HEN gathering 2023

The HEN annual Gathering is a summer festival/conference type weekend for homeschool kids and their families to gather together from all over the country to play and chat and catch up with other homeschool families and meet new ones also. It is open to HEN members at a discounted price and also open to non members and anyone interested in homeschooling to come along and attend some fun workshops and activities for kids and some talks for adults.

WHEN : August 25th – 28th 2023 (Fri – mon)
where: DREWSTown HOUSE, Co. MEATh

Book your place at the gathering

The Booking system is now available at this link. Remember to book early as the accommodation is on a first come basis.

Location & Accommodation

It all takes place in the scenic Drewstown House, Co.
Meath, from August 25th – 28th 2023 (Fri – Mon)! You
can come along as a day visitor to check it out or you
can come for an overnight camp or for the whole
weekend camping.

There is limited accommodation inside the main house, so if you’re unable to camp you can book a room. However, that will be first come first served and also prioritised for anyone with an additional need/reason they might need inside accommodation.
(Please email us asap if you fit this need on events@henireland.org)

This accommodation is basic – not to a hotel standard, just clean basic rooms with beds. Some are small, some are for large families and there are also some dormitories (you bring your own bedding and towels with you, its only beds that are provided).

(Please email us asap if you are looking to book any of the larger
rooms as a group with another family etc as we may take group
bookings first after we have looked after anyone requiring a room with additional needs on events@henireland.org)

There will be an option to book into an additional needs/quiet section of the grounds for people wanting to be away from the main hustle and bustle. Please indicate this on your booking.

We have released the booking system. Please be aware that you will need to pay for your tickets online using a card.

Please be aware there will be a price increase compared to 2019, as Drewstown House have raised their prices more than double since the last gathering.

Activities & Workshops

We will hopefully have an incredible programme of activities to keep the whole family entertained. Details of the workshops and
activities will be released soon!

So far we have booked an amazing Irish history workshop with an array of costumes and weapons from the bronze age upwards with Michael from Heritage Ireland, who has done his show at many gatherings before and the children and adults all loved it! He will also be doing archery outside. We have Amber from
Three trees Ireland booked to provide very cool forest school sessions on one of the days, and of course the Music and Friends variety show will return where children can get involved in a group musical performance and perform individually or with siblings and friends. Children are welcome to perform a piece they have put together themselves or show and tell something.

We will have many more fun workshops and activities over the few days and will release info about that in due course! (Anyone who wants to volunteer to do any kids workshops, activities or arts and crafts etc at the gathering, please contact events@henireland.org)

gathering activity overview
gathering activity schedule - part 2
Gathering activity schedule - part 2

Downloadable version of the Activity Schedule

Catering Options

We will have delicious onsite caterers that you can book your meals with if your staying in the accommodation, camping or even visiting for the day. More info on the food coming soon!

You can book and pay for your meals in advance when you are booking your Gathering tickets.
We have built an online booking system for the
whole gathering so will be really easy.

There is also campers kitchens you can use or you’re
welcome to bring your own camping kitchen and
cook at your tent/campervan.

We are really looking forward to the Gathering and hope it will be a great success! Our last gathering in 2019 was an amazing weekend and all of our kids are very excited for the 2023 Gathering!

Watch this space for the updates!

Photo credits: @jagostudioireland, The Forager’s Basket, Deryck Tormey

Get Involved

It’s a massive undertaking to organise and we are volunteers with busy family lives so please bear with us as we release new information and of course if you have any skills to offer please do volunteer your time – it would be much appreciated!

If there are any members who have experience with health and safety and first aid, we would appreciate a volunteer to help with the gathering. All volunteers will receive discounts in some way as a thank you.

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