Frequently Asked Questions


fhc4 small1. Who are these summer camps for?

People of all ages come to our summer camps as a family. Whatever your family looks like, you are welcome here. Sometimes entire families attend, sometimes one parent and a child attend. Other times a grandparent or other relative may bring a child. We also welcome adults who come to camp without any children.

Our camps are guided by the principles of Compassionate Communication. We offer a welcoming place to practice these communication skills in a beautiful environment. If you would like to experience compassionate community, our camps may be right for you! 

If you are unable to attend a summer camp, you could attend a One Big Circle Weekend.


2. Why is this called Family HEART Camp?

Our camps are for entire families, including parents and extended family members.We also create a supportive community of people who feel like a new family by the end of the week.

HEART stands for:






These are the important family values that Compassionate Communication supports us in living. We strive to live them both at camp and in the wider world.


3. What is "Commpassionate Communication" or "Nonviolent Communication (NVC)"?

Compassionate Communication, also called Nonviolent Communication (NVC), is a system of ideas and skills. A clinical psychologist, Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D. developed NVC more than 40 years ago. Many call it a communication process based on the natural state of compassion.

NVC has been exploding in popularity in recent years. It attracts people as it can transform our personal lives, our families, and our world. If you are new to NVC, our camps are a good way to learn and practice with those more experienced in the process.


4. What is Community Sourced Programming (CSP)?

CSP allows both staff and campers the opportunity to plan the activities each day of camp. Together we create camp activities that excite both children and parents. The great benefit of CSP is its flexibility to meet the needs of each camp community. CSP recognizes that everyone - children included - can contribute to making the camp experience meaningful.

CSP respects the personal choice of all campers. All campers are free to take part in what they are drawn to and also change activities at will. Parents and children may take part together or as individuals in most activities.


Campers discuss possible activities for the day at the community board in the morning.  

 5. Are these religous camps?

 Our camps are not affiliated with any religion. Kindness and compassion, often a part of many religions and spiritual practices, are values we have and support others in practicing at camp. 


6. What kinds of things do campers do?

Each camp is different each year and varies by location. In general, we do typical summer camp activities and explore the question, "how do we live and learn together." Some activities focus on  fun, and some on learning new things. All activities underscore our values of Harmony, Ease, Authenticity, Respect, and Trust. For example, at the West Virginia camp last year, these are just some of the activities people enjoyed:

  • walks in nature
  • parenting workshops
  • a wide variety of art projects
  • songs by the campfire
  • making fairy houses
  • exploring and swimming in the creek
  • Nonviolent Communication worshops
  • a bubble dance party hosted by our teens
  • a camp talent show
  • capture the flag
  • many discussions on topics of interest

People who have attended camps might tell you it's hard to describe the experience well. The strong connections, important learning, and quality family time are common themes we hear. Learn more about our camps at the Camp Overview Page.


7. How much does Family HEART Camp cost?

The cost is about $600 per person or less and varies by camp. The cost includes all food, lodging, and programming. Children under age 2 typically come to camp for free. The exact cost will vary depending on which camp location you choose.

 We long for all families to be able to attend, regardless of their financial means and family size. Please check out the Cost Page for details on cost and affordability.


 If you have further questions, please contact us.  





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