History

It started as an idea, a “wouldn’t it be fun if…?”

Common Ground Center 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.

Jim and Peg take a break from a meal in the dining hall to smile for the camera.

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They visited many family camps, improved on the best ideas, and called some people they thought would be fun to spend a week with who also happened to be great teachers. Everyone said yes.They contacted all their friends in Brooklyn and Vermont and some of them came, and some brought friends. Other people heard about the camp through brochures at their food coops, Waldorf schools, childcare centers, or through Coop America, homeschooling circles, and local parenting newsletter. 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 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 staff who works hard to put it all together.