The Camp Koinonia Foundation betters lives and strengthens families through camping programs and community integration.

Populations Served

The Camp Koinonia Foundation has expanded its focus to broaden the range and scope of programs offered to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We understand that after the age of 21, individuals with disabilities in multiple functional domains have limited recreational program opportunities. It is our job to support lifelong learning by creating meaningful recreational experiences that enrich our community members’ lives.



In partnership with The University of Tennessee, The Camp Koinonia Foundation supports three residential camps throughout the year. Our biggest program is Camp Koinonia held in the spring in Crossville at the Clyde M. York 4-H Center. The fall camps are Camp Oginali, for participants with down syndrome, and Koinonia Retreat, for adults who have aged out of Camp Koinonia. Outside of Camp services, The Foundation also provides monthly We Adapt programs for adults with disabilities and The Koinonia Classroom program to assist teachers and students in special education classrooms.

KFTN History

THE HISTORY OFKoinonia Foundation of Tennessee



The Camp Koinonia Foundation was incorporated in 2001 to support the continued provision of the existing University of Tennessee Camp Koinonia program. During the first ten years of the foundation, the board of directors in conjunction with the founding executive director, Dr. Gene Hayes, worked to grow the camp program and establish a foundation for continued support through the University of Tennessee.

Foundation board of directors approved

In 2014, the Foundation board of directors approved several changes focused on the expansion of the Foundation’s focus beyond it’s continuing support for the University of Tennessee Camp Koinonia program. In addition to voting to change its name to the Koinonia Foundation, the board voted to begin preparation for hiring an executive director and developing a vision and mission centered on expanded services for special needs individuals 21 years in age and older.

Retained the services of Ruth Patrick

In 2015, we retained the services of Ruth Patrick, a seasoned not-for-profit executive with over 30 years of experience in developing and growing not-for-profit foundations as our executive director.


Ruth’s leadership we have begun

In 2016, through Ruth’s leadership we have begun to offer our first round of expanded services, and we have developed an aggressive growth and development plan to begin the offering a broader range of services to the 21 and older special needs community.

More About Us


The Koinonia Foundation Tennessee/Camp Koinonia Foundation, a Tennessee based charity founded in 2001, is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. The mission is to serve individuals with disabilities in multiple functional domains with unique, needs-based programs that enrich their lives and provide the opportunity to achieve life-long learning. The Koinonia Foundation Tennessee betters lives and strengthens families.


In partnership with the University of Tennessee, the foundation has supported the operation of Camp Koinonia for the past 32 years. Additional legacy camp programs include Retreat and Oginali. The camp program is offered through the Therapeutic Recreation concentration at The University of Tennessee.


As the Koinonia Foundation seeks to expand its reach, development of new program services is underway. The expanded services are in support of identified community needs and opportunities gaps for children and adults with multiple disabilities. New monthly programs are being introduced including game night, dance night and movie night as part of the culmination of the strategic planning process and the next phase of organizational growth. Ultimately, these newly developed Life Long Learning programs will include event and Saturday activities that will enhance the quality of life adults with multiple disabilities and their families.


• Expended Life Long Learning Programs offered in 2016 serving individuals age 18+
      o We Adapt Evening Events
      o Saturday Fun & Learn Programs
• The Camp Koinonia (Spring)–serving individuals age 7-21 who are classified as having than one disability
• Koinonia Retreat (Fall) – serving individuals 21+
• Camp Oginali (Fall)– serving individuals age 7 and older with Down Syndrome.
• Koinonia Classroom – serving teachers and students K-12 with special education tools and resources