"and never the tween shall meet..." Working with Future Grownups at Camp Common Ground

This was a summer of firsts. First summer with the Eco-Lodge, first real, live Canadian on staff, first Quidditch match, first pink monster in center field…first center field! Yes, as usual the place was in a state of flux and no one adjusted to that more than our group of tweens. They are a tough group to keep occupied as they are not quite teens (yet they wannabe) and they no longer consider themselves kids. So we took them out of Kidville. They did not even darken the door. We had them hang with Connor, our new Program Coordinator.

Week three of Camp Common Ground was the start of a fun new approach to working with this age group; a project based learning and bonding program where the young people were presented with a handful of projects they could help with. And did they ever! Adding elements to the physical site at Common Ground is often a drawn out and complicated affair, making sure permits are in order, double checking budgets, and finally assembling the necessary skilled labor. Luckily for us the summer of 2011 was jam packed with hardworking young people who weren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty.

Those of you who attended week three or four of Camp Common Ground undoubtedly noticed the addition of a brand new backstop in the sports field above the tennis courts. Yup, Sam Biamonte, Teddy Plisko, David Schudrich, Quinn Campbell, and Tyler Balistieri helped the VFP make that field of dreams a reality. The tweens helped to dig a post hole, measured out the bases, dug the base islands, shoveled dirt, and did a quality control assessment of the bats, balls, and gloves. If you were lucky enough to take part in the last week of camp, you may have noticed a hulking pink mass smiling at you from that very same ball field. That monster was brought to life through the sweat and imagination of Oliver Reckord, Tyler Balistieri, Sam Biamonte, and John Albert. That last week, the group approached their project with real enthusiasm, hand mowing the area around the beast, hand selecting and transporting additional boulders (for eyes), selecting the paint colors and doing all the painting.


Connor is looking forward to working with his new crews next year on a series of new and exciting projects, anyone know how to chisel?