Frequently Asked Questions

Alec, a man with Down Syndrome, and Tawney, a non-disabled woman.  Alec rubs her shoulders, she smiles at someone in the distance.80 people with and without disabilities smiling, waving, hugging, surrounding each other and the Zeno bus in the woods, on a bright summer day.The four founders of Zeno and three friends sitting on a monument  in Lincoln, Vermont, smiling.

What is the Mission?

Zeno Champions lifelong friendship and opportunity for people with diverse needs.

What is Zeno Mountain Farm?

Zeno is a collective of diverse friends. The goal is to have these friendships last forever. Everyone contributes and participates equally. The community is built around projects, currently

these include art, film, theatre, sports, music and adventure.

Annual reunions are the catalyst for lifelong friendships. Zeno’s homes are in Vermont, Los Angeles, Florida, and anywhere two or more friends get together.

What is the Philosophy?

Zeno vigorously maintains the following principles:

We believe all our endeavors are more interesting and beautiful because of our unique community.

No one, including directors and administrators, is paid or pays to be a part of Zeno.

People are invited back year after year.

Zeno is a community of friends. There are no “staff and clients”. We don't use the terms “camper or counselor”

Everyone is expected to support the community at the highest level of their individual ability.

We believe in holding a high bar in everything we do, “make it matter”

How do I get involved?

Zeno is a big family. Space is limited because people are invited back year after year. Feel free to send an email or even better come to an event. The directors like meet everyone before they come. New friends are enthusiastically welcome.

What does it cost or pay?

No one pays to come, and no one is paid to be a part of Zeno.

How do you raise money?

Most of the funding comes from individual donors, with about a quarter from foundations. The money is raised at large community events where original Zeno movies or musicals take place. Zeno is a 501 c(3) non-profit, and does not receive any federal or state funding. Zeno is not tied to any religious organization.

Who runs Zeno Mountain Farm?

ZMF was created and is run by Will and Vanessa Halby, and Peter and Ila Halby.

Where is Zeno Mountain Farm?

Zeno’s main facility, purchased in 2008, is in Lincoln, VT. Zeno also has annual programs in Los Angeles and Florida. Movie premieres are hosted each year in NY, DC, Boston, San Francisco, LA, Seattle and many more.

What is a typical year at Zeno?

Nearly every month of the year includes some sort of Zeno gathering, in total this adds up to around 150 Zeno Days. Here is a typical year of activity:

  • Fall work weekend (Lincoln VT)
  • San Francisco Premiere
  • Sports week / Music week (Los Angeles)
  • Winter Sports (Lincoln VT)
  • DC/ Boston/ NY Premieres
  • Florida Sports (Jensen Beach FL)
  • Film (Los Angeles)
  • Burlington Marathon (VT)
  • Spring Work weekend) (Lincoln VT)
  • Zeno summer (Lincoln VT)

Groups range in size from 15-80 people, and the duration ranges from weekends to a whole month.

How do people describe Zeno Mountain Farm?

David de Rothschild – Funder and Friend

Zeno is one of those rare and magical moments when humans can come together and celebrate all things special in the human spirit.

Rob Delaney – Friend

Zeno has thoroughly changed my life. Zeno is a great humanizer in that people …can participate in so much together while growing and having fun.  And it is FUN!….  Sure, it's challenging, but the rewards are beyond description

Ross Lilley – Friend

Zeno has taken in people like my son Josh and given him true friends and true community for the first time in his life. In the 10+ years he’s been a part he’s become transformed and fulfilled.

Whether you are doing a horseback ride, windsurfing session, therapeutic waking, putting on a play, exercise, or even having Josh accompany you for a meeting, you raise the bar and expect more from everyone in camp….

You help us mark life with moments that truly are out of time and make the rest of our lives a little better.

Jeremy Vest – Friend

At Zeno we play sports, make music and make a movie that is lots of fun. Fun is what Zeno is all about. It’s such a great time to visit with friends, laugh, make lots of new friends and make lots of noise.

Financial Statement

Zeno Mountain Farm is run entirely on donations from individuals and private foundations. We do not receive any government funding. No one is paid or pays to participate at a Zeno camp. This includes directors, cooks and nurses. The only paid individuals are administrative staff for time spent outside of the camp months.

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