Compassion Camp

Co-Creating Heart-Centered Connection and Skills

August 18-22, 2022

Earthaven Ecovillage
Near Asheville, NC

Compassion Camp is a four day event for adults and children where we create a community of people who learn, play and celebrate together, empowered to then send each other back into the world to spread these seeds of justice and love. Our time together is designed to foster community among the growing number of people in Western North Carolina and beyond who are passionate about living and promoting compassionate consciousness. Located at Earthaven Ecovillage, it is an opportunity to have fun, enjoy ourselves, learn together, and connect deeply in a beautiful natural setting.

“I laughed hard, cried hard, hugged harder, sang heartily, felt ice cold water on bare skin, dewy grass beneath my feet, perfectly ripe juneberries on my tongue, sweaty people dancing around me, tender eyes taking me in, so much vulnerability, so much connection, and so so much love.”

– Leah Swann, 2018 participant

Registration opens January 2022

Compassion Camp at Earthaven Ecovillage

About the Experience

Compassion Camp is inspired by the life and work of Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, the creator of Nonviolent Communication (NVC). We believe that the theory and practice of NVC is a life-changing tool for cultivating compassion in our hearts, communities, and the world. In addition to NVC, other topics may include: social justice, ecology, circling, restorative circles, healthy relationships, feminism, families and children, eco-sexuality, community, economics, and authentic movement.

Compassion Camp combines experiential and traditional approaches to learning, including professionally led classes, small-group conversations, hands-on practices, movement, self-reflection, and interactive activities, to provide an intimate, well-rounded, and powerful experience. Through Open Space sessions, Compassion Camp seeks to concentrate the creativity and inspiration of participants into an ongoing, life-serving energy for the community and create networks among affinity groups such as educators and social activists.

Compassion Camp also features relational activities centered around singing, dancing, storytelling, and silence, which cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien has identified as the four most common ways that humans create wellness, community, and connection.

Compassion Camp participants will likely experience:

  • Increased connection to self, others, and nature
  • A deeper commitment to being of service
  • A broader understanding of the ways you can live compassion
  • More skill in creating supportive community in your life
  • More practical tools and resources to inspire yourself and others

“At Compassion Camp I feel so nourished by the food, the community, depth of connection, vulnerability, quality of presence, and care for the well being of others.”

– Brian, 2019 participant

Class gathering under a lovely shade structure at School of Integrated Living
Families at Compassion Camp


Compassion Camp hosts a broad selection of topics to explore through the combination of pre-planned presentations and group-selected open space offerings. Connection and movement activities, meals, and rituals also contribute to a rich and nourishing experience.

Families & Youth

This program is primarily designed for adults. However, mature young adults under 18 years old are also welcome. Please contact SOIL to discuss the enrollment of passionate individuals under 18 who would like to attend without an adult.

We welcome families with children to attend and will do our best to support you and your children.  We were not able to offer childcare or a children’s program in 2021. We are working on our 2022 program plans. Much of the content involves focused, sit-down presentations, so attending with a young child will likely mean being less able to participate fully in the course.

Children ages 0-3 (2021: $0 includes food and camping)
Children ages 4-12 (2021: $100 includes food and camping)
Children are welcome to attend with parent/guardian. If you decide to bring young children to sessions, please understand that you and your child may need to step outside if your child is crying or playing loudly so that others may participate fully. Parents are responsible for their children at all times.

Teens ages 13-17 (2021: $120 includes food and camping)
Teens are welcome to attend with parent/guardian. Teenagers may attend sessions, but parents should be aware that there may be adult content, and parents are responsible for them and what they attend.

Drum jam at Compassion Camp


Tuition Sliding Scale: $250-350

Infant and Toddlers ages 0-3: Free
Children and Teens ages 4-17: $125

What’s Included
Tuition includes instruction, all materials, food, and three nights of camping. Transportation as well as shared and private indoor lodging at Earthaven is available for an additional cost.

We offer partial scholarships (50% of the bottom of the sliding scale) to black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and single parents with financial needs who otherwise would not be able to afford to attend. We understand that BIPOC experience more financial and institutional barriers to participation, and this is one way we are able to create more access. If you identify as BIPOC and/or are a single parent with financial needs and would like to receive a scholarship, please contact us.

