We've gone for the family camp twice and we were there this weekend for their twentieth anniversary weekend. We are returning again this July. My kids talk about camp all year long and it has become an important part of our lives. We all love it.
It's my piece of heaven on earth.
We stay in the cabins. There were plenty of beds. Bunk beds and twins with a little piece that goes between two beds pushed together that eliminates that uncomfortable gap. There was plenty of shelf space for clothes as well. Some people stay in tents, others in the Eco-lodge. There are coin operated washing machines, which is important when traveling with little kids. We brought sheets, pillows, sleeping bags, lanterns and towels. There's no electricity in the cabins but there is in the dining hall and the Eco Lodge. You can charge your devices there and connect with the world if you really want to. We stayed screen free and didn't miss it at all.
During family camp there are plenty of activities and kids go to Kidville for three hours in the morning. I love hiking up the mountain, relaxing by the river or taking dance classes. Others prefer glass blowing, art class or playing instruments. Activities vary by week. It's relaxing, people are great, and the campus is contained so I can give my kids more freedom than when we're at home.
In the afternoons/ evenings there are organized family games like Quiddich and scavenger hunts. There's no pressure to participate but it was a lot of fun.
The food is vegetarian and delicious. Meals are planned with kids in mind and there are kid friendly options. They even published a camp cookbook.
For me what makes the camp is the people. Camp was built little by little and with a lot of love. The tiles in the bathroom were 2005 camper art projects, and many of those families return every year. The people who run it live what they believe and they are active in the community, they use solar power and they work hard to decrease their carbon footprint. A tour of all of the features of the Eco-lodge was fascinating.
They run different camps for under served populations. Camp Kaleidoscope is for families with autistic children, Camp Outright is for LGBTQ teenagers and they run a camp for families in the midst of high conflict divorces. They don't shy away from hard situations. All families are truly welcomed and it's a non-judgmental, cooperative environment. Communication is real and the friendships are genuine.
There is a bit of sticker shock but there is a sliding scale and I believe it is money well spent. The food is high quality and fresh. They invest in maintaining the property with ecologically friendly products, they provide a variety of activities for children and adults, and there are enough staff on hand to deal with issues as they arise.
It has been an experience that has greatly enriched my life and my children's lives.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Common Ground Center is an education and retreat center on a gorgeous 700 acres in the heart of Vermont. Our signature program is Camp Common Ground, a week long all-inclusive family vacation. We also host theme-based programming for families and adults. Unplug and reconnect with your family through arts, good food, nature exploration, and community. Our site is also available for rentals to weddings, family reunions, and corporate groups. We can accommodate up to 150 overnight guests in May through October and up to 30 overnight guests between November and April. Call us to register or schedule a tour today! ... more less