- Get Involved
- Education & Events
- Publications & Research
- About ACA
Latest ACA Blog Posts
June 8, 2011
In 1983, the first International Camping Congress was held in Toronto, Canada. Four years later, the second International Camping Congress was held in Washington, DC. There were more than 1,800 people from fifteen countries in attendance. First Lady, Nancy Reagan, addressed the Congress. In addition, the International Camping Fellowship (ICF) was formed, and its basic operating standards were announced. The ICF logo — a butterfly (above) — was born out of the “Our Fragile World” congress theme.
Learn more about the 9th International Camping Congress, taking place November 4–7, 2011 in Hong Kong.
June 1, 2011
Kim Aycock, M.S.T., staff trainer and teacher, offers questions you should ask yourself during any decision-making process.
When I think back to my first summer as a camp counselor over twenty years ago, I wish I knew then what I know now about working with a group of energetic campers. "Quest for Best Practices" is a list of questions to help lead you through the steps of thinking through the "nitty-gritty" of a typical day at camp.
June 1, 2011
In 1970, the first Hedley S. Dimock awards were given to to Julian W. Smith, Sigurd F. Olson, and Stewart L. Udall. Dr. Smith served as director of the Outdoor Education Project at Michigan State University. Olson was an American author, environmentalist, and advocate for the protection of wilderness. Udall was a representative from Arizona and secretary of the interior under Presidents John. F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
The Hedley S. Dimock Award was created to honor persons who had made significant contributions to the camp profession through related fields such as outdoor education, conservation, recreation medicine, education, architecture, or the social sciences through administrative, legislative, or professional contributions or by participation in local, state, or national program development. The award also required awardees to be ACA members, with at least ten years of membership....
May 25, 2011
Renowned trainer Jeffrey Leiken, M.A., reveals that it's the little things a counselor does that matter most to campers.
Greg was a first-time camp counselor. He went to college in the Midwest and could teach tennis. There was nothing remarkable about him on the surface. He was a nice guy, got along well with his peers, and did what he was asked to do. When the campers arrived, however, something transpired. Campers from all ages congregated around him. Even some of the toughest campers in camp liked him. At his mid-summer evaluation the head counselor dared to ask him this question, "What is your secret? What are you doing that all these kids are drawn to you?"
May 25, 2011
In 1912, the first Girl Scout camp was held in Savannah, Georgia. Ever since the founding of Girl Scouts, camp has played an important role in the Girl Scout program. In 1922, the organization decided to charter camps throughout the country.
May 18, 2011
Christopher Thurber, Ph.D., a board certified clinical psychologist, explains that what children say isn't always what they really mean.
"I don't want to play. I hate kickball." — Sophia, age five
"Ben doesn't like me. He's always mad at me." — Betrand, age nine
"This place stinks. All the activities are stupid." — Asa, age twelve
If you're like most camp staff, you bristle when you hear children say these sorts of things. Read the full article.
May 18, 2011
The U.S. Forest Service and ACA signed an agreement allowing camps to use public lands in 1995. Today, it is estimated that 9 percent of all camps use public lands and waters for at least a portion of their program.
May 11, 2011
Staff training is about what you are expected to do. The reason for those expectations is directly related to the experience every camper has at camp. Every expectation (or, in other words, every moment) should positively impact the kids' camp experience. It's pretty straightforward mathematics: Expectations + You = Camper's Experience.
May 11, 2011
In 1948, ACA adopted the Standards, which are the basis for ACA camp accreditation. ACA Standards are recognized by courts of law and government regulators as the standards of the camp industry. There are currently 300 standards for health, safety, and program. In 1954, for the first time, camps were required to provide evidence of compliance with ACA Camp Standards to be eligible for camp accreditation.
May 4, 2011
In 1975, Camping Magazine was brought in-house after being edited and published by Howard Galloway in Plainfield, New Jersey, for over thirty years.
April 27, 2011
In 1950, the Program Committee and the Inter-cultural Committee presented resolutions to the effect that ACA, in the future, use facilities in which all hospitality and privileges were extended to all members of the Association, regardless of race, creed, or color. In October of 1950, there was a motion to uphold this resolution and change hotel venues for the 1952 National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. The motion was passed.
April 20, 2011
In 1892, Camp Arey in Arey, New York, became the first camp to admit girls. By 1902 the camp was serving girls exclusively. Other camps serving girls made their appearance in 1902 as well, including Camp Kehonka in New Hampshire, Pinelands of Center Harbor, Maine, and Wyonegonic Camps in Denmark, Maine.
Others quickly followed, such as the Aloha Camps in 1905 and Alford Lake Camp in 1907 as well as the Gulick Wo-he-lo Camp in 1910. As the movement spread, 125 girls camps were established by 1925.
Wyonegonic is the oldest continuously running camp for girls in the United States.
April 13, 2011
Due to "the critical transportation problem" resulting from World War II, the Board of Directors decided to cancel the 1943 annual conference. Instead, sections were urged to hold regional conferences. The proposed theme of the conferences was "Camping, a Wartime Asset."
April 6, 2011
The latest issue of Counselor Now is available online. Read The Seven Absolutes of Camp Counseling, by Jeffrey Leiken. He writes it is always better to be thought of as a great counselor by your director than to be thought of as a cool one by your campers. Working with children should be fun, and being able to access your playfulness in order to connect with your campers is essential to your success. Just make certain that you always remember that you are the adult and that you are hired to be professional in all your decisions
Also take a moment to read Words of Encouragement to the Camp Counselor: Ideas and Tips for a Successful Summer.
April 6, 2011
In 1894, Keewaydin Camp was organized on Lake Temagami in Ontario, Canada as a canoe and wilderness camp. Today it is the oldest camp to continuously operate on the same site in North America, and the oldest canoe-trip camp in the world. The camp family has expanded to include two additional camps and a robust environmental education program.