Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Common Ground located?

Common Ground’s address is 14240 Baird Road, Oberlin, OH 44074. We are located about five miles west of downtown Oberlin in Henrietta Township.

How do I register my child for camp?

Register online or contact us at 440-965-5551 if you need paper registrations forms.

How much does camp cost?

Earth Camp and Teen Adventure Camp: $195 per week, or $220 per week for those utilizing bus transportation (camp may be purchased by the week)

Financial assistance is based on income. Families pay an adjusted camper fee if they fall within certain guidelines: (While funding is available)

How can I sponsor a camper?

Every dollar donated goes directly to providing a camp experience for a child who would not otherwise have had one. While sponsoring a camper is $220/week (including bus), no amount is too small to help. Donations are taken via the mail or online.

How many years has Earth Camp and Teen Adventure Camp been in existence?

Earth Camp and Teen Adventure Camp began operations in 1996 and will celebrate its 22nd year in 2017.

When does camp operate?

Camp will run from Monday, June 19th to Friday, July 28th. The camp day is from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Monday-Friday.

How many campers and staff are there at Earth Camp and Teen Leadership Camp?

We employ approximately 16 Earth Camp staff members. There are typically between 80-120 campers on a given camp day. You can learn more about camp numbers by taking a look at our annual report available online.

How old does my child need to be to attend camp?

Earth Camp accepts children ages 6-14. Teen Adventure Camp accepts children ages 15-17.

Where do campers come from?

We are proud that Earth Camp and Teen Adventure Camp are two of the most diverse youth programs in northeastern Ohio. Our campers come from all walks of life and socioeconomic backgrounds as well as all corners of Lorain County. You can see a full demographic breakdown by taking a look at our annual report here.

How do campers get to and from camp?

Many of our families choose to drop off and pick up their children. Drop-off time is at 8:45 AM and pickup begins at 3:00 PM.

Most families choose bus transportation for their children. We have bus drop-off and pickup locations in Oberlin, Elyria, and Lorain. Parents/guardians are responsible for transporting their children to the pickup and drop-off locations.

What is our camp philosophy?

Earth Camp and Teen Adventure Camp are special places. At the heart of our work is a striving to enhance young people’s sense of relationship with themselves, each other, and with the world. Our belief is that children who attend camp 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 own 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. Rather, camp 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. Rarely will one hear a staff person raising their voice to a child at camp. 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 own way.

We are committed to being one of the most diverse youth programs in Lorain County. Earth Camp and Teen Adventure Camp are non-profit summer camps and all revenue generated goes towards operating expenses and providing more children with a camp experience. Approximately 75% 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 and ALL walks of life.

Earth Camp and Teen Adventure Camp have a strong environmental education component. We believe that by learning about our impact on the natural world, developing an appreciation of it and the interrelatedness of all beings, children will make more responsible decisions and live in the world more safely and gently. Our entire environmental education program is experiential, hands- on, and interactive, and intertwines components of other programs.

Is there a time during the week for parents/guardians to visit camp?

While parents are welcome to stop by at any time during the week with prior notification, we encourage family and friends of campers to attend the cookout and special program, beginning every Friday at 12:30 until the end of the day.

Can parents participate in the Friday cookout and special program?

Yes! We love to see parents and family at the cookout and special program. We encourage you to meet your child’s counselor and new friends and join in the special program activities. We ask that all visitors wear Visitor tags obtained at the office as they sign in. Kindly sit with your child rather than take him or her away from the group.

If you decide to take your child before the end of the day, please be sure to sign him or her out of camp.

What activities will my child do during camp?

We offer hiking and nature education/exploration, swimming, horses, arts & crafts, music & drama, peacemaking (cooperative group and team-building games), and a special programing every Friday afternoon often involving an outside facilitator. At the end of each day, campers participate in “optionals”, choosing any activity that they would like.

Our Teen Adventure Campers will enjoy many of the above mentioned activities along with a devoted focus on outdoor adventure challenge programming.

How are campers placed in groups?

Campers are traditionally placed in groups by age. On occasion, we find it beneficial for the success of individual campers and camper groups to place campers in groups outside their age range. While it may not be possible to honor all requests, we invite you to contact us if you would like your child placed in a specific group or with a specific counselor.

Are your staff CPR and first aid certified?

Yes, all counselors and specialists are required to have current CPR and first aid certification. The American Institute for Resuscitation provides training to our staff.

Who can campers talk to if they have a problem?

Staff strives to be attentive to all camper concerns. In addition to their counselors, campers are welcome to approach the Camp Director and Director of Youth Programs with any problems.

Can my child bring medicine to camp?

Under no circumstances may a child self-administer medicine. Only the Director of Youth Programs and the Camp Director are authorized to distribute medicine at camp. If a child needs to take medicine during the day, he/she must give the medicine to a staff person who will turn it into the administration. Pills must be placed in individual dispensers separated by dosage and day of the week in order to avoid confusion. Parents/guardians must write a signed note authorizing camp staff to administer medicine as well as instructions on when to do so and in what dosage. If a signed note is not supplied with the medicine, we CANNOT administer it.

What happens if my child has a medical issue or emergency during camp?

All counselors have first aid kits in their possession at all times. In addition, there are first aid stations in several locations throughout camp. Campers feeling ill may rest on air mattresses in the lodge. We contact parents/guardians whenever a child is ill or there is a medical issue that warrants a doctor’s attention. In very serious incidents, we call 911 and the child is transported to a local hospital. It is very important that parents/guardians indicate all medical conditions on the medical form included in the registration process.

Is Earth Camp open to children with disabilities?

Our camp facilities are limited in being able to provide services for most children with physical disabilities. If you believe that your child with a minor physical disability and will succeed at Earth Camp with limited assistance, please contact us before registering.

Is Earth Camp open to children with special needs?

We have limited resources to provide services for most children with special needs. On occasion, we accept children with mild behavioral issues. If you believe that your child with mild special needs will succeed at Earth Camp, please contact us before registering.

What happens when it rains?

Camp is rarely cancelled! We have four buildings for shelter and lots of rainy day activities planned such as arts & crafts projects and group games. If the rain is light and there is no danger of lightning, outside activities will continue. No refunds are given due to inclement weather.

What is the camps refund policy?

Refunds are evaluated on a case-by-case scenario depending on the circumstances and the $25 registration fee is non-refundable. Typically refunds are not given once the camp week has begun. We also do not refund camp fees to campers that are excused from camp due to behavioral issues or acts of aggression/violence. Safety to all campers and staff is a top priority at Common Ground.

I have additional questions about Earth Camp. Who should I contact?

Please contact Common Ground at (440) 965-5551 and ask for the Earth Camp Director or Director of Youth Programs.

What people are saying:

“My son absolutely loved the whole experience. He talks about it all the time, shows off his shirt, and has been bugging me to send him for the full summer next year.”

directions

Common Ground is located in Oberlin, Ohio. Head to our directions page and find out about other things to do and places to stay in the area, or you can learn more about our organization, which has always proudly been not-for-profit.