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The Pearlstone Center

Where you are headed

Pearlstone Conference Center

5425 Mt. Gilead Road

Reisterstown, MD 21136


The Pearlstone Conference Center is nestled in the beautiful Maryland countryside just outside of Baltimore. With over 160 acres of pasture, woods, and farmland, the Center provides a peaceful and tranquil space for our 2017 Conference. Perfectly situated for ease of travel, but far enough from the urban center for meditative nature walks and boisterous bonfire storytelling.

Pearlstone Center Location

Click for Interactive Google Map

Book Your Transportation

1/2 hour away from BWI airport; 1hr 12 min from Reagan

The Airport Shuttle, Inc1-800-776-0323; local 410-381-2772

7 – 10 passenger vans, sedans & larger vans available upon request for additional cost

BWI /Baltimore Penn Station: $39.00 First Passenger, Each Additional Passenger $8.00

Reagan: $86 First Passenger, Each Additional Passenger $8

Dulles: $90 First Passenger, Each Additional Passenger $8

Taxi: into Baltimore and get on a commuter rail during the week and/or Amtrak trains from Baltimore into DC. The commuter trains are the “MARC” trains; you can find info here:

Driving and train directions: Find all the driving and train directions here.



You could also find a RIDESHARE!  To make your trip to the NHFA Conference as simple as possible, we are working with the fabulous Barbara Trites to set up a ride share program. Simply let Barbara know by Thursday September 14, and she will help place you in a group from the airport to the Pearlstone Center, on Friday, September 22nd. If you’d like to participate, send an email to or phone 385.290.8580 with the following information:

  1. Your name
  2. Email
  3. Cell phone #
  4. Arrival: date, time, airline, flight #
  5. Departure: date, time, airline, flight #
  6. Home City & State

IMPORTANT: Please contact Barbara for rideshare help by Thursday, September 14th!

Once we have collected enough responses, Barbara will begin grouping people together and making introductions.

Reserve your room

After you register for the NHFA Conference, register online to book your room at the the Pearlstone Conference Center.

Want a shared room? If you know who your roommate(s) will be,  it’s best for all of you to reserve your rooms at the same time. If you don’t have a roommate in mind, one will be assigned.  Here’s a look at accommodations at Pearlstone. Let Pearlstone know about any individual concerns or arrangements about room and board and they’ll be glad to help.

Prices listed are for both Friday and Saturday nights, including meals. View room pricing and reserve your room, here.

  • 36 Guest Rooms —Traditional hotel room with two queen beds and private bathroom.
  • 5 Cabins —Log cabin style multiple occupancy lodging with a mix of twin and bunk beds, bathroom, living room and large front porch.
  • Top Level and Bottom Level, Garden Lodge — Dormitory Suite of common lounge space and bedrooms with a mix of twin and bunk beds, some rooms share a bathroom and others have a private bathroom.
    • Prices are subject to minimum occupancy requirements and do not include taxes or conference registration fee 

Pearlstone Center Space

When to arrive and depart

First day — Friday, September 22, 2017

3:00p — Check-in, onsite registration opens – Main Lobby
6:00p — Dinner
7:00p — Opening Ceremony and Welcome
7:30p – 9:00p – The Unbroken Circle panel & Q/A

Last day — Sunday, September 24, 2017

9:00a — room check out. Bring luggage to Main Lobby.
2:15p — final session ends
3:00p — Conference concludes

Getting around Pearlstone Center

Here’s a map of Pearlstone Center. All meetings are in the Main Building, near to all the lodgings. 


Please let the Pearlstone Center know of any needs you have.


Prepare for six delicious farm-to-table Kosher meals. Vegetarian and vegan options are available. Be sure to indicate food restrictions and requests when registering for rooms directly with Pearlstone Center.

Pearlstone Center Dining

Please note: Any food or beverages that guests may bring to Pearlstone for dietary or medicinal purposes must be kosher and must remain in their rooms or outside of the dining rooms at all times. Guests may bring water bottles into the facility, but they are not allowed in the dining room. There is a beverage station that is open all hours the building is open offering coffee, teas, cold water and other beverages along with recyclable cups.


Consider stopping at The Wine Loft in Reistertown to purchase wine for yourself or for sharing at our evening bonfire and share circle on Friday and Saturday nights, weather willing. Yes, bonfires! If you wish to imbibe in your rooms or cabins, you are welcome to, but no wine (or other beverage) is allowed in the dining room unless Kosher, in a cup provided by the Pearlstone Center.

Alternate lodging

If you are not interested in staying at Pearlstone Center (or if you register after on-site lodging has sold out), the Pearlstone Center is located near several Baltimore-area hotels.

Dressing for the Weather

Historically, the average temperature in Maryland during this week is in the 76 to 80° F range. Be sure to dress for cooler evenings, and bring comfortable walking shoes for the many trails and farm and garden tours. Watch the weather for what to expect for rain or sun.

Refund Policy for Conference Registration

  • There will be no penalty for cancellations received on or before the date 30 days prior to the first day of the conference. The full amount paid minus a $50 processing fee will be refunded.
  • A cancellation fee of 50% of registration costs plus a $50 fee will be applied for cancellations received between 29 to 10 days before the conference.
  • No refund will be issued for cancellations received less than 10 days before the first day of the conference. Late requests for refunds due to a family emergency only will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • All cancellations must be sent in writing via e-mail to the conference registrar, Please expect confirmation within two days.
  • NHFA is not responsible for problems beyond our control such as weather conditions, campus conditions, prepaid parking, prepaid tours, etc. No refunds will be given in these situations. The final decision on refunds rests with the NHFA President and Treasurer.
  • Refunds will not be issued for late arrivals, unattended events, early termination of attendance, or no-shows. In the event that NHFA cancels an event, we will refund all fees collected in full.
  • Refunds for room and board must be negotiated with the Pearlstone Center and are in no circumstances the responsibility of the NHFA.

What to expect at an NHFA conference:

Regardless of how much you already know about home funerals, you’ll feel at home here. NHFA conferences are all different, fostering sharing between people of new ideas and old, all with one goal in mind: building momentum of the movement for the benefit of families who wish to care for their own after death.

Having chosen our venue carefully for good food and comfortable yet informal accommodations, we come relaxed and open, hoping to leave with inspiration and information to sustain ourselves and hone our message.

You’ll meet people from all over the US, Canada, and other parts of the world. You’ll meet home funeral guides, end of life guides, celebrants, nurses, body workers, hospice workers, finance gurus, writers, filmmakers, beggars, bankers and thieves – there are no boundaries or requirements for engaging in this diverse and rich gathering. Whatever your passion around home funerals, there’s a seat at the table for you.

Pearlstone Center Lobby

Hear what participants in previous conferences had to say about their experience:

“It was wonderful connecting and reconnecting with like-minded beings.”

“This was a valuable conference for me. I am fairly new to this field so there was lots of helpful information for me.”

“It surpassed expectation. It was delightful, informative, heartbreaking & fun all at the same time. Impressively organized!”

“Presenters spoke to a perfect variety and balance of topics with equally diverse yet gratifyingly impassioned and powerful delivery styles. What a collection of wisdom and experience!”

“My expectations were exceeded. I learned a great deal, and the community was wonderful, open, smart and generous.”

“I feel more courageous and connected with after death care in general – and really excited to reconnect with some awesome people I met.”

“My first conference and everything was wonderful.”

“Thank you so much!  I didn’t know what to expect, but it was an honor to be surrounded by so many beautiful, strong, compassionate women (and men); I am inspired.” 

Need more help?

If you have general questions about the conference, please email us at: