Notig 2024

July 21st - July 30th

Embark on a Volunteering Journey of Heritage and Heart

The Cultural Immersion Camp


Dive into the heart of Romania's countryside with our Cultural Immersion Camp, a transformative experience for diaspora youth ages 16-21. From July 21st to July 30th, immerse yourself in the rural charm of Notig, Sălaj County. This initiative, a collaboration between the Arhaic Association and the Romanian United Foundation, aims to connect young Romanians living abroad with their ancestral culture through conservation, education, and hands-on experiences.

Seize this opportunity to effect change and deeply reconnect with your heritage. Register today for an enriching experience that guarantees personal growth, meaningful connections, and the satisfaction of contributing positively. Together, let's create a lasting legacy!

Apply Now

About the Camp

The Notig Camp, organized by the ARHAIC Association and the Romanian United Foundation, will feature notable contributors including Valeria Lehene, the President of the ARHAIC Association. Ms. Lehene is an architect with over 20 years of experience at the Sălaj County Directorate for Culture*. Joining her will be Bogdan Ilieș, a researcher of wooden churches with a Ph.D. in History, who coordinates the "Ambulanța pentru Monumente" civic program in Sălaj County.

During the camp, the Romanian-American youth will be joined by 10 volunteers, most of whom are architecture students from Romanian universities.

*The County Directorate for Culture is the state institution at the local/regional level, and is responsible for monitoring the national cultural heritage, including architectural heritage.

Our Vision

Preserving Our Past, Building Our Future: Our camp is more than a journey back to our roots, it's a step forward in cultural preservation and personal development. We aim to instill a deep appreciation for Romania's rich heritage, teach the value of community service, and empower participants with the skills and knowledge to make a difference.

Why This Camp?

  • Cultural Connection: Experience the authentic Romanian village life and understand the traditions that shaped our ancestors.
  • Conservation Efforts: Play an active role in preserving a piece of Romanian history by participating in the restoration of Notig's historic wooden church.
  • Personal Growth: Develop new skills, form lasting friendships, and gain a sense of accomplishment through volunteer work.

Our Mission: Why We Are Organizing This Camp

Our objective is multifaceted, aiming not only to connect diaspora children with their rich Romanian heritage but also to instill a sense of responsibility, community, and cultural pride. Below, we outline the core reasons and aspirations behind this unique camp experience:

  1. Cultural Connection: We aim to provide diaspora children with an opportunity to immerse themselves in the Romanian rural cultural heritage. By experiencing village life, historical monuments, and the traditions that have shaped our identity, we hope to forge a lasting bond between them and their ancestral land.

  2. Unique Experiences: The camp offers a one-of-a-kind experience, allowing participants to engage in volunteer activities that bring them closer to the countryside's way of life, the current social realities of Romania, and the care we dedicate to our monuments. This engagement aims to provide a clearer understanding of their roots and identity.

  3. Promoting Our Cause: We seek to raise awareness about the activities of our association and to highlight the beauty and significance of the Sălaj region, which is often overlooked by tourists. Showcasing traditions, monuments, and crafts, we endeavor to revitalize interest and appreciation for these cultural elements.

  4. Education on Historical Preservation: It's essential for the younger generation to understand what a historical monument signifies, even if it's not among the most prominent or visible. We teach the importance of preserving our heritage, helping them realize the value of these monuments, which might not be immediately apparent.

  5. Cultivating Appreciation for Romanian Culture: Our goal is to teach Romanian children to develop a deep appreciation for the importance of our culture. Through hands-on experiences and engagement, we aim to instill a sense of pride and connection to their cultural heritage.

  6. Working and Learning Together: We offer a collaborative work experience among friends and peers, providing opportunities to meet new people, engage in physical work, and see the tangible results of their efforts. This process is designed to be enjoyable and fulfilling, emphasizing productivity and accomplishment.

  7. Educating Our Children: As parents and educators, we wish to teach our children about our culture, its origins, and to appreciate our Romanian values and cultural heritage in great detail. It's about passing on knowledge and pride from one generation to the next.

  8. Raising Awareness with RUF: We aim to increase awareness about the Arhaic organization and the mechanisms available for fundraising in support of Romanian organizations. By collecting funds for our organization and specific projects, we strive to enhance communication, awareness, and financial support for our cause.

Through this camp, we aspire to create a transformative experience that enriches, educates, and connects participants with the cultural heritage that is rightfully theirs, fostering a generation that values and preserves its rich history and traditions.

Camp Experience

Experience Authentic Village Life

Live in a Romanian village and experience its day-to-day rhythms, from traditional farming and cooking to local crafts and festivities. This authentic experience is rare and offers insights into a lifestyle that is both enriching and grounding. Immersed in the beauty of Romania’s landscapes and the warmth of its people, you'll find new aspects of your identity and a deeper sense of belonging to a rich cultural heritage.


  • Engage in Tradition: From bread-making to woodworking, learn crafts that have sustained Romanian villages for centuries.
  • Contribute to a Cause: Assist in the restoration efforts of a historical site, learning the importance of each monument in our collective history.
  • Discover and Explore: Visit significant cultural sites, including the largest private museum in Romania, founded by Ligia Pop.

