Mission of Destelheide

Destelheide is managed by the non-profit organisation vzw ‘Algemene Dienst voor Jeugdtoerisme’ (ADJ – General Agency for Youth Tourism) under the authority of the Flemish Government.


Destelheide creates an inspiring environment for artistic and creative activities for and by young people.


Destelheide is a centre offering high-quality infrastructure in a green environment, particularly for youth and school groups. Its timeless architecture and functional rooms form the perfect scenery for creative and artistic activities. The excellent facilities and services ensure a pleasant stay including, if desired, catering and lodging accommodation. Through its art education centre Dharts, Destelheide also creates an artistic environment to stimulate and inspire groups staying here.


Innovative and creative

Education Centre Destelheide opened in 1971 but continues to innovate. This is clearly shown by the Master Plan, which will update the architecture and infrastructure to adjust them to the needs of today and tomorrow. But also in our day-to-day operations we strive for innovation. Destelheide wants to be a pioneer when it comes to art education for and with young people. We do so by creating an artistic living environment that is ideal for developing creative activities and by creating spaces that facilitate playful interactions between the groups. Art and design must be obvious in the infrastructure of Destelheide. We also try to respond to the maximum extent possible and in a flexible way to the wishes of the groups and together with them we examine how we can stimulate creativity during their stay.

Inspiration and education

Destelheide wants to stimulate its visitors through the in-house artists and contemporary art works in its buildings and on the domain. Youngsters draw inspiration from the artistic breeze blowing over Destelheide, giving them extra stimuli to give their creativity free reign. Through its expertise in art education, Destelheide wants to play a pioneering role in its education offer to young people and their monitors and teachers. We do this by organising artistic courses such as the Summer Academy and our master classes and by giving free access to our information and documentation centre with lots of art education material. Destelheide also offers tailor-made programmes that respond to the specific educational questions of groups.

Diversity and openness

Destelheide appeals to a wide range of groups: both youth work groups, school groups, sociocultural organisations, profit companies and in-house artists, both national and international, come to us. This leads to spontaneous cross-fertilizations between these different groups in the various meeting areas that are open to everyone and are also easy to reach. The infrastructure of Destelheide allows for a great diversity of activities. Groups can use our large and open rooms in a flexible way according to their own creative needs. The autonomy of the groups is a basic principle in our policy but this also means that we consider them and they should consider each other as equivalent in their mutual diversity. We also see this as obvious in our own organisation. Our personnel is very diverse, decisions are made in a very transparent way and we have an open business culture, giving opportunities to our employees to move up and explore and develop their own talents.

Sustainability and participation

Destelheide exists for more than four decades already and is still as timeless and up-to-date as ever. Sustainability is a key value throughout our organisation. Our rooms are designed such that they are both durable and energy-efficient. Also in the catering and maintenance of Destelheide, sustainability and ecological awareness are key objectives. This is important because the young people staying with us are the future of our society and we want to make them aware of these values. Living together is very important in Destelheide; that's why we also ask a commitment from the groups to assume some responsibilities themselves, such as tending the bar. This participation turns our young guests into co-owners of Destelheide. The lodgers also have a say in the running of Destelheide through their targeted feedback and our annual surveys.