Hi Everyone,

I would like to invite you to an Open House for Camp Common Ground at Common Ground Center (located in Vermont), at my house, at 296 16th St., in Park Slope, Brooklyn on Saturday, June 18th from 11AM to 5PM. The purpose is to give you an opportunity to find out about Camp Common Ground. My family and I have been going there every summer since 1994. We love being there. I have been the chamber music person there, teaching strings and all ages to play music together. The founders and co-directors of the camp, Peg Kamens and Jim Mendell will be at my house to show a wonderful, moving DVD, and answer any questions you might have about the camp. They lived in Brooklyn for many years before they migrated to Vermont in 1990, and have many friends here. Therefore, many of their Brooklyn friends have become Camp Common Grounders over the years. The website for Camp Common Ground at Common Ground Center is: www.cgcvt.org if you want to find out more. So if you or anyone you know is looking for something fantastic to do for a week or two this summer, please check it out. Please RSVP to me either by e-mail or phone (718) 965-3916 if possible. If you can't make it, and are interested in contacting Peg and Jim and the rest of the staff of CGC, you can e-mail them at jim@cgcvt.org or call (802) 482-3670 or (800) 430-2667. Please spread the word about this wonderful place! On Saturday, June 18th at the Open House, there will be refreshments, and delightful, friendly people! Please come!

Common Ground Center
159 Lost Road, St. George, VT 05495
Contact: Jim Mendell
P: 802.482.3670
F: 1.802.482.7747


Camp Common Ground will run four weeks of family camp this summer at Common Ground Center (CGC), its new, permanent home on 700 acres in Starksboro, Vermont.

Founded in 1994, Camp Common Ground ran for its first 10 years at rented facilities. Last summer the camp ran construction programs to build eight cabins on its Starksboro site with help from CGC members and international volunteers. The new facility will enable the camp to expand in the size and scope of its programs, serving hundreds of new families each year, including those affected by illness, economic hardship and disability.

The non-profit organization has created a unique, intergenerational camp experience for adults and children of all ages, grounded in the principles of respect, inclusion and cooperation. “Our focus is bringing people of diverse backgrounds and cultures together in activities which promote healthy lifestyles, creativity and family cohesiveness,” said Peg Kamens, a founder of CGC. “We welcome people of all ages, ethnicities, family structures and abilities.” The diversity of the camp has been enriched by participation from the gay, foster-care, adoption, vegetarian, and home education communities.

Camp Common Ground offers quality children and adult programs, sometimes divided by age group and other programs for all ages. Past offerings have included art, music, dance, video, massage, yoga, tai chi and recreational sports. The camp emphasizes creative expression, community and fun. Partial scholarships and work-exchange programs are offered to ensure that people of all financial backgrounds can attend. One measure of the camp’s success is its 74 percent camper return rate.

The first summer in Starksboro the camp will run with a total of 100 campers and staff each week, but in time may accommodate up to 160. “We want to have a year-round facility that will also be an affordable space for the non-profit community to rent out for meetings and retreats,” said Kamens.

“Since we opened, families from around the world have come together as part of our unique family camp program, creating lasting relationships with one another while engaging in life-long learning and community building,” she concluded. “We look forward to welcoming new campers to our permanent home as we expand the Common Ground experience.”

For more information, please contact Jim Mendell at 802.482.3670 or e-mail: .

Common Ground Center
Quotes from Campers:

“As someone who has come to CCG every summer since its inception, I can say with certainty that it is the highlight of my year. I am fortunate to share what I love the most in life, and that is my music. Over the past 10 years I have been cultivating a mini-music school, focusing on offering cello, violin and chamber music to families at CCG. I have worked with children as young as three and as old as 70. People at CCG are not afraid to try new things, and that is such a rewarding experience.”

-Martha Siegel
Brooklyn, NY

“I love the diversity and learning about different lifestyles. Our whole family spent a wonderful week together in Vermont and look forward to coming back again next year.”

-Steve Blane
New Milford, NJ

“Thanks to CCG and the pastel class I took with Jeneane Lunn, I took home a new way of interacting with the world around me-very centering and peaceful in the midst of normal and abnormal turmoil.”

-Kathy Krieger
Washington, DC

“Spending several weeks at CCG, I was sad to leave, but I never felt I was leaving something behind. Instead of thinking of camp as some fantasy, accessible in brief snatches; I come home feeling more hope than ever, more faith in our ability to shape this lifetime with mindful action.”

-Kate Hallen
Cambridge, MA

“As a lesbian, I truly appreciate the warm and open environment at Camp Common Ground. Plenty of places simply claim to be open to gay and lesbian families, but Common Ground truly achieves
the integrated, open, and affirming community so many of us hope to create.”

-Anya Schwartz
Burlington, VT

“I had a wonderful time at camp this past summer, just as I have every summer since the inception of Camp Common Ground. It was an interesting and challenging week for me because I took on the role of being a staff member rather than a frolicking (teen) camper who had no responsibilities. I have the feeling that my fabulous funky dancers Amy, Anna, Jake and Lyle are going to grow up to be dancing stars.”

-Nicki Marshall
CCG Dance Leader

“A family camp is the only way my kids would ever have experienced an overnight camp. Annie, especially, grew and blossomed in that week in ways that are still impacting her. Every now and then she will do something new, and then say to me, “I could never have done that if I hadn’t gone to CCG.”

-Sara Woodall
St. Michaels, MD

“I went canoeing, cooked marshmallows over the campfire, did pottery, made puppets, played pool and ping pong, and played Monopoly late at night. I even danced some.”

-Noah Weiss, Age 8,
Brooklyn, NY