

      • Inclement Weather: In the case of rainy weather, there is plenty of indoor room in the castle and Manor House. However, if common spaces become too crowded, we ask our guests to self-monitor the situation and redirect their family members to more comfortable areas.

    • Younger Children: Families with younger children are welcome to stay in the Manor House apartments. All children who stay in the castle need to understand and comply with good behavior policies. The castle décor includes many period pieces which are irreplaceable if damaged. As a benchmark, families with 1- to 7-year-olds will stay in the Manor House apartments. However, decisions can be made on a case-by-case basis as we don’t want to split families who have teens staying on the teen floor. There are also two baby beds available upon request.

PS Thank you for being such flexible families and understanding these extra requirements. The castle is really impressed that our worldschool community is accepting of these parameters to make our stay a bit easier on their facility.


 

FAQs

Please read through these carefully before asking questions in the comments.


  • Teen Floor: The 4th floor of the castle will be available as a “Teen Floor” for independent teenage guests. Parents and younger siblings will be lodging on floors 2 & 3, and castle staff will have accommodation on the 4th floor to monitor any disruptive behavior. The 4th floor rooms are smaller than the other rooms, have shared bathrooms, and can be rented at a lower rate.

  • Campervans: The castle has room for two campervans at a time with a maximum stay of 2-weeks per van. NOTE: There are no electric, water, or dumping facilities. However, van guests have access to the kitchens, paid laundry facilities, workspace, twice weekly breakfasts, and restrooms. Shower facilities are private to the guests, so we ask campervan families to arrange showers with other guests on the premises (and encourage families in the castle and Manor House to volunteer to allow campervan guests to utilize showers). FYI there are full camping facilities nearby.

  • Pets: Yes, pets are allowed on site. If you have a small pet that will be carried throughout the building, they can stay for free. Larger pets cost 50€/week or 150€/month. There is a max of 2 larger pets in the castle, one more may be added to the Manor House if space is available. Pet Policy.

  • Booking Plan: We will start coordinating monthly stays ASAP. We have until November 15, 2022 to decide if we have enough committed families to cover the castle’s monthly expenses. However as soon as we have enough commitment (hoping mid-October), our first 50% deposit is due. All payments for lodging are made directly with Château Coliving and the castle will maintain an account for your family to cover any incidentals you incur during your stay (transport fees, organized Escape Room or Among Us games, damages, etc).

  • Deposits/Cancelation Plan: A 50% deposit for your stay is due at the time of booking (or commitment date, again, we expect mid-October) and the other 50% is due on check-in day (April 15, 2023). Incidentals will be charged on checkout. Once we’ve committed to the event, room deposits are non-refundable.

  • Slack App: The castle will create a private channel on their Slack App for worldschool castle guests. This will be a place for us to coordinate castle meetings, activities, meal-sharing, etc. Please create an account and your family can join as soon as the first deposit is paid.

  • Rates: We’ve diligently worked on rates for our event. We expect most families will need more than one room. Most rooms accommodate two people, some fit three, and the teen floor has single rooms available. Alternatively, there are 4 apartments available in the Manor House which sleep 3-4 people. Rate Sheet.

  • Room Layouts: A schematic diagram is available online in the additional sheet tabs of our Rate Sheet.

  • Local Schooling Possibility: The castle has connections with a local alternative school for children ages ~5-10. Instruction is in French and a 1-month minimum commitment required. Les Cricouis Website.

  • Interacting with other Potential Attendees: We have a private Facebook group for all interested families to join. This is a great place to ask questions, get to know the attendees, and learn more about what will happen during the pop-up: Normandy Facebook Group

  • Covid Policy: France's covid regulations have all been lifted: no vaccine passport, no track-and-trace apps, no negative test, no test upon arrival, no mandatory health forms, & no mandatory masking. The government reserves the right to reinstate a negative covid test requirement in the case there is a new variant of concern. The Pop-Up Hub has no requirements for attending. Here is the notice from the French government: Covid-19 Q&A

  • Staying Off-Site: The castle has connections to local bed-and-breakfasts, more info to come on those. Also the castle reports there are numerous campgrounds in the area, some with private cabins which would suit families well. Here are a few of them (note, please do your own research as there may be other facilities that meet your needs better):


 

Timeline for Booking a Castle Stay

Note: The Castle and Manor House are completely booked

  1. Book a Place at our Pop-Up: Normandy Pop-Up. The Pop-Up costs US$100/family (solo parents can use the code: SOLO at checkout for a 25% discount). The registration form will ask for specific information regarding your family's desire to stay at the castle. NOTE: Pop-Up sales open Thursday, Sept 22, 2022, at noon GMT time. This gives us time to answer questions in the comments below, however you can look over the event details whenever you're ready.

  2. Monthly Bookings will take precedence over other shorter stays. Rachel will review your registration form answers and help you choose the room(s) for your family stay. When we’ve exhausted the number of families willing to stay a full month, we will begin booking the shorter stays (2-week stays followed by 1-week stays).

  3. Castle Stay Deposit Timeline: When we have enough commitment to know we can book the entire facility, we will start to make our 50% deposits to Château Coliving and forge ahead with plans to arrive April 15th or 16th. Rachel will personally connect families with the castle for manual bookings. We hope to have enough commitment by mid-October to start placing our deposits for castle rooms, apartments, and campervan stays. Please count on that 50% deposit being placed soon.

  4. Off-Site Families Access Fee: Families staying off-site can book the Pop-Up at any point, please remember there is an additional 150 €/family Access Fee to utilize the castle property during the Pop-Up for those families staying off-site (families staying at the castle, manor house, or in campervans are exempt from this additional fee). The Access Fee is payable to the castle and is required in order to attend the Pop-Up. This will be invoiced in May or April 2023. NOTE: If there the castle runs out of room and your family did not make the cut, I am happy to refund the Pop-Up ticket if your family decides not to attend (Nov 15, 2022, deadline for letting us know you'd rather cancel in the case that the castle stays are filled).

Phew! You made it to the end. You may ask questions in the comments and I'll amend the document with clarifications as I have time. Thanks for all your patience, both the Worldschool Pop-Up Hub and Château Coliving are so excited to make this happen!!

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6 commentaires


Invité
20 sept. 2022

Wow this is amazing! I do not have a teen but would love this to be an annual thing if possible! Thanks for organizing this!

J'aime

Invité
20 sept. 2022

Is there a train ride to take a trip to Paris?

J'aime
Invité
21 sept. 2022
En réponse à

Awesome!! So excited about this entire event. This is my 3rd child going into her senior year and it is her last year homeschooling and my last year homeschooling. So this is an amazing way to end the 18 year homeschooling journey.

J'aime

Invité
20 sept. 2022

Do we have to be Covid vaccinated to attend?

J'aime
WPH Director
WPH Director
20 sept. 2022
En réponse à

Hello, France's covid regulations have all been lifted: no vaccine passport, no track-and-trace apps, no negative test, no test upon arrival, no mandatory health forms, & no mandatory masking. The government reserves the right to reinstate a negative covid test requirement in the case there is a new variant of concern. The Pop-Up Hub has no requirements. Here is the notice from the French government: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/coming-to-france-your-covid-19-questions-answered/ I will update the blog post with this info!

J'aime
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