Work Trade
We offer a few partial work trade opportunities to individuals who are available and qualified, and who would otherwise not be able to afford to attend. Our partial work trade positions cost $50-100 depending on the position, require about 11 hours of service, and include food, camping, admittance to camp, and materials (not transportation or indoor lodging). Please contact us to receive a work trade application.

Compassion Camp at Earthaven Ecovillage



Several accommodation options are available at Earthaven Ecovillage and in the surrounding area.

Included in tuition.

Shared Indoor Lodging
Cost per person: 3 nights $45

Private Indoor Lodging
Cost for 1 person: 3 nights $90
Cost for 2 people (shared bed): 3 nights $165

Off-Site Options
Various options in Bat Cave, Black Mountain, and Asheville.

Read More About Accommodations


In response to the global COVID pandemic, we’re creatively adapting and continuing to grow our skills together. SOIL’s in-person classes take place safely outdoors, with appropriate shelter in inclement weather. 

Let's stay healthy, and keep learning!

For more information, see our COVID-19 Health and Safety Practices.


Composite image of bowls of pasta, soup and salad

Delicious, omnivorous meals are prepared by talented culinary artists from the Earthaven community. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options available. Snacks and beverages (tea, coffee) are provided. Participants are invited to help with meal clean-up. Many hands make light work.

As much food as possible is sourced from Earthaven and its surrounding farms and gardens, with some ingredients sourced from local grocery stores. Our meals are created with seasonal, local, fresh, wildcrafted, humanely-raised, and organic ingredients.

***If you have dietary needs beyond the ones listed here, please be prepared to bring supplemental food to support your nourishment and well-being. Our kitchen simply cannot accommodate all diets.

Program Specific Info

Nine meals are included. Breakfast, lunch and dinner; from Thursday dinner to Sunday lunch.

Cancellation & Refunds

If you cancel your registration, you may:

  • Donate your tuition to support our continued work
  • Request a refund per our policy:
    • 90% refund for cancellations prior to 30 days before the start of the program
    • 50% refund for cancellations prior to 10 days before the start of the program

If SOIL cancels this program for any reason whatsoever, you would receive a 100% refund.

Contact us at with registration questions.

Crowdfunding & Fundraising

Check out our Crowdfunding & Fundraising page for creative ways to engage your community and launch a "Community Supported Education" campaign. This approach can help support your investment in yourself, your community, the planet, and future generations.


This program takes place at Earthaven Ecovillage. This permaculture-based community offers a unique living classroom where participants will engage with the natural world, eco-infrastructure, and the intimate experience of rural community living.

What to Expect at Earthaven

About the Facilitation Team

Compassionate Communication instructor Steve Torma

Steve Torma

Compassion Camp Co-Director and Nonviolent Communication Faculty

As a lifelong peace, justice, and ecology educator and activist with over 40 years of community living, Steve has sought to integrate personal and social transformation in his own life, in the communities where he lives, and in the larger society. His passion for integral living and thinking has led him to study and experiment with a wide range of spiritualities, psychological systems, and social theories as they relate to creating a more just and sustainable world.

Compassionate communication expert Terrie Lewine

Dr. Terrie Lewine

Compassion Camp Co-Director

Terrie focuses her work on deep self-awareness, communication and relationship work.  She offers classes and workshops for individuals and couples, private coaching sessions, and supports organizations by developing and supporting best practices regarding collaboration, team building, and effective conflict resolution.

SOIL In-Person Programs Director NikiAnne Feinberg

NikiAnne Feinberg

Co-Director, Co-Founder, Faculty

Throughout the last two decades, NikiAnne has been immersed in community and in service to a wide range of educational endeavors focused on nature connection, personal empowerment, and community resilience. No matter what she’s teaching, NikiAnne is always on the same mission: to raise awareness of our whole selves – gifts, passions, blind spots, shadows – and help those whole selves find and fill niches in their communities.

Intentional community governance and financial expert Carmen Lescher

Carmen Lescher

Assistant Director, Bookkeeper, and Faculty

Carmen is dedicated to learning how to be human on this planet at this time. She considers herself a generalist and has owned and operated a pasture-based poultry farm; worked on construction crews building passive solar, off-grid houses; and supported many small businesses with online marketing, administration, and bookkeeping.


Registration opens January 2022.