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whole-life skills for a radically different future

Compassion Camp

July 15-18, 2021

at Earthaven Ecovillage | near Asheville, North Carolina

Registration is not yet Open.

Compassion Camp session in the main village council hall at EarthavenCompassion 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.

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.An outdoor class under a large event tent at Compassion Camp

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

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

About the Co-Directors

Photo of instructors Steve Torma and Terrie LewineFor over thirty years, Steve Torma has gently guided our culture toward cooperation and regeneration. He is the former President of Earthaven Ecovillage, where he continues to live his passion for community and sustainability. Trained in Nonviolent Communication, and other healing modalities, Steve co-founded The REAL Center in 2007. Through his compassionate presence and guidance, Steve has helped countless people to find healing, direction, and meaning in their lives.

Terrie Lewine focuses her work on deep self-awareness, communication and relationship work. She currently resides in Philadelphia, PA where she owns and manages her private teaching/coaching practice and the Back to Life Wellness Center. She offers classes, workshops and trainings for individuals and couples, and supports organizations by developing and supporting best practices regarding collaboration, team building and effective conflict resolution.

Steve and Terrie have been deeply enriched by using NVC in their own lives, relationships,  communities and with the people they serve. Having felt the power of NVC to transform lives they are excited to create a gathering where people can come together to learn from each other, celebrate, and network.

While deeply inspired by NVC, their vision of a compassionate world includes many other aspects of creating the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible. With that in mind, they’ve brought together a group of leaders in WNC to share their wisdom at Compassion Camp.

Compassion Camp was literally one of the most positive experiences I've ever had (and I've done a LOT of workshops). It felt like the fun, playful, tender, loving camp missing from my childhood, open to all ages, mixed with challenging, radically honest self-work, holding space for others to do their own self-work, minor open heart surgery, dance, play, love, appropriate affection (often lacking in our modern world); ultimately, it was an incredibly liberating experience through which I felt the most deeply accepted, appreciated, seen, heard, and loved I have ever felt in my entire life, no exaggeration. It enabled me to soften and relax into my true nature for the first time ever, while simultaneously helping me explore, freely who/what that is, in the compassionate witness of others. I am infinitely grateful it exists, and want to encourage so many to try it!
~ Stephanie, 2019 participant


Tents for classes at Compassion Camp at Earthaven EcovillageCompassion 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. 

More about schedule and Open Space technology

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


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

Camping is included. Private indoor lodging at Earthaven is available for an additional cost.

A group of tents setup in the woods at Earthaven Ecovillage

Shared indoor lodging

Cost per person: 1 night $20, 2 nights $40, 3 nights $60, 4 nights $75

Private indoor lodging

Cost for 1 person: 1 night $50, 2 nights $85, 3 nights $105, 4 nights $120
Cost for 2 people (shared bed): 1 night $75, 2 nights $130, 3 nights $160, 4 nights $175

Off-site options

Various options in Bat Cave, Black Mountain, and Asheville.

More about accommodations

Earthaven is nestled in the heart of the rural Southern Appalachian Mountains, 30 miles outside of Asheville, NC on curvy mountain roads and within two hours of three airports.

More about travel


Image composite of pasta dish, soup bowl, and a 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.

Children and Families

Photo collage of families and children at Compassion Camp eventWe welcome families with children to attend and will do our best to support you and your children. The village setting of Earthaven offers a safe and fun place for people of all ages and stages to explore. 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 program.

Children ages 0-3 ($0 includes food and camping)
Young children are welcome to attend with parent/guardian at no cost. We do not offer a program or childcare for this age group. If you decide to bring your young child(ren) 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.

Children ages 4-12  ($100 includes food, youth program, and camping)
Children are welcome to attend with parent/guardian. For this age group we offer a youth program that runs during open space sessions and will include games, crafts, and nature connection activities. Parents are responsible for their children during all other times.

Teens ages 13-17 ($100 includes food and camping)
Teens are welcome to attend with parent/guardian. We do not offer a program for this age group. 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. 

Compassion camp was an emotionally nourishing environment where I was able to sink into my relationship with my partner and our children. ~ Angel Trail, 2018 Participant


Registration includes instruction, all materials, food, and three nights of camping. Private indoor lodging at Earthaven is available for an additional cost. Transportation is not available.

Tuition Sliding Scale: $240-375

Infant and Toddlers ages 0-3: Free
Children ages 4-12: $100 (youth program available)
Teens ages 13-17: $100 (no program available)

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 $50-90 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 at info@schoolofintegratedliving.org to receive a work trade application.

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 at info@schoolofintegratedliving.org. Scholarships include food, camping, admittance to camp, and materials (not transportation or indoor lodging).

Registration is not yet open for 2021.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.   ~ Dalai Lama

Scenes from Compassion Camp by School of Integrated Living

Experience a developing ecovillage for yourself!

Most of SOIL’s classes take place at Earthaven Ecovillage, giving participants a hands-on, skill-building immersion within an authentic community-based, village setting. Tours of Earthaven are also available on a monthly basis, a great way to dip your toe into this long-standing, intergenerational social experiment.

Learn More
COVID 19 Response: SOIL is publishing resources and deferring all programs to 2021.Read More
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