Chatcolab Leadership Laboratory
is Celebrating 75 years of
Exploring Leadership and Recreation

Chatcolab leadership laboratory began in 1948 and is a blend of the recreation laboratory born in the early nineteen thirties at Walden Woods, Michigan and an older model for education, the “Chautauqua”, from New York. A Chautauqua draws 'labbers' to a new program each year that supports leadership, culture, education and recreation. Students of all ages share learning experiences in an open, congenial atmosphere.

We are an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action, non-profit educational organization that develops leadership through recreation.

Our Lab is designed as a stimulating experience for people who are interested in learning how to lead recreation in fun and exciting ways. This is a unique experience for adult & youth leaders. The Lab is a group living experience in which there is an exchange of ideas and techniques in the fields of leadership and recreation.

Chatcolab leadership laboratory is a retreat from daily routine. Group unity flows as individuals develop together in work and play. Major emphasis is placed in joy and fellowship. New knowledge and abilities gained through the sharing of creative activities lead to mental, emotional and spiritual growth.

Camp Environment & Accommodations

Chatcolab traditionally takes place in an outdoor camp environment with hills and uneven terrain. We make every effort to make accommodations.

The retreat center is a self contained space under our dining hall. Down the hall from the bunk rooms are the bathrooms (one male and one female), each has four showers and three toilets.   The cabins have that rustic charm, share two bath houses, one men’s and one women’s, that are near by but not attached.  

Outdoor camp spaces include a basketball court, a huge play field, volley ball court, horse shoe pits, tether ball, climbing wall, meeting spaces and two campfire areas. Selkirk Lodge includes ten rooms (each with a queen size bed and a set of bunk beds), each including an attached bathroom and shower at an additional cost.

Chatcolab at Twinlow Camp & Retreat Center

Chatcolab Leadership Laboratory is traditionally located at Twinlow Camp & Retreat Center, on pine-covered grounds on glistening Lower Twin Lake approximately 5 miles north of Rathdrum, Idaho.

Twinlow offers opportunities for individuals and groups of diverse abilities, racial and cultural backgrounds.  It is a sanctuary of hospitality, renewal, and learning within natural world. The amazing North Idaho campus is just below Mt. Spokane, on Twin Lakes and surrounded by forests. 

Twinlow Camp and Retreat Center is a great space for contemplation and and personal growth.

A Glance at Planning Your Week

Health & Safety:
The physical and emotional well being of Chatcolab participants is our top priority. Please do your part by taking care of yourself and be courteous to others. Do not disturb classes or activities and respect camp quiet times.
Twinlow Camp policy mandates NO firearms, weapons, alcohol, or illegal substances on the premises. Smoking is allowed only in designated areas. Vehicles may be driven to the cabins and the lodge for unloading and loading purposes only. Only drive on roads. Vehicles must be parked in the parking lots. Roads must always remain open for fire lanes and emergency use. Lakefront use is allowed only when Twinlow Staff is present.

We encourage you to take part in all that Chatcolab has to offer. All presenters and board members have volunteered their time and resources to ensure a successful lab. We ask that you be respectful and considerate by not interrupting sessions or activities. Please be on time for all facets of lab.

Class locations announced daily. Workshops may have participant limits, age requirements and/or fees. Silence phones and do not use electronics during classes, workshops or activities.

Please enjoy the amenities but leave them in the best possible condition to show our gratitude for using Twinlow Camp. If you move furniture for classes, return it by the end of the week. If you see litter, please put it in trash or recycle bins. Report any damaged facilities or equipment.

Daily Duties:
Many hands make light work - when everyone does their part, no one must do more than their share.

Supplies & Costumes:
Use any items you need during lab and take a moment to tidy up after using supplies or costumes.

Library/Resource Center:
The reference library is for everyone’s enjoyment. Please return items when you are finished.

It All begins With You:
Labbers 18 or older are Chatcolab voting members and eligible for election to the Board of Directors. Three volunteer board positions are filled each year. A returning youth under 18 may be selected by peers as a non-voting Youth Representative during Chatcolab. Chatcolab’s constitution and by-laws will be posted for the annual meeting. Annual meetings are required by the State of Idaho for non-profit corporations.


Chatcolab Northwest Leadership Laboratory is designed as a stimulating experience for people who are interested in leadership recreation.
The Lab is a few days of group living where there is an exchange of ideas and techniques in the field of leadership recreation. The Lab is a retreat from the daily routine.
Group unity flows as individuals develop together in work and play.
NEW KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITIES are gained through the sharing of creative activities - leading to mental, emotional and spiritual growth.


  • A sharing camp, with no distinctions of leaders from campers, pupils from teachers
  • A fellowship separated from any sponsoring institution and self-perpetuating by a process of democracy
  • Goals for the enrichment of all life and not merely to add skills and information to already busy folk
  • Attendance from diverse vocations and backgrounds and never seek uniformity for its campers
  • Those who gather here assume cooperation in complete sharing as a way of life

CHATCOLAB, INC Recreation Leadership Laboratory is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action, non-profit educational organization begun in 1948 to offer leadership development through recreation. Youth and adults come together to build leadership skills. The lab meets annually at a residential camp and offers learning through general leadership sessions and interactive workshops. Anyone interested in personal, professional or volunteer development is welcome.