“I have been to quite a lot of camps, and this community stood out. Never before have I spent a week with kids my age and never once was ridiculed… There was so much love.”
“The most useful experience I will take home is the feeling of being unified with so many different people and feeling that I can connect with so many different people on a different level.”
“I love that when I get to the ferry terminal I was already greeted with open arms. The people (youth, adults) were so excited to meet everyone. There is so much positive energy and everyone was ready to learn and be creative. I learned so much about myself and I challenged myself in ways I never do.”
“I loved being able to come into myself and feel truly whole. Something I haven’t felt before. The connections that I made here with others transcended daily interactions and I’ve made friends who I know will be present for the rest of my life.”
“Life isn’t about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself.”
“What I liked most was that at the beginning I thought I wasn’t going to fit in but then just like all the other POHs I made lots of friends and found out people were actually nice.”
“I’ll try my best to follow my dreams and not be around any gangs, plus people think they know me, but I just tell them about 15% of what I love or do, so I’ll try to express myself more.”
“I learned that communication and listening are the ways we will change the world for the better.”
“I enjoyed making many meaningful friendships and being able to exercise my creative ability without fear of putdowns.”
“There is too much to pinpoint one thing about Power of Hope. The support that I received from everyone was phenomenal. The energy was delirious. The way that this camp is run is different from any other.”
“My daughter, who turns 18 in October, just graduated from Power of Hope, after attending the camp for third time on Cortes Island, BC. It has been a joy for me to watch her enthusiasm grow for the experience and see the rewards it has brought her, both in personal growth and increased self-confidence and in wonderful connections and friendships it has given her.
I had to drag her kicking and screaming to her first POH. Now, I have to tear her away, and she can’t wait to apply to return as a counselor. Having met many POH kids, I can attest to the quality and lasting value of the unique program you have created. It is solid gold.
I am very grateful to you and your colleagues for enriching my daughter’s (and my) life. I will support your work and recommend Power of Hope to all those I know with kids of eligible age.”
— Andrew Weil, MD (renowned author of Health and Healing, was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential people in the world.)
“I want to say a huge thank you for your encouragement getting Ben registered for POH Camp. It was truly an amazing experience for him. When I picked him up at he bus I had tears in my eyes watching him hug everyone goodbye – it took almost a half an hour for him to transition to the car. Once in the car, he told me:
‘This is the first time in my life when I have felt entirely loved and accepted by everyone in a group and the first time I have had the chance to truly get to know and love a group of people. This has been a life changing experience for me.’
Wow! I really thought he would love it, I just didn’t know how deeply he would be affected. You knew. He says he is going back next year and nothing will stop him.”
— Laurel Kunesh, Bellingham, WA
“I cannot express profoundly enough the impact of the POH program on my daughter’s life. They helped her embrace and love her true self in the midst of the myriad of messages she was receiving from today’s youth culture. I truly believe that if not for the POH program, I would have lost many precious years of being an integral part of her life.”
— Parent of camper
“I want to thank you and the organizers of the Earth Arts weekend for putting on such a terrific event! Matthew returned home on Sunday evening absolutely amazed at himself and the fabulous time he had. He has nothing but positive things to say about his experience, from the incredibly supportive atmosphere, to the talents of the young people attending, the skills of the facilitators and presenters, and even the food. You and your team have done a remarkable job!
Matthew was extremely nervous and anxious about attending. He has always been very withdrawn and awkward in social situations, unsure of his abilities and absolutely unwilling to take risks of any kind. For him to take the risks he did with a public presentation was a huge leap and an incredible testament to the abilities of the facilitators.
Thank you so much for providing a scholarship so that Matthew could have this very important experience. I’m sure it will stay with him as one of the most important of his life!”
— Parent of camper
“Thank you for all those involved in the camp. My daughter, Julia had a fabulous time and was deeply enriched. Little bits and pieces of the experence are finding their way to verbalization and as a parent I’m so glad this program exists. [My daughter] has now attended two camps and is totally switched on. She has said, ‘Mom, there really aren’t any words to describe it.’ Thank you all for making this happen. I wish it were available in SanFrancisco and surrounding areas for other youths. You guys rock.”
— Parent of camper
“The camp was an incredible learning experience. Being part of the effective structure and witnessing and supporting the young people to transform their barriers and seeing them spreading their wings soaring was such a joy. It affirms that creativity breeds and drives innovation.”
— Xoli Fuyani, Power of Hope Camp volunteer
“I’ve had my heart broken open a number of times hearing their difficult journeys, but I feel great hope knowing that they’ve now had a glimpse of what a loving, creative community can look like–as well as having many opportunities to express their creativity through arts, dance, theater, improv, singing, nature activities and so much more.”
— Leif Hansen, Power of Hope Camp teaching artist