Meet our team.

To make camp magic happen you need a group of magicians! And Common Ground Center has made it our business to recruit, train and welcome all the magical folk we can find. Our small but mighty full-time, year-round team expands to include throngs of energetic seasonal staff during camp’s high season. Whether they’re playing frisbee, teaching plant identification, lifeguarding or making sure our community is well fed, CGC’s staff is dedicated to creating an experience that you’ll remember forever.

Lindsay Whitaker

Executive Director

Lindsay returned to Vermont to join the CGC team in August of 2023. She hails from Tennessee where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Business & Organization Management, and spent her college summers working at camp. Lindsay brings experience in teaching and managing outdoor programming for youth and families, strategic planning, program evaluation, and grant & budget tracking. She’s proud to have organized collaborative networks and grants at the New England Aquarium, supported human resources operations at 22 health centers in New England, and implemented administrative systems and processes to help grow summer camp at Shelburne Farms. She and her husband Andy, son Cyrus, and cats Whiskey and Reba CatEntire are excited to be back in New England to experience snow again!


Christa Finnern

Communications Coordinator

Christa joined our year-round staff in December 2016 after nine years as Program Director with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC). Christa grew up in central Minnesota and has lived in Vermont since 2003. She and her husband designed and built their home in Starksboro, which they currently share with their two daughters, two dog, two cats, and a flock of chickens. When she’s not at Common Ground Center, Christa can be found spending time with her family, in her studio, or on the ski slopes!

Kate Bentley

Rental Coordinator

Kate came to CGC in the fall of 2021 as our Rental Coordinator. She brings experience in event planning, customer service, and marketing to the team. Kate grew up in Georgia (the state!) and has called Vermont home for the last 10 years. When she’s not at Common Ground Center, she’s spending time with her child, her Siberian Huskey, exploring mountain rivers, or in her pottery studio. She loves all things plants, fiber arts, traditional crafts, and nature. 

Flannery Raabe

Program Director

Flannery joined the CGC team in February of 2023 as our Program Director. Before coming to CGC, Flannery was working as a forest school teacher in New Haven, Connecticut. She has also spent many years at Shelburne Farms, first as a camper, then a counselor, and finally doing a fellowship at the farm. Flannery is originally from Wisconsin, but was lucky enough to grow up visiting her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in Vermont. She loves spending time in the woods with her dog and especially rolling over logs to look for salamanders! 

Common Ground Center Co-Founders

Jim Mendell

Jim Mendell

Fully to blame for at least half of the 189,000 photos put into the computer in 2007, Jim usually is attached to a camera. Jim is interested in everybody and everything and would love to hear all of your ideas. Jim and his wife Peg (CGC Co-Founder) are also the co-founders of Bristol Village Co-Housing.

Peg Kamens

Peg is one of the founders of Common Ground. Her interests include nature, gardening, community and architecture. In general, she functions as part trouble-shooter, part troublemaker, and can be found squirreled away at her pottery wheel. She is also the proud mother of three Mendell kids, who grew up at family camp!