Camp is Essential for All Children


Media Tip from the American Camp Association
February 3, 2009

Camp is Essential for All Children

Research continues to provide evidence that, of all the different youth development options, camp has become even more essential. Camp helps children develop critical skills, such as leadership, independence, and the ability to make authentic human connections.  And while camp might be thought of as a privilege, research shows that all children benefit from the experiences camp offers.

  • C5 Youth Foundation was started as a way to give underprivileged children in the Los Angeles area an opportunity to benefit from camp. Students begin the five-year program in the seventh grade. The program has seen amazing results. Seventy-eight percent of the students who begin the program complete the program, of those who complete the program, one hundred percent graduate from high school, and ninety-eight percent go on to college.
  • Camp Sunshine, located in Maine, provides a year-round, free program to children facing life-threatening illnesses and their families. This unique approach provides respite, support, joy and hope through various stages of the child’s illness.
  • The essence of the UCLA UniCamp program is relationship based — camper and UCLA student. At least 160 campers ages ten to fourteen participate in each eight-day resident camp session. This program provides a service-learning opportunity for campers, enabling them to obtain leadership experience helping in camp operations. Each year, UniCamp inspires nearly 1,000 children from low-income families to envision better futures as they grow and learn along-side nearly 350 student volunteers.
  • Camp Twin Lakes, located in Rutledge, Georgia, is a nonprofit, year-round program for children with serious illnesses and special needs. Campers gain self-esteem, self-awareness, independence, and a sense of belonging by participating in recreational, therapeutic and educational programs in a supportive, nurturing, fully-accessible environment.
  • Project Morry is a year-round program anchored by a summer camp experience. The program, which serves inner-city youth, boasts a one hundred percent graduation rate in areas where the average graduation rate is below fifty percent.

The American Camp Association® (ACA) community works tirelessly to provide a camp opportunity for every child through partnerships and camp scholarships. Most independent for-profit camps support ACA’s efforts and their nonprofit counterparts with donations, in-kind services, fund-raisers, and volunteer efforts.

ACA research confirms that camp builds skills necessary to prepare campers to assume roles as successful adults. There is a camp for every child and every child deserves the opportunities and skills that camp develops.

To find the perfect camp for your child, visit the Find A Camp feature on ACA’s parent Web site at

Contact Public Relations at 765.349.3317 or to interview an ACA spokesperson for more information about the essential camp experience. For customizable public service announcements or article reprints, visit our Media Center at

About ACA
The American Camp Association® (ACA) works to preserve, promote, and enhance the camp experience for children and adults. ACA-Accredited® camp programs ensure that children are provided with a diversity of educational and developmentally challenging learning opportunities. There are over 2,400 ACA-accredited camps that meet up to 300 health and safety standards. For more information, visit

ACA Annual Conference
ACA will host its National Conference of over 1,200 camp professionals in Orlando, Florida, February 17-20, 2009. The conference will bring together some of the nation's top child development experts to discuss The Power of the Experience. Keynote speakers include Ned Hallowell, MD, psychiatrist and author of CrazyBusy: Overbooked, Overstretched, and About to Snap and Linda Perlstein, veteran writer for the Washington Post and author of two books, Not Much Just Chillin': The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers and Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade.

For the complete program lineup, visit

During the conference, members of the news media will have the opportunity to interview keynote speakers and ACA spokespersons. For your convenience, you can register online for the conference.  For additional information, interview requests, and press credentials, please contact Dawn Swindle at, 765-349-3317.

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