Gabriola Island NVC Camp

An NVC Camp for Everyone

July 26 – 29, 2018

  Descanso Bay Campground, Gabriola Island, BC

The Gabriola Island NVC Camp is a combination of learning experiences, an experiment in community and giving, and a holiday by the ocean – all wrapped up into one.

Campers with or without NVC experience are welcome! We’ll have three days of  workshop sessions, led by experienced facilitators, around the themes of: individual work, relationships, and community change. Yoga will be offered every morning, and there are trails and beaches to explore.  Everyone is welcome, including families.  Campers bring what they need to survive – not hard on beautiful Gabriola Island!




  • What is NVC?

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a way of looking at the world through compassionate eyes.  It’s also a guide to creating ever-expanding circles of caring and respect in our families, workplaces, and communities, where everyone’s needs matter.

NVC was created by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, who passed away this year.  We dedicate this camp to him and the transforming effect he had around the world.

  • Where is Gabriola Island?

We’re a 20-minute ferry ride from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, BC, which is 2 hours drive from Victoria, or a 2-hour ferry ride from Vancouver.

  • Where will we camp?

Our setting is Descanso Bay Campground on Gabriola Island. The Campground is right by the water and a wonderful place to spend the weekend. Our sites are adjacent a field that we can all enjoy. The cost per campsite, per night is $17. We reserve a spot for you once we know your needs. You register and pay on arrival.

  • What will the workshop sessions be like?

Sessions will be 2-3 hours in length.  There may be choices, depending on the numbers of campers. Each day will have a different theme.  The first day will include a half-day intro to NVC for those new to it.  They will take place at various locations throughout the camp.  A schedule will be distributed before the camp.

  • When do we arrive/leave?

Plan to arrive on the afternoon of Thursday, July 20. Set up your tent in the afternoon. We’ll get started on Thursday evening.

Sessions will run all day Friday and Saturday, and Sunday (July 23) morning.

We wrap up the camp sessions by  12:30pm on Sunday. If you are leaving that day, you can plan to catch the 3:05pm ferry from Gabriola to Nanaimo.

  • What will I need to bring?

You’ll need food, a place to sleep (tent, rv, trailer, etc.), and an open attitude. The campground has potable water. Gabriola has a grocery store, gas station, several restaurants and coffee shops.

  • Will there be stuff for kids and teens to do?

Yes! We will have organized outdoor adventure and craft-based activities for kids and teens.

  • How much does it cost?
We will be posting our 2018 rates soon. For your information, here are our rates from last year:
2017 RATES
Camp fees (includes all programming for adults, teens, and children)
  •  Individual adult: $350 ($315 early-bird before May 31)
  • Teen: $150 ($135 early-bird)
  • Individual child (ages 6-14): $150 ($135 early-bird)
  • Family rate: $750 for a family of four ($675 early-bird)

Camping and Meals

  • $17.50 / night for camping site
  • Optional Meal plan: $50 / day/ adult for 3 catered meals ($35 / day / kids) – we have limited space for this. Please indicate your interest when you register.

Payment can be made online through our online registration. (You will pay for your campsite fees ($17/night) and meals separately when you arrive)

  • What if I can’t afford the camp?

Talk to us anyway!  We want this to be affordable to as many people as possible.

  • Can I volunteer?

We’re considering taking on volunteers to help with this year’s camp. Please email us if you’re interested.

  • How do I get to Gabriola Island?

There are a number of options for getting to Gabriola Island.

Options 1 and 2 are from Seattle and involve going through Vancouver, so if you can get there, ignore the first half of the directions. Prices may vary:

Option 1
Seattle – Vancouver: Bolt Bus

The Bolt Bus actually pulls into the same place (Pacific Central Station) that the Greyhound departs from, so that transfer should work easily.

Vancouver – Nanaimo: Greyhound (this includes the ferry crossing to Nanaimo and is about 3 hours, $12)Nanaimo to Gabriola: Taxi and ferry ($20 taxi and $10 ferry)
  • Ferries generally leave every hour and twenty minutes. One can take a cab to the Gabriola ferry terminal which is in downtown Nanaimo.
Option 2
Seattle to Vancouver Airport: Bus
Vancouver to Gabriola: Float Plane
  • Will this camp count towards my Certification as a Trainer?

Yes! Mitch and Angela are CNVC Certified Trainers, and other Certified Trainers may join in.

  • Who is organizing the Camp?

The Camp is organized by the Salish Sea Empathy Society. The Society was formed in 2017 to organize events and projects that promote and share the art and skills of empathy, healthy communication, and self-compassion in groups, families, and relationships. The Camp is a major focus for the Society, which will also be offering similar compassionate community-building and multi-generational events based on Gabriola and around the Salish Sea.

  • Who is the leadership team?

Mitch Miyagawa and Angela Walkley are a wife-and-husband facilitation team, who lead NVC groups on Gabriola and throughout western Canada. They’re joined by Slam! Rose Johnson, from Oakland, CA, as the amazing Camp Director.

Picture or Video 183Mitch Miyagawa has a natural gift of coaxing forward and holding space for the shadows and the beauty in a group and each individual. He is passionate about embracing all of what we are. His intention is to share and seed empathy through NVC, and to support a worldwide NVC community. He continues to grow and learn, and occupies the space of facilitator and teacher as a guide and supporter, not the source of answers. He is a Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC).

Picture or Video 161Angela Walkley
approaches NVC with an approach that blends both spirituality and practicality. Connecting to each person’s own inner voice and creating space for that voice to come forward. She has over a decade of experience facilitating organizations and communities through land use planning, parks planning, leadership and First Nation processes. She draws on lessons learned in the Canada, India and Ecuador. She is a Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC).

Slam! Rose Johnson is founder and director of Queer Camp, a summer camp themed camping trip for adults. Slam! offers a variety of trainings and experiences that develop community, connection and growth. By wearing a variety of hats at any given moment, you might find Slam! slinging tacos, spontaneously mediating a conflict and lighting up a 100 smiles across a roomful of middle school-ers.