Camphill is an international movement of communities designed to meet the needs of children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities through a combination of community life, the arts, education, and work on the land. There are over 100 Camphill communities worldwide, and three in Canada (Ontario and British Columbia).
Camphill was founded in 1939 in Aberdeen Scotland by Dr. Karl König, an Austrian pediatrician and educator, with a group of young physicians, artists and caregivers, inspired by the teachings of Rudolf Steiner on curative education. The first Camphill community began with children who had developmental disabilities, and soon expanded to include work with adults.
The Camphill pioneers developed the goals and some of the methods for how the needs of each person could be met in a cooperative community, each member contributing his or her own special gifts and talents. This vision lives on and each new generation in Camphill strives toward achieving it.
There are urban and rural expressions of Camphill in Canada. Camphill Communities Ontario works out of two sites: Nottawasaga is located near rural Angus, with its more urban counterpart in Camphill Barrie. In British Columbia, the Ita Wegman Association operates Glenora Farm near Duncan on Vancouver Island, while the Cascadia Society is located in the city of North Vancouver. Although each community is independent, with separate tasks and challenges, all are connected through the Camphill Association of North America.
Links to Camphill in Canada: