1993:Catholic HEART Workcamp
was founded by Steve and Lisa Walker, at that time they were
both youth Ministers at St. Margaret Mary Church in Winter Park, FL. The
idea of offering a Catholic Workcamp was inspired by their participation
in non-denominational Workcamps.
These Workcamps lacked a Catholic spirituality and perspective. The
first Catholic HEART Workcamp was held in Orlando with 100 participants
as an extension of St. Margaret Mary Youth Ministry.
Father Richard Walsh, Pastor, encouraged and supported the creation and
ministry of CHWC. The first Workcamp Office consisted of only a desk in
the corner of Steve and Lisa’s home.
1995: CHWC added a second city when
they expanded to Pittsburgh, PA. In 1997 the first CHWC tour was
established as Detroit, Mobile and Denver were added to the schedule.
Catholic HEART Workcamp had over the 1000 camper mark for the first time
1998:This was a monumental year in the
growth of CHWC. In 1998 Lisa & Steve were called to move from parish
youth ministry into the role as Presidents of CHWC. This change allowed
them to devote more time to this growing ministry. This year also was
the first year a second team went on the road. This enabled 2 camps
to go on at the same time. The number of camps doubled that year as CHWC
went into 5 more cities including Phoenix and New Orleans.
1999: Catholic HEART
Workcamp hired its first full time employee in addition to Steve and
Lisa. Charlotte Nassis became the CHWC office manager
(now serving as Chief Production Officer). The number of
camps grew to 15 that year with over 3000 campers attending. Also
in 1999 the first CHWC promo video was made, and the website
heartworkcamp.com was launched.
CHWC First Promo Video
2000: CHWC moved
locations into a 3 room office above the garage of Steve and Lisa’s new
now consisted of 3 full time and 2 part time employees.
In 2001 CHWC added a third team on the road, now they had 22 camps
nationwide. Also this was the year that CHWC went international adding a
camp in Jamaica.
Catholic HEART Workcamp now has over 5000 campers and is growing each
2003: CHWC added 2 more
fulltime employees making the office team 5 full time employees and 2
Catholic HEART Workcamp built an office building that is exclusively
used for their operations.
2005: CHWC added a fourth
team on the road, they now had 32 camps and had 9000 campers
participate in that summer. The look of the CHWC
Program has changed over the years, as of 2005 we had full lighting
systems with intelligent lights, 4 main speakers per team as well as 2
subwoofers and were fully digital with all videos and sound.
2008: CHWC launched an
on-line store to continue to sell merchandise throughout the year.
Since CHWC began selling merchandise it has donated 100% of all the
proceeds made to various charitable organizations. Also in 2008 CHWC
vaulted into the digital world by creating a Facebook
Fan Page and a
Twitter account in attempts to strengthen the
fifth team of summer staff was added this year, now 5 camps are going on each week
of the summer. This year the office staff grew again to 6 full time
employees and 3 part time.
2011: The Lord called 11,500
servants to serve across the United States. CHWC added a 6th team
on the road.
2012: CHWC again added a team to go on the road, now
bringing the total to 7. CHWC had over 12,500 campers at 47 camps across
the country and in Jamacia.
CHWC’s vision for the future is clear, to listen closely to the Lord and
continue to grow in the direction that God desires,
after all, this is God's creation and we are faithful stewards.We
want to continue offering quality service camps, servepeople
in need, and spiritually enrich the lives of workcamp participants.
Most importantly, CHWC wants to provide young people and those served
opportunities to experience God’s love in a profound way!