Camphill Association of North America

  • NY

About Us

Camphill is an international movement of intentional communities designed to meet the needs of children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities through a combination of community life, the arts and work on the land. There are over 100 Camphill communities worldwide, and 11 communities throughout the U.S. (California, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont) and Canada (British Columbia and Ontario).

In a time where many are experiencing a crisis of spirit and search for meaning, Camphill offers a life of celebration, service, and community building in which all participants flourish. Camphill, founded in Scotland in 1939 by humanitarian physician, Dr Karl Koenig, is based on anthroposophy. The Camphill approach honors the spiritual integrity of every human being, regardless of ability or circumstances, and recognizes the individual's need and right to lead a full life that includes material, emotional, social and spiritual needs.

Most Camphill communities are in rural settings, which provides opportunities for agricultural work supporting a sustainable world ecology. In each Camphill community - whether a children's village, a community for young people finding their way into adult life, or communities that provide opportunities for adults - people live together in house communities. Members of the house community share in the daily life and tasks of the house, and engage in work at school, on the land, in one of the craft workshops or providing some other service.

The experience offered in Camphill is varied and can include: supporting individuals with disabilities in the home, at work on the farm, garden or in one of the various craft workshops, such as weaving, pottery, stained glass, woodworking, candle-making, bookbinding or bakery; cooking food for your household with a small group of people; enjoying evening activities with others; and creating and celebrating community seasonal festivals together. Celebration and care for the earth is highly valued and has a central place in the life of the community.