Camp FAQs

I tried to register my camper for a session that says “Full” Or “Waitlist,” what does that mean?

If you see a camp session marked “full” this means that all camper spots are reserved. 

If a camp week/session is waitlisted, you can still fill out all of the registration form as if you were registering your child.  This does not mean your child is registered. If a spot opens, we’ll call to offer the spots to those on the waiting list (in the order they are received) before sharing it with the general public.  

Do you offer financial aid for camp?

Yes, financial assistance is available through grants from local foundations, organizations, and donations from community members. More information can be found here.

Do you offer a payment plan?

Yes, payments will be withdrawn from the credit card provided at the time of registration.  The payment plan is as follows: 

  • 50% of the full registration fees are required at the time of registration.
  • 25% of the remaining fees will be automatically withdrawn on May 1st. 
  • The remaining fees will be automatically withdrawn on June 1st.

What time does camp begin and end?

Our summer camps run daily Monday – Friday from 9 am – 3 pm.

If you need extended care for your children, we offer Before Care 7:30 am – 9 am, and After Care: 3 pm – 5:30 pm

What is the process for checking in and checking out my camper?

Drop Off: When dropping off your child to camp or picking them up, please pull in the driveway and follow the directions of the camp staff. You will be greeted by a counselor at your car where you can sign your camper in. No need to leave your vehicle.  

Pick Up: When picking up your camper, follow the same path and please have your photo ID ready to pick up your camper.  If for any reason you are making a change to who is picking up your camper, you must notify us in advance at 440-965-5551.

What if I need to pick up my child early?

Please call us in advance at 440-965-5551. When you arrive at Common Ground, please check-in at the main lodge and we will notify your child’s counselor.  Please have your photo ID ready.

What can you tell me about the camp staff?

Our camp staff is comprised of adults that have a passion and desire to work with youth in an outdoor setting.  

They are required to pass a BCI/FBI background check, be CPR and First Aid Certified, and complete one full week of Summer Camp Staff Training to include, but not limited to, creating an engaging atmosphere for learning, camper security, camper behavior management, and care, and child abuse prevention training.  We are confident that our staff are capable of providing your child with an amazing camp adventure they’ll never forget!  

May I come out and visit/tour Common Ground?

We would love to have you visit and show you around Common Ground!  We’re open all year long, so you don’t have to wait until summer camp is in session.  Feel free to call our office to schedule a tour today, 440-965-5551.

How does Common Ground care for campers?

If your child has a significant accident or incident that is greater than a small band-aid, we’ll be sure to properly address the concern (following our Emergency Action Plan) and notify the parents or guardians immediately.

What does a typical day of camp look like?

Every camp and group of campers within the group has its unique daily schedule.  However, the typical schedule is listed below for you to have an idea.

  • 8:50 am Arrival
  • 9:00 am Big Camp Greeting
  • 9:20 am Group Meeting
  • 10:10 am Specialist Activity (Arts & Crafts, PeaceMaking, etc)
  • 11:00 am Lunch Time
  • 11:30 am Specialist Activity (Environmental Education, Horses, etc)
  • 12:20 pm River Fun
  • 1:10 pm Team Time
  • 2:00 pm Optionals (Children make reservations at the beginning of the day to determine
  • what they’d like to do in the afternoon.)
  • 2:45 pm Prepare for departure

What is Common Ground?

A nonprofit organization, Common Ground provides transformational opportunities for individuals and groups to connect with nature, themselves and others through a variety of experiences.  Located on 30 acres in Oberlin, Ohio, Common Ground is the home to summer day camps servicing youth since 1996, a top-rated zipline canopy tour, team building programs and much more.

What is your camp philosophy?

At the heart of our work is striving to enhance young people’s sense of relationship with themselves, each other, and with the world. We believe that children who attend Common Ground Summer Camps gain a stronger sense of the diversity of life and possess new tools to assist them in sustaining relationships with their peers, families, and the community-at-large through understanding diversity, peacemaking, human worth, dignity, and respect, and through their role in the world.

We believe that children should have a safe and nourishing structured environment where they can grow in the company of their peers and under the guidance of positive role models. We seek to provide a space where children are free of bullying, all forms of violence, and negative influences. Common Ground Summer Camps is a place where human dignity and respect are cherished, where children are affirmed and encouraged to grow into their full potential in body, mind, and spirit, and where children can be simply that, children. 

Positive reinforcements are utilized in behavioral management and we talk campers through behavioral issues, helping to understand the natural consequences of their actions rather than responding punitively. We devote energy towards fostering group cohesiveness, in recognition of the importance of community and believing that children succeed in a positive group setting. There are very few competitive elements at camp and we emphasize the ability of each child to succeed in her/his way.

 We are committed to being one of the most diverse youth programs in Lorain County. Common Ground Summer Camps are non-profit summer camps and all revenue generated goes towards operating expenses and providing more children with an outdoor camp experience. Approximately 70% of children attending camp are able to attend with financial assistance. It is Common Ground’s goal to provide a summer camp experience for children of ALL backgrounds.

Do you accept donations to help other children attend camp?

Yes! When donating to camp, your donations go directly to the operation of our camps or providing a camp adventure for a child who would not otherwise have had one.  You can donate through our website, in person, calling our office, or by physically mailing it to us. To donate online go here.  A week of camp costs approximately $250 per week.