ACA Responds to President Obama's Discussion on Education Reform

Peg Smith, ACA's Chief Executive Officer, Available for Media Interviews Regarding Camp as a Vital Component in the Education of the Whole Child

Indianapolis, IN (September 27, 2010) – Today in an NBC "The Today Show" appearance, President Obama said that American students are in school about a month less than in most other advanced countries, causing them to lag behind other nations in academic achievement. The American Camp Association® (ACA) supports education reform, but advocates for experiential summer learning outside the classroom. ACA believes an organized camp experience as a vital component in the development and education of the whole child.

While education reform is essential, should the focus be on extending the school year?

According to Peg Smith, ACA's CEO, "Teaching children to pass standardized tests doesn't necessarily teach them to think for themselves. Education is about more than teaching answers; it's about equipping our kids with the ability to develop the art of seeing the possibilities."

"Camp is a classroom without walls," said Smith. "For 150 years, millions of children have experienced summer learning through the camp experience — learning life skills, developing authentic relationships with mentors and peers, and connecting to nature."

Since the first camp was founded in 1861, camp has offered teachable moments for generations of children and youth. And the experiential nature of camp – the hands on approach to learning – allows all children to feel successful, boosting self-confidence and developing a sense of accomplishment.

Camp is one of the oldest and finest community-based experiential education and development models in America. The camp community has a long, well proven history of promoting healthy risk taking in a controlled environment. Quality camp/school partnerships that are fully supported and funded will achieve our goals of producing graduates who become productive, contributing citizens.

Contact ACA to schedule an interview with Peg Smith, ACA's CEO, to discuss camp as a vital component to the education of the whole child. Visit ACA's Web site for more information about camp as a vital component to the education and development of the whole child.

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