Abram’s Creek Retreat
Elk Garden, WV
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Sara Madgett attended her first Family HEART Camp in 2012 in Ohio when she was eleven. She has been attending that camp ever since. Sara has also attended the California Family HEART Camp three times, twice as a volunteer. For the past two years, she has become more and more involved with the Ohioana Planning Team. Being a member of that team has been motivating, frustrating, inspiring, and exciting. She is greatly looking forward to being a member of that team in the years to come.
Sara graduated High School early and is pursuing an AA Degree in Early Childhood Education. She hopes to become an educator who will bring Non-Violent Communication into her classroom. Attending Family HEART Camp has been a huge part of her life. She has made some of the closest friends she will ever have there. To her, being on the Planning Team means helping to continue something that is more valuable than can be put into words.
Michelle Madgett and her two awesome teens have been playing games, making crafts, and enjoying Family HEART Camps since 2012. She first came to Camp as the Camp Chef, where she supported folks with offerings such as “Chop Onions with Empathy” and “Salad Dressing Needs.”
In 2007, Marina took a ½ day parenting workshop with Bay Area NVC. There was something about the Teacher and the warmth of the group that said “I want to learn more!”. She discovered mindfulness on this NVC journey and realized the importance of presence, awareness, and non-judgment. Mindfulness has been the foundational practice for Marina in cultivating the awareness that leads to more self-connection, and to a deeper knowing of what matters in any given situation. During times of struggle, self compassion has taught her how to replace the self critical voice with a much gentler and kinder voice.
Marina serves as the Wellness Coordinator for Saratoga High School. She is a certified Mindfulness Instructor with Mindful Schools, and a Teacher in Training with Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens.
Marina is grateful to be part of Family Heart Camp because it is an extension of the work, the tools, and the values that are so important to her. The joy comes from having an opportunity to spend quality time with families and to focus on what is really important.
Brian Hopper’s superpower is compassion! He leads a life providing space for every emotion to arise and time to observe each of them with genuine empathy, not only for self but also with his fellow earth-trotters/dwellers.
In order to bring more training to his innate nature of empathy, he is enrolled as a Trainer Candidate with the Center for Nonviolent Communication. Brian focuses on developing compassion-based healing experiences for individuals, couples, families and communities.
Brian has worked as a licensed psychologist since 2005. He has worked mostly with young adults in higher education who experience a variety of pain and suffering in the process of trying to actualize their dreams. When Nonviolent Communication found him in 2014, he quickly became convinced it is the clearest process for helping people give and receive empathy.
Brian enjoys immersion in Family HEART Camps because of the opportunities for us to encounter each other compassionately in nature. He has a strong belief in our need for community and connection as while being in touch with the earth. When he is not hiking or watching cat videos, you can find him reading books related to the human brain, sustainability, and cosmology!
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Caroline Altmann and her family have attended each year of Family HEART Camp, bar one, and sometimes twice – fun, insight, practice and friendship keep bringing them back. The empathy she’s developed through NVC has much supported her two decade long exploration of mindfulness and heart-based practices and more recently parenting courses. She is a community meditation teacher and Buddhist studies student and is enrolled in a 2-year mindfulness teacher training. She has also been trained as a parenting educator by the extra-ordinary Parenting Encouragement Program (PEP) and by the author of Positive Discipline for Teens. She is committed to creating a world which supports ease in parenting as well as strong, loving and respectful relationships within families.
Sara Segall and her family attended the very first Family HEART Camp in 2009. Returning to camp each summer to co-create community based on harmony, ease, authenticity, respect and trust has become a favorite family tradition. Sara has served as a volunteer staff member for the past six years, working with the youngest campers and the teenagers, and is excited to take on more of a role with the hosting team.
Prior to becoming involved in the FHC community, Sara earned her Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan and then worked as a counselor with trauma survivors. Through this work, Sara became more passionate about decreasing the violence in the world. Whenever she can, Sara incorporates compassionate communication in her family life and her various volunteer positions. Healthy living, gratitude and taking care of our incredible planet are very much a part of Sara’s day-to-day living as well. She feels blessed to be married to her college sweetheart, Bob. Together, they enjoy homeschooling their amazing children.
Tim Hartnett, PhD, Co-Host of FHC California, is the director of Shine a Light Counseling Center and author of the book, Consensus-Oriented Decision-Making, (New Society Publishers, 2011). Tim was also a parent education columnist for ten years. Tim employs NVC regularly to train and supervise fledgling therapists as they learn to help couples and families communicate more effectively.
Tim has lived in intentional communities all his adult life. He enjoys helping groups of people bond and generate a sense of community. He has trained many co-housing communities in consensus and group facilitation.
Tim is also a singer/songwriter and guitarist. He has produced three CD’s with his band Just Love. He loves singing with people and has quite a repertoire of song-alongs.
And most importantly, Tim is father to his 25 year old daughter, Molly.
