The Mission of ZMF is to support lifelong friendships and opportunities for people with and without disabilities and other marginalized communities. We host annual retreats and camps at our home base in Lincoln, VT. Currently, we have 12 different retreats throughout the year spanning over 100 days.
The goal at Zeno is to create a world where all can thrive, feel connected, and be empowered. We believe people do not need to be “fixed”. Rather, we need to create a world where everyone has access to these opportunities.
At Zeno, the diverse abilities of our group enhance everything we do. Art projects, sports, traveling, theater, film, and just hanging out are all enriched by our integrated group. We host a wide variety of camps and retreats throughout the year. This is where we live the Zeno model of community.
The Zeno Model of Community
Social Equity: Nobody pays or gets paid to attend Zeno.
To us, social equity means providing a space in which everyone is supported such that they can all contribute to our community. Everyone is placed on an equal level.
For many of our participants, this is the only time of year that they are supported by unpaid friends. By removing pay from the equation we are able to eliminate social hierarchy and ensure everyone is here for the same reason.
Shared History: People are invited back year after year.
Too many people in the communities we support suffer from isolation. The goal at Zeno is to create a community that people can look forward to and reflect back on. We are a community of friends rather than a one-time experience. Maintaining a shared history with others is critical in cultivating a rich, meaningful life.
Focused Investment: Make everything matter.
Everyone is asked to contribute to a shared project and we make it matter. We decide to fully invest ourselves in everything we do. There is an under-appreciated world full of innovation, creativity, compassion, humor, and love.
At Zeno everyone has opportunities to develop talents in themselves and share with others. Each camp and retreat has a focused project that unifies the group, such as making movies, creating art, skiing, adaptive windsurfing, etc. The goal is to make everyone feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves.
Everyone Contributes: The community depends on everyone.
At Zeno, we take the time to facilitate real contributions from everyone. Our community is enriched by the diverse abilities in each group, and everyone has a way of giving. Our intrinsic value is based on feeling needed and wanted and we believe it is a basic human right.
At Zeno we don’t label people as “counselors,” “staff,” or “campers,” as a typical camp may. In our world, everyone is a participant, and everyone contributes to make Zeno thrive. For some that means direct physical care of someone else and for others it means doing dishes, sweeping the bricks, or helping with the play. The point is that we are all in this together and everyone is valued.
|Retreat/Camp Name:||Theme of Group:||Group Served:||Program Partner:|
|Fall Camp||VT fall adventures||Disability|
|Dance Marathon||Dancing!||All groups invited|
|Women’s Vet||Art/theatre/adventure||Women veterans||Sierra Club|
|KZ Retreat||Art/theatre/adventure||Young adults impacted by cancer||Kolina Orchard|
|Ski Camp 1||Winter sports||Disability|
|Ski Camp 2||Winter sports||Disability||AccesportAmerica|
|Spoonie Collective||Wellness/story-telling workshop||Chronic illness||Suffering the Silence|
|Welcome Home||Outdoor training||Veterans||Sierra Club|
|Spring Ski||Winter Sports||Disability|
|Film Camp||Movie making||Disability|
|Florida Sports||Water sports||Disability||AccesportAmerica|
|BrainFarm||Wellness/ art/adventure||TBI community|
|Jay Walker||Wellness/12 steps||Sober community|
|Work Weekend||Projects for everyone||Disability|