Daily Life

  • Volunteer Work: Spend your days contributing to meaningful projects that revive our heritage.
  • Cultural Immersion: Enjoy traditional meals, participate in local customs, and connect with the community of Notig.
  • Evening Activities: Share stories, learn from local artisans, and build friendships under the Romanian stars.

Join Us

Who Can Apply 

  • Youth ages 16-21 from the Romanian diaspora eager to learn, contribute, and connect with their heritage.
  • We will consider applicants of different ages on a case-by-case basis.
  • Intermediate proficiency in Romanian is required.
  • Commitment to participate in the full program, including volunteer work.
  • Parental approval is required for participants under 18.
  • Medical insurance during the stay is required.

How to Apply as a Student

  • Complete sign-up form / Deadline for sign-up is April 30th
  • Express your interest by answering: "Why do you want to join this program?"
  • Applications will be reviewed within 3 days, with a limited number of 10 spots available.

We value passion, curiosity, and dedication to heritage conservation.

Sponsor a Young Leader From Your Community

  • We are offering selected nonprofit partners the opportunity to sponsor one outstanding student from their community to join the camp. Write an email to [email protected] if you're interested in joining the program.

Costs and Contributions

  • Raise or donate $1,500+ / participant
    • Our team will assist in setting up a fundraising page to share with your community, family and friends
  • Our goal is to raise a minimum of $10,000 for this Arhaic, nonprofit organization 
  • At least $1,000 per participant of the funds raised will go towards rebuilding the church
  • Online fundraising done by the participants
  • Includes: room, board & transportation; visits

This effort reflects our commitment to sustainability and community involvement.

Apply Now

Safety, Accommodation, and More


Participants will be housed in a cultural center, embodying the essence of village life while ensuring comfort and community. Accommodations are communal, fostering a spirit of camaraderie and shared experience among all volunteers, including a maximum of 10 camp participants and 10 Romanian volunteers.

Features include:

  • Clean mattresses and fresh bedding to ensure restful nights.
  • New linens and pillowcases, ensuring hygiene and comfort.
  • Communal living with fellow volunteers, enhancing the group experience.
  • Access to shower facilities and a washing machine, catering to personal cleanliness and laundry needs.

Living together in these conditions not only brings participants closer to traditional village life but also promotes unity and cooperation, essential values of our cultural heritage.

Work Safety

Our commitment to safety is paramount, adhering strictly to Romanian and EU regulations:

  • Work will be conducted at heights not exceeding 2 meters.
  • Safety helmets, gloves, boots, and appropriate clothing must be worn at all times.
  • Safety training will be provided on the first day, ensuring all participants are well-informed and prepared.
  • Participants who are accepted will be provided with a list of essential equipment.

Participant Responsibilities

Participants are expected to embrace a range of responsibilities, fostering independence and a strong work ethic:

  • Personal and Site Cleanliness: Maintaining personal hygiene and contributing to the cleanliness of the communal living and work areas.
  • Laundry: Washing clothes as needed, with facilities provided.
  • Dishwashing: Participants are responsible for cleaning their dishes and utensils.

Through these responsibilities, participants will gain a deeper appreciation for the simplicity and authenticity of rural life, enriching their volunteering journey with practical life skills and a closer connection to their cultural roots.

Advising all participants to prepare for the camp by learning more about their Romanian heritage from their parents before arriving in Notig. This preparation aims to enrich discussions about their families and the presence of Romanian culture in their daily lives.

Meet the Organizers

This initiative is brought to you by the Arhaic Association in partnership with the Romanian United Foundation, dedicated to connecting the Romanian youth diaspora with their cultural roots through volunteerism and cultural immersion.

Project Leads: Alexandra Lehene, Emma Dram
Camp Organizers: Bogdan Ilies, Valeria Lehene

Arhaic Association

Founded in 2019 in Sălaj, Romania, by a passionate team including Bogdan Ilies and Valeria Lehene, Arhaic has dedicated itself to the conservation and rehabilitation of historic monuments across the region. Through the "Ambulance for Monuments" project, supported by King Charles's Foundation, Arhaic has become a beacon of preservation, engaging communities and volunteers in saving our cultural landmarks. Our partnership with RUF underscores our commitment to extending our reach and impact, involving the Romanian diaspora in our mission.

Romanian United Foundation

RUF stands at the forefront of connecting the Romanian diaspora to their cultural roots, promoting community development, education, and heritage conservation. By fostering engagement through volunteerism and support for impactful initiatives like this camp, RUF strengthens the bonds between Romanians worldwide and their homeland, ensuring the vibrancy of our culture for generations to come.

Be Part of the Legacy

Making an Impact Together

Your participation in this camp is not just an opportunity for personal and cultural enrichment but also a chance to contribute to the preservation of our shared heritage. The funds raised will directly support the continuation of vital conservation work, ensuring that future generations can enjoy and learn from these historical treasures.

This camp is your opportunity to touch the past, shape the future, and leave a mark on the Romanian cultural landscape. Join us in Notig this summer for a journey of discovery, friendship, and meaningful impact.

Apply now and contribute to preserving the essence of Romania. Your journey back to the roots awaits.


Contact Information

Apply for camp by May 15th to receive more information via email.


RUF - Romanian United Foundation


RUF is a 100% pass-through fundraising platform. We help diaspora & local nonprofits in Romania access the funding, tools, training, and support they need to become more effective. We do this by connecting NGOs, donors & volunteers from all over the world