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“My piece of heaven on earth” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Camp Common Ground

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Camp Common Ground
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473 Tatro Road, Starksboro, VT   |  
Hotel amenities
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“My piece of heaven on earth”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2014

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.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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22 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Canaan, New Hampshire
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

REMEMBER: THIS IS A CAMP, NOT A HOTEL!! There is no room service, and guests are expected to clean up after selves! If you can deal with that, you re in for a treat!

My son & daughter-in-law chose Common Ground for their wedding celebration. Family & friends began arriving on Friday afternoon, for a welcoming cook out and visiting. The facilities were perfect for such a gathering! (I don't know I'd say the same if the weather were bad!).
Saturday brought all of the visitors. Many of the younger people stayed in the cabins or camped out. Family members (esp we older ones) stayed in the Ecolodge, which was comfortable and had great common room which is perfect for family reunions and getting to know new in-laws!

The wedding site by the forest edge required a bit of a hike, the rewards were flora and fauna of Vermont. Evening activities included dinner and dancing in the main building, as well a midnight dip in the pond.

We would recommend this venue enthusiastically for family gatherings for any occasion.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

We have gone to Camp Common Ground for 3 years and will be going back this summer. The food is delicious and plentiful, the land is breathtaking, and the people are so nice, friendly, and supportive. You can breath deeper when you are there and everyone is looking out for everyone else's kids ....who run around with a freedom they don't get coming from an urban environment. Highly recommend!!!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Vermont
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

We just came home from our first Lost Arts camp and it was Wonderful. A truly enriching experience for my children and myself. My boys (10,7, and 5) had such a fantastic experience that they already want to know when we are going back. The activities keep everyone occupied but not at a hare's pace, its really incredibly relaxing. I really feel blessed that we happened upon a brochure as my family had such a great time connecting with other families. I can not say enough about the folks who run the camp as they are fantastic, simply wonderful. The grounds are beautiful. As we left, we all felt that we had experienced something incredibly special.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

Situated in a beautiful part of Vermont, this was a perfect vacation for our family. The adults loved having the morning free to dabble in all kinds of classes and activities, from dance to hikes to a volleyball game to glass blowing. The kids felt free and safe and loved being at camp with their parents. It was a chance for both the adults and kids to play in their own way, and also share the afternoons and evenings together. So many fun activities and since I'd been to camp as a kid, I liked the cabins that were outdoorsy and yet definitely a step up from the ones I remembered as a kid architecturally. There is a great community spirit at the camp and so many warm, interesting people. Have been recommending it to many other families!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Montclair, New Jersey
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

We went to Camp Common Ground for the second week of the summer. We were nervous. The last family camp we went to exhausted and drained us. We adore our kids, but hey- it's still a job right? I was risking a lot when I booked this vacation, but I still had a dream that family camp could feel like an enriching and fun experience that would nurture our kids and help us all to BREATH after a long school year. Some of the family were not keen, and had to be badgered in to it. My husband was afraid that it all looked too touchy feelly and that people would try to hug him, and our 13 year old carnivore was extremely anxious that she would starve to death. The 6 and 4 year old seemed vaguely pleased, but didn't really get it.
I can hardly describe how they all rave about Camp Common Ground now. We hope to go back year after year. The scenery, the food, the amazing activities, the space, the time alone, the time together...it was all ideal. We came home happier than ever with each other, and inspired to keep on living simply, and richly.

Room Tip: It's all good. Pick your style- cabin, tent, or fancy eco lodge. You spend most of your time out...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

I've spent two summers in a row at Camp Common Ground located in lovely, rural Vermont, and can understand why most families keep wanting to go back. It's a unique place where kids spend the mornings in Kidsville doing various age appropriate activities and their parents are free to explore dance, yoga, archery, glass bead making, hikes, tennis, and a slew of other things. When the bell rings at noon families reunite for lunch and can then spend the rest of the day together swimming at the pond, in an afternoon arts and crafts activity, making music, or just hanging out. The food is vegetarian, locally grown, and delicious. The spirit is one of tolerance, generosity, fun, and friendliness. Staff is professional and other campers, kids and adults alike, are great. Last year I went with my mom and she really enjoyed it so it's great even for grandparents.

Room Tip: The Ecolodge is the best quarters, though the most expensive.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Camp Common Ground

Address: 473 Tatro Road, Starksboro, VT
Location: United States > Vermont > Starksboro
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Starksboro
Number of rooms: 35
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 

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