Amy Cooper, PhD is a relationship coach, singer/songwriter, and event organizer. She brings a calming presence and deep compassion to all her interactions with children and adults.
Amy will be registrar for camp this summer. She looks forward to helping you find the answers to all your questions.
Charlotte Brock has attended 6 Family HEART Camps over the course of 5 years, both in West Virginia and California. She enjoyed serving as a volunteer during three of those camps and is now eager and grateful to contribute to camp as a staff member for the first time. Charlotte sees world peace as an imperative that begins at home. She cultivates a deep curiosity about many topics, including evolutionary parenting and health, natural pregnancy and childbirth, living in community, and science and space exploration; and is a passionate advocate for paid parental leave policy. She lives in Vienna, VA with her partner and their blended family of six plus one huge beloved dog, Chunk.
Kate Davis is excited to be part of the Family HEART Camp WV hosting team for the first time this year! She and her family have been part of the FHC community for the past four years, and the experience has created a deep sense of love, community, and growth in her life. Kate is passionate about supporting HEART Camp’s ability to thrive, and she is committed to living and spreading connected, compassionate communication within the communities she serves. She believes that the world is changed in small steps made with love and intention. In her daily life, Kate spends her time growing, learning, parenting, sharing NVC, dancing, and photographing. She lives in Asheville, NC with her partner and two beautiful children.
Mali Parke and her two children find great hope, inspiration and inner resourcing in the Beloved Community, and Family HEART Camp has been an oasis of this for them since its first year.
Mali finds deep aliveness and purpose in service bringing trauma-informed somatic empathic and resonant presence to people of all ages. She focuses on healing and empowering individual nervous and collective systems at home, in partnerships, schools, organizations, social activism, with a special care to account for everyone’s needs and naming the truths of power differentials and historical/social/intergenerational trauma in our systems, society, bodies. Learn more about Mali at (www.core2coeur.com and www.restorativedc.org).
Robin O’Brien is thrilled to be part of the FHC hosting team. She is a long-time active member of the DC NVC community and more so in the Frederick MD area where she lives with her multi-generational family of eight. She has been on a deepening NVC journey since 2011 when she first attended FHC and joined the Parent Peer Leadership Program with BayNVC.
Robin also works with NVC Academy as a course coordinator and online support. Robin is passionate about creating social change and harmony through compassion, parenting, and community. She is especially passionate about work with teenagers and partners with local teens to co-create supportive community.
She offers local trainings focused on parenting, empathy, compassion, and her own interpretation of nonviolent communication.
Matt Strube believes a world exists where everyone can live in peace in the knowledge that we are all members of the same human race and need the same things: love, compassion, and safety. He also believes that when we can live in a community where community is the focus, we can make the world a better place. Matt is eager to expand this worldview through engaging in and growing through Family HEART Camp.
Matt lives in Takoma Park, MD with his loving partner and daughter. He thrives on the never-ending moments to practice including through meditation, parenting, sailing, yoga, and living moment to moment in mindfulness.
If you ask Jules how she wants to show up in life today, her answer is often going to be,”to be kind, playful, open to learning, and ready to whip out the grok cards at a moments notice.” Having attending two NVC International Intensive Trainings, many family camps both with her kids and as a staff member, and a long list of workshops since 2007, Jules fancies Nonviolent Communication as a guiding force in her life. She holds a Masters in Communication, has a rich background in Professional Development Training rooted in Emotional Intelligence, coaches individuals and team based on their Strengths and offers Empathy Booths in and around Southeastern Wisconsin. She currently lives in Milwaukee where she hopes to make stronger connections with WEG (Wisconsin Empathy Guild) and empathy work in the Milwaukee area.
Pat De Silva
Pat De Silva was drawn to Compassionate Communication after becoming a grandmother and found her old parenting style painful and unfulfilling. Since learning NVC, she has embraced its principles and longs to share the deep gifts of connection she has experienced. She is currently a candidate for Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication.
Prior to learning about NVC she was a hospital RN and educator for 31 years predominantly in the ICU. She lives in Canal Winchester, Ohio with her husband.
Susanna Warren is deeply committed to living Compassionate Nonviolent Communications and experiences the moment by moment transformational qualities of this work with her two adult children, daughter in law, two grandchildren and life partner. She’s passionate about creating a container where families can live together in community while learning, playing and strengthening their bond as a family.
Susanna is the Founder and Host of FHC in Ohio and is a Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication, founded by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg. She works as the Outreach and Program Director for the Compassionate Communication Center of Ohio (CCCO) where she organizes and facilitates programming.
She has a B.A. in Organizational Communication and a minor in Organizational Leadership and Executive Coaching. She has traveled the globe teaching NVC in countries such as Vietnam, Peru, India, Greece, Turkey and Spain. She provides coaching and training for individuals, families, groups and organizations throughout Columbus and beyond.
