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 Centers 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 trauma-informed camping 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 its program develop in all 50 states. In California, the vision includes three camping locations – Kidder Creek, Lopez Lake, and Alpine. 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 America – California, Kidder Creek. Camp HOPE America- California, Lopez Lake is operated in partnership with the San Luis Obispo County Parks Department (Bret Bjorkman, DEER Program Director). In California, Alliance for HOPE International also partners with Alpine Camp and Conference Center in Blue Jay, California to operate Camp HOPE America – California, Alpine. Alpine Camp and Conference Center is led by Executive Director Joel Rude. All Camp HOPE America programs are offered at no cost to children or their families.
The Camp HOPE America Model
The Camp HOPE America model, developed by the staff of Alliance for HOPE International, 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 America – California, Kidder Creek and Alpine, all recreational activities are supervised by trained 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 America – California, Lopez Lake are operated and supervised by staff members and volunteers of Alliance for HOPE International. Hope, at all campsites and in all program activities, is defined 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 reports, click here.
Camp HOPE America partners with Family Justice Centers, Multi-Agency Centers, and community-based agencies to help develop Camp HOPE America programs outside of California. Camp HOPE America has a formal affiliation process including providing technical assistance, curriculum, training, and funding assistance. For more information, contact Camp HOPE America at (888) 511-3522 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.