Camp Overview

While each Family HEART Camp is unique in many ways, including location, staff and programming, they all share some common characteristics, listed below. If you have general questions that are not addressed here, please contact us. To learn more about the specific features of each camp, please visit the camp-specific pages by selecting one of the location buttons at the top of this page.

NOTE: The information presented on this page pertains to our week-long summer camps. To learn more about our weekend programs, please visit the One Big Circle Weekend page.

Locations & Dates - 2019

In 2019 Family HEART Camp intends to offer summer camps in four U.S. locations, listed in camp date order in the table below. PLEASE NOTE: these dates and locations are subject to change until the opening of registration in February 2019.




6/10 - 6/16

Delavan, Wisconsin

House in the Wood

6/21 - 6/28

Elk Garden, West Virginia

Abram's Creek Retreat

7/2 - 7/7

Corralitos, California

Camp Loma

8/4 - 8/10

Morgantown, Indiana (Ohioana)

Lutheran Hills


Family HEART Camp enjoys welcoming participants who are from the local area and also those who travel from other parts of the U.S. and the world to attend. We have had participants from Canada, Belgium, Austria and New Zealand at past camps.

One question we often hear is "will there be other kids the same age as mine at camp?" The answer, most likely, is yes! You can see the age distribution of participants in our most reacent season of summer camps shown in the table below.

 2016 Camp Location










Under 2



45 2 19 3 3 72

New York

32 2 10 5 0 49




11 3 2 73

West Virginia

46 5 22 8 2 83




19 2 0 70

Facilities, Food & Lodging

sprinkler funMost Family HEART Camp venues include indoor and outdoor meeting and play spaces, cooking and dining facilities, as well as varied recreation and relaxation opportunities such as swimming ponds, playing fields and hiking trails.

Lodging possibilities in past years have included tent camping, platform wall tents, rustic cabins, and even hotel-quality accommodations. Some venues include a range of lodgings that may affect the price of attendance.

Food service is either provided by the venue, catered on-site by a staff chef or prepared by the community with the support of food service staff. Our intention for Family HEART Camp is to provide healthy, enjoyable meals that satisfy the dietary needs and preferences of a large variety of campers. We are usually able to accommodate omnivorous, vegetarian and vegan diets, with provisions for gluten- and dairy-free diners.

Registration & Finances

kitchenfunOnline registration for Family HEART Camp is available on the Registration Page of this website, which is linked through the Action Menu once registration opens in mid-February 2016. The opening of registration will be announced in the monthly e-mail newsletter and on the home page of the website.

Our intention for Family HEART Camp is to provide a valuable, unique experience of community based in compassionate communication. Our costs to produce this experience include venue rental, food service and program supplies, as well as staff room and board and compensation. In order to cover these expenses, we charge an amount that is somewhat higher than the direct cost of attendance. For most venues, the per-person cost is about $600, which includes room, board and all programming. Depending on the camp location, there are typically discounts available for early registration and limited opportunities for scholarships. You can see a table showing last year's pricing scales on the Cost Page.

Please contact us if you have any questions about FHC registration and finances.

Staff & Programming

DSCF3987Family HEART Camp offers robust opportunities for multi-generational connection, learning and play to our attendees. In addition to devoting significant time each day to community play and group process, we structure our program sessions with Community Sourced Programming (CSP), an adaptation of Open Space Technology (OST). You can read more about CSP in the following section.

Hosting Team

Each camp is served by a Hosting Team dedicated to cultivating a welcoming environment in the camp and providing for the logistical care of the community. This team includes a core group to plan and organize the camp during the year, assisted by Hosting Volunteers who serve during the camp week. Members of this team may also serve on the Program Team.

Program Team

The camp Program Team consists of people who are committed to making program offerings during CSP sessions. This team may include one or more Certified Trainers with the Center for Nonviolent Communication, members of the Hosting Team and Program Volunteers.

Community Sourced Programming

face paint co-2013

Community Sourced Programming (CSP) at Family HEART Camp is a programming structure that provides an abundance of content choices for participants of all ages. Each day begins with a whole camp gathering for community building and activity planning. In these gatherings, both staff and campers have the opportunity to plan the activities that will take place throughout the day. Each program session offers multiple activity options, allowing the camp community to collaborate in creating camp activities in which both children and parents are excited to participate.

Experienced NVC leaders help infuse the community with a rich experience of the values at the core of Family HEART Camp and the communication skills that help us all realize those values. Staff members design and lead activities based on the interests expressed by the campers. CSP programming also allows campers the opportunity to lead sessions, if they so choose. Staff members support camper leadership and are ready to actively assist whenever necessary.

CSP programming also respects the personal choice of all campers. Campers of all ages have the freedom to choose the activities to which they are most drawn, including the option of changing activities at will. Session participants can also influence the leadership of any activity, practicing authentic, respectful communication to help the leaders think flexibly about how to proceed. Some activities are focused on having fun, some on learning new things, but all of them underscore the FHC values of Harmony, Ease, Authenticity, Respect, and Trust. Because the whole camp community collaborates in creating the camp program, campers can trust that their needs will be addressed. This collaboration supports everyone at camp to feel a sense of inclusion and belonging.

Potential Offerings

OST boardWhile each camp's Program Team is generally responsible for making offerings during CSP sessions, this is a community framework and anyone in the community may make additional offerings. CSP helps us provide abundance of choice for participants of all ages.

Here is a small sampling of sessions which might be offered:

  • Introduction to NVC
  • Field Games, including Capture the Flag, Soccer, Wiffle-Ball and Ultimate Frisbee
  • Connecting with Feelings through Bodily Sensations
  • Improv Games
  • Loving-Kindness Meditation
  • Crafts such as plaster masks, "Oobleck," painting and drawing, play-doh
  • Making Family Agreements
  • Making Fairy Houses
  • Facilitated Listening Circle
  • Taking NVC to the Street

To learn more about CSP, please contact us.


Tillie BillAs you might imagine, we rely on volunteer assistants for the success of our camps. There are usually volunteer opportunities available on the Program Team and as logistical assistants to the Camp Hosts. Selection as a volunteer assistant in any capacity begins with an application form, which is available as part of our online registration process.

Please contact us if you have any questions about volunteering at Family HEART Camp.




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