Jennifer Warnick is a Certified Trainer with the International Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC), and a founding director of the Wisconsin Empathy Guild. She is a graduate of the North American NVC Parent Peer Leadership Program, a joint project of CNVC’s Peaceful Families, Peaceful World Project and Bay NVC.
Jennifer works with individuals, families, community groups and organizations who want to make conscious choices about how they live and learn together, and how they manage conflict. She is passionate about creating nurturing, restorative communities where individuals have the support they need to live in alignment with their deepest values.
Lorinda Kay aims to serve and savor life with choices that are sustainable, compassionate and fun. She pays daily visits to herself, planting seeds of awareness with large doses of wonder, curiosity and gratitude.
Lorinda has joyfully served the Family HEART Camp community since 2009 as Registrar and Program Assistant at the Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin camps. While playing at camp, Lorinda has felt welcomed to take her place in the flow of grace and hopes that many, many others will also feel encouraged and warmly invited to experience HEART Camps. She is excited to have joined the FHC Top Circle in November of 2015.
Lorinda, mother of two adult sons and a daughter, lives near Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with her man and three cats. She is self-employed and known within her community as the “Compassionate Bookkeeper.”
Gregory Rouillard, a self-described “community impresario,” envisions a world where people live, work, and play in nurturing communities. He passionately cultivates authentic and compassionate multi-generational community for people of all ages through Family HEART Camp and other collaborative enterprises. He is a Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication and received a Master of Divinity degree from Naropa University.
As well as being a co-founder of Family HEART Camp, Gregory has served on staff at over two dozen FHC events in Virginia, West Virginia, Colorado, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, Indiana and California. He is thrilled to experience the companionship and fun of mentoring and learning with the Family HEART Camp Hosts and board members.
Susan McDowall has attended Family HEART Camp with her family since 2010 and has attended numerous workshops on how to use NVC to create a more peaceful world. She currently mothers her four children and teaches at community college. In both environments, she strives to bring NVC theory into practice. She has been a member of the FHC Top Circle since 2014.
Stacey Martino has three children with her husband, Rene Rivera. She is a playwright who has been merging arts and activism with the purpose of creating a world that works for everyone since 1988. She earned her BFA from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she became deeply involved in the epidemic of homelessness and went on to earn her MFA at The New School for Social Research in New York. She has been honored to teach and work alongside artists, families, trauma survivors and those effected by homelessness over the last 20 years. Her work with diverse communities led to the founding of CoActive Content, a company comprised of grassroots activists and artists committed to supporting multiple perspectives and voices through the arts.
Stacey is a NVC Certification Candidate, Parenting Peer Leadership graduate and Restorative Circles practitioner who is pursuing a graduate certificate at The International Institute of Restorative Practices. She contributes to several teams focused on inclusion, justice, community engagement and nonviolence some of which include: 12 years with i-ACT ( Changing the way the world responds to mass atrocities through refugee led programming) as a board member, contributor and advisor to the Little Ripples, Global Citizens and Lead with Empathy Programs, The California Conference for Equality and Justice as a volunteer Circle Keeper in the Restorative Practices in Community Program and Serve the Warrior( Offering alternative healing modalities to veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries) as a board member and advisor.
Jared Finkelstein believes that in a connected world what’s most important is the quality of the connection. Jared is a Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication who specializes in working with intergenerational groups to teach skills that transform conflict into connection.
Jared has over 20 years experience in alternative education. In his years as a teacher he has worked closely with people of all ages facilitating hands on experiential learning projects that couple character education and community building in order to help foster self-esteem, confidence, and positive engagement with the world.
Jared loves organizing and leading Family HEART Camps because their intergenerational nature provides a unique overlapping opportunity for so many of his passions.
Bob Segall attended the first Family HEART Camp in 2009 and, along with his family, has attended camps in Virginia, West Virginia, Colorado, Wisconsin and Ohio every year since. He is inspired by the community and connection created during each of FHC’s magical events and strives to bring that NVC-filled inspiration back to his own community in Indiana. Bob has served as sponsorship and fundraising director for several not-for-profit organizations, and he is honored to serve on the Family HEART Camp Top Circle.
An award-winning investigative journalist, Bob reports on important local issues that have nationwide impact. His investigative reports have been facilitating dialogue, shaping laws and triggering positive change for more than two decades. Bob is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and was named a 2007 Ethics Fellow by the Poynter Institute.
Blessed with two amazing children, Bob and his wife Sara love to connect with and inspire children through youth sports. For the past ten years, they have coached baseball, softball, soccer and basketball in and around greater Indianapolis.
Rhonda Eldridge is a Certified NVC Trainer, an active member of Capital NVC, and a board member of Heart to Heart (https://www.heart2heartinc.org). Her other passion is SPEAK* – ask her about it sometime!
Rhonda believes that social change can and does happen person by person. She changes the corporate culture by living NVC in her workplace and in her cohousing community. In her world, social change is a pebble dropped in a pond. We can see where we make a change but after a while not where those changes ripple out.