Hostel in the News!

Now that demolition and construction have begun, Richmonders are nothing short of excited about the new hostel! We’re more than grateful for all of the attention and interest that the town has shown us. Here’s a link to the Style Weekly article posted in September along with a few photos from the Breaking New Ground ceremony. Hosteling International’s CEO Russ Hedge was in attendance along with local supporters including Jim Ukrop and Doug Pick.

Be sure to keep up with regular updates on our Facebook page at



0402 russ hedge


Vicarious Travelers Series 2014

This year’s Vicarious Travelers series has gotten off to a great start.
The theme is: Best Kept Secrets: Outdoor Adventure Close to Home.


The first in the series was on Feb. 1.  Exploring the East Coast by Hostel:  Affordable Adventures for the Young at Heart. Thanks to our presenters.

All events are held at the Main Branch of the Richmond Public Library,
101 East Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23219.
Saturday afternoons from 3 to 5 p.m., refreshments served

Sponsored by the Friends of the HI-Richmond Hostel Project
and the Richmond Public Library

Next up is Feb. 8: Best Birding Adventures along the Atlantic Coast

Panelist: Don Messersmith, retired University of MD professor

Don Messersmith is a retired University of Maryland Professor of Entomology and Ornithology.  For over 40 years, he has introduced hundreds of people to the joys of birding, while he continues to teach and lead bird walks and tours. Through his infectious enthusiasm for birds, he has been a major force for birding in and beyond the Mid-Atlantic States.  Don was recognized by The American Birding Association’s with the Chandler Robbins Award for Education and Conservation in 2011.

 He has led tours to every continent and to over 100 countries. He has made more than a dozen trips to China and served with a World Bank team that advised the Chinese government on areas that needed conservation and protection.

Please see our Facebook page event to RSVP and invite others.

And our final two in the series will be:

Feb. 15: Weekend Paddling Trips in Virginia

Mar.  8: Bike Touring for all Ages; how to prepare for your first bicycle tour


The HI-Richmond Hostel unified with the Mid-Atlantic/Southeast region of Hostelling International USA (HI-USA)

On December 7th, 2013, the Potomac Area Council’s local members voted in favor of setting Hostelling International USA (HI-USA) on a new road: Unification. As a unified organization, HI-USA will be better positioned to improve and expand delivery of its mission “to help all, especially the young, gain a greater understanding of the world and its people through hostelling.”

HI-USA CEO, Russ Hedge has outlined the unification’s intended achievement in Vision 2020: Hostelling will foster a dynamic, enduring community of travelers with the wisdom, humanity and leadership skills to improve our country, our communities, and our world.

HI-USA’s Organizational Vision is to be:

A leading hostel provider in the world.

A valued source of experiential learning.

A widely recognized champion for intercultural understanding.

An effective advocate for youth travel.

A vibrant presence in communities across the United States.

Vision 2020: We welcome you to join in the future. If you are interested in joining our pool of local volunteers, please contact Jennifer Burnett at

We are delighted the Potomac Area Council embraces this vision and are already developing activities that help fulfill the promises of Vision 2020 to be used as a model for the rest of the country. We are on our way to increase awareness about the many benefits of hostelling while keeping it local.  HI-USA, as part of the unification agreement with PAC, is taking on a new hostel development project that you may be aware of – the Richmond Hostel Project.   This hostel is located in historic downtown Richmond and will be a part of the HI-USA network, along with the other southeast hostels HI-DC, HI-Baltimore and HI-Harper’s Ferry.  We are excited to be working on this hostel and more information about how you can be involved in the project will be coming shortly.

We are thankful for those who have made the Potomac Area Council a successful organization for so many years.  We are committed to keeping the Mid-Atlantic/Southeast area a vibrant part of the unified HI-USA by focusing our efforts locally while also engaging and inspiring the larger community to see the world, one hostel at a time!

Dominic Petruzzelli, Vice President, the Mid-Atlantic/Southeast region of Hostelling International USA (HI-USA)

Richmond Hostel Benefit Show – Saturday, April 13, 2013 at Gallery 5


We are excited to announce our first-ever benefit show on Saturday, April 13, 2013: Richmond Hostel Benefit Show with special guests: Wolf//Goat, Time Machines, Negative Gemini and Dave Watkins.

$5 | 7PM Doors\\ 8PM music | ALL AGES

All proceeds go towards funding the Richmond Hostel and supporting the Richmond community.

This event  is brought to you by the dedication of hostel volunteer organizers Sarah F., Gerry L. and others. Much thanks to our venue Gallery 5 and especially to our guest musicians: Dimples (Kevin Parme), Wolf//Goat, Time Machines, Negative Gemini and Dave Watkins.

Please come out on April 13 to Richmond’s Gallery 5 at 200 West Marshall Street.

Enjoy local music talents, share your travel and hostel experiences, and mingle with the Richmond Hostel community! Most importantly, have fun while bringing the world to Richmond!!! Show your support because we need all the love and momentum RVA has to help this Hostel grow!!!!

Special Guests providing opening music @ 7:30

Feel free to RSVP and invite your friends on our Facebook event invite.

Poster design by Sarah Frostick

2013 Vicarious Traveller’s Series a Success… and What is WWOOFING?

The Richmond Hostel Committee friends and volunteers, along with the Richmond Public Library, have hosted the Vicarious Traveler’s Series on select Saturday afternoons this winter.

We had a great series this year, with lively presentations and great audiences. From The Frugal Explorer’s Dream Trip to Australia with Emily Parlove on Jan. 5, to Budget Travel: More Bang for Your Euro with Gerry Leonard on Jan. 19 and most recently, Thailand and Cambodia with Amy Nichols-Beloon on  Feb. 9. Thanks to all of our speakers!

Up next is our final installment for the season on March 16: Seeing the World by WWOOFING.

…. and what is WWOOFING?

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms! Want to know more?

Join us, and learn more about WWOOFING from speakers Katy Rugg, Flora Vassar and Emily Salle.
Saturday, March 16, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Richmond Public Library Main Branch, 101 E Franklin St., Richmond, VA.

Invite your friends and RSVP to our Facebook event.

In the meantime, check out a few WWOOFING links:
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms
WWOOF International

Thanks to the Sierra Club Falls of the James Group for their support!

Much thanks to the Sierra Club Falls of the James Group for their support!

As reported in The Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Notable Gifts:
Sierra Club’s Falls of the James Group has awarded $5,000 to Hostelling International for the adaptive reuse of the Otis Elevator Co. building on North Second Street downtown.

Interested in learning more about the Richmond Hostel project? Follow this blog, and “like” our fan page on Facebook for updates.

Please consider giving a donation to the Richmond Hostel. Details are here. Be sure to choose “Richmond Hostel Development” as your choice on the “Program Designation” drop down menu.