Great ideas attract great people.

Common Ground Center started as an idea, a “Wouldn’t it be fun if…?” Founders Peg Kamens and Jim Mendell wanted to spend their vacations doing creative activities with their three young kids, where the kids could enjoy fun, interesting programs while they were pursuing adult interests. They wanted healthy food that respected alternative diets. And they wanted a place flexible enough in price so that a variety of people could afford to come.

They visited many family camps, improved on the best ideas, and invited people who would be fun to spend a week with and who also happened to be great teachers. Everyone said yes. They contacted all their friends in Brooklyn and Vermont; some came, and some brought friends. Other people heard about the camp through brochures at food co-ops, Waldorf schools, childcare centers, or through Co-op America, homeschooling circles, and local parenting newsletters. The first summer of Camp Common Ground happened miraculously! It was great fun, and we all decided to keep it going…

Since our start in 1994, we’ve grown as an organization, with a volunteer Board of Directors and now a year-round facility in Starksboro, Vermont that is home to Common Ground Center’s many varied programs and events.

Camp Common Ground, our signature family camp program, has remained at the core of what we do here at Common Ground Center, filling a unique niche and serving hundreds of families from over 29 states and 11 countries. We have grown into an extended family with some wonderful, devoted campers, a talented and diverse staff, and a dedicated year-round team who works hard to put it all together.

We loved how we could tailor and decorate each space to create a unique celebration. My grandparents stayed in the Eco-Lodge, my little nieces and nephews loved the cabins, and the whole group enjoyed swimming in the pond. A truly magical weekend and better than I could have ever envisioned.”

Common Ground Center History