What We Do
Camp HOPE America, operates under the leadership of Alliance for HOPE International. Alliance for HOPE International is the umbrella organization for all Family Justice Centers and similar multi-agency models serving victims of domestic violence and their children throughout the United States. Alliance for HOPE International first focused on bringing children to camp from across California and is now developing Camp HOPE models across the country under the program name of Camp HOPE America.
Camp HOPE America’s vision is to break the generational cycle of family violence by offering healing and hope to children and adults who have witnessed and been impacted by family violence.
Camp HOPE America has a vision to see Camp HOPE programs develop in all 50 states. In California, the vision includes two camping locations – Camp HOPE Kidder Creek and Camp HOPE Lopez Lake. Kidder Creek Camp, operated by Mount Hermon Association, is an adventure camp near Yreka, CA. Kidder Creek Camp is led by Director Andy Warken and Associate Director Drew Otto. Alliance for HOPE International and Kidder Creek partner together to operate Camp HOPE Kidder Creek. Camp HOPE Lopez Lake is operated in partnership with the San Luis Obispo County Parks Department (Stacy Milne, DEER Program Director). Camp HOPE programs are offered at no cost to children or their families.
Camp HOPE Program
The Camp HOPE America Program, developed in partnership with the Mount Hermon Program Team, the Kidder Creek Camp team, and Camp HOPE America Director Karianne Johansen, is a values-based, “Challenge by Choice” program with a focus on praising children for observed and developing character traits through the course of a six-day program. “Challenge by Choice” refers to challenging children to try new activities and activities with perceived danger or risk while allowing them to opt out of those activities if the challenge creates unmanageable stress or fear. It asks that campers challenge themselves and participate fully in the experience at-hand. The camper is responsible for determining and selecting what kind of participation level presents an optimal learning opportunity.
Partnerships are Key
At Camp HOPE Kidder Creek, all recreational activities are supervised by trained Kidder Creek Camp staff members who also operate weekly summer camps that are not focused on children exposed to family violence. Specialized program activities and other therapeutic components are managed by Alliance for HOPE International. All recreational and program activities at Camp HOPE Lopez Lake are operated and supervised by staff members and volunteers of Alliance for HOPE International. Hope, at both campsites and in all program activities, is defined throughout the weeklong camp as three things – believing in yourself, believing in others, and believing in your dreams.
Camp HOPE America is partnered with the Center of Applied Research for Nonprofit Organizations at the University of Oklahoma (OU) for all evaluation research. Dr. Chan Hellman leads the research team and has published outcomes since 2013 on the powerful impact of Camp HOPE America in changing the way trauma-exposed children view themselves and their futures. To view the Camp HOPE America 2015 report, click here.
Camp HOPE America partners with Family Justice Centers and other multi-agency, community-based service models to help develop Camp HOPE programs in other states outside California as well. Camp HOPE America has a formal affiliation process including providing technical assistance, curriculum, training, and funding assistance for other Camp HOPE programs. For more information, contact Camp HOPE America at (888) 511-3522 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.