Family HEART Camp is maturing, growing and expanding as a community of camps and as an organization. On this page, learn about our history the proven impact of our camps. Visit the Governance Page to learn more about the people whose efforts make our camps possible. To learn about the staff members for a particular camp, please visit that camp's page using the links across the top of this page.
In September 2008, Inessa Love, Bob Wentworth and Gregory Rouillard, three members of Capital NVC, were inspired to bring NVC-based family camp to the Washington, D.C. area. Nine months later, Family HEART Camp was born! The inaugural camp brought together approximately 45 participants and staff for an unforgettable week-long adventure in compassionate community, which has continued annually through the present. In recent years, Family HEART Camp has expanded to include camps in Colorado, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Ohio, New York and California. In June 2016 Family HEART Camp was granted 501(c)(3) status by the IRS, so all donations to the organization are tax-deductible as permitted by law.
Our dream is that every family in north America will have access to Family HEART Camp within driving distance of home. While we are not there yet, there are other opportunities to experience NVC family camp in the United States, Canada, and around the world. To learn more about these camps, as well as the story of our common heritage, please visit the NVC Family Camp Heritage page.
Family HEART Camp follows an organic growth model, meaning that we do not "plant" or solicit new camp locations. Because of the intense commitment required from camp hosts, we rely on people who are inspired to offer the experience of compassionate community to come to us.
Are you interested in joining the Family HEART Camp community by hosting a camp in your area? Here are some resources to help you understand this process and discern whether it would work for you. If you would like to schedule a telephone conversation about this, please contact the FHC Director.
New Camp Development Documents
- Common Terminology Guide - the starting point to understanding our common terminology and how it relates to our camp structure.
- Domains, Functions, Roles & Responsibilities - a description of the relationship among camp hosting teams and the Coordinating Circle.
- Policy for Membership & Affiliation - a framework for the relationship of individual camps to each other and the FHC organization.
- New Camp Development Policy - the step by step process to become an FHC member or affiliate camp.
During the 2013 Family HEART Camp season, we conducted a study to determine if there is a definable impact of attending camp. The study consisted of a short survey, administered to about forty camp participants at the beginning and end of camp and then about eight weeks later. The survey asks respondents to rate how well certain needs are met in their families and how frequently they observe certain behaviors in themselves and in their family members. We randomly selected fifteen participants from each of the three mainland camps (West Virginia, Colorado and Wisconsin) for this study.
The results of these surveys were compiled and analyzed using a statistical method called "Analysis of Variance" or ANOVA to see if there is a measurable difference in the survey responses over time, which would indicate an effect or impact of attending camp.
- Needs: We asked respondents to rate how well twelve needs were met in their lives; the level of satisfaction of all these needs increased while at camp.
- Behaviors: We asked respondents to rate how often they observed certain behaviors in themselves and in the members of their families. The frequency of observation of all these behaviors in both the respondent and in their family members increased while at camp.
We are very excited to have this tangible evidence of the beneficial impact on families of attending camp. Please feel free to download the full report and share it widely! If you have questions about the methodology or administration of this study or the conduct of the statistical analysis, please contact us.