Latest ACA Blog Posts

December 15, 2014

I have three daughters, all under the age of seven. So this time of year in our house is filled with conversations about presents, gifts, and the magic of the holidays. As a family, we search for the Elf on the Shelf each day and, when the big day comes, we hope we are lucky enough to be included on Santa’s “nice list.” But because my children are being raised by two camp directors, who have spent the majority of their adult lives at camp, they know  there will be nightly debriefings about the magic, about the presents, and about the spirit of giving.

December 2, 2014

Inspire the Future - Giving Tuesday

As camp professionals, we teach giving. How we do it may vary from program to program, but the outcome is the same: children leave camp with a greater sense of how to offer their assistance to others, and make a difference in the world.

December 1, 2014

Post by Peg Smith, ACA CEO

Camp Manitowa

A few weeks ago Camp Manitowa (St. Louis area) used some of their scholarship funds to bring a group of kids from Ferguson, Missouri, to their camp for a short session. 

November 17, 2014

My camp wasn’t in the middle of nowhere, out in the woods. Rather, it was in the city, in the middle of an urban neighborhood, row houses and all. Many of the children my camp hosted were poor, inner-city types, whose parents couldn’t afford an overnight camp. It was, like many other camps, a way to keep them off the streets and out of trouble. Considering the neighborhood we were stationed in, I’d venture to say that the need was more urgent than most. I had attended the camp years prior, and was emotionally invested in it.

September 23, 2014

Photo Courtesy of Camp John Marc Meridian, Texas

We all hear many references to the educational opportunity “out-of-school time” represents for children. You know, that time between 3pm and 10pm, weekends, holidays, and the whale of them all, summer — it adds up. And in this time real change can occur when working with our children’s education.

September 16, 2014

As someone who lived on the frontlines of camp for 15 years, I have had the last year to look back and carefully reflect on what keeps me in the camp profession (working for ACA) and what moves me about the camp experience.

September 9, 2014

At ACA, we have spent the last year honing the time-tested, traditional practices of fundraising. In doing so, we have sought to increase the clarity of where each gift will provide support; we have worked to acknowledge our donors appropriately, and we have increasingly shared the impact of the gifts we are given. As we honed these skills, we have sought to develop our culture of philanthropy at ACA to further connect people with our great association. 

July 16, 2014

Our job is to help campers form connections with us as staff, each other, and their inner selves. If we can help connect them, their best qualities will shine.

As a camp counselor, the findings of brain research can be a tool to lead your camper group. As campers encounter new situations, we want them to form connections with past experiences, future goals, and each other within the camper group.

July 2, 2014

The American Camp Association (ACA) has a long history of advocating for the health of children, including fighting obesity through healthy eating.  We provide resources to camps to help them develop programs offering appropriate foods and beverages to kids.

July 2, 2014

River Way Ranch Camp, Sanger, CA

In a recent report, young adults were shown to be the most stressed-out generation (Sifferlin, 2013). This summer at camp, odds are you’ll have your share of stressful moments, so it’s important to know some self-care and stress relief strategies to help you take it all in stride.