ACA Announces Research Collaboration with Texas A&M University

Indianapolis, IN (November 30, 2011) — The American Camp Association (ACA) is pleased to announce a research collaboration with Texas A&M University on Workforce Development Outcomes of the Camp Experience during the 2012 summer.

In an effort to help young people identify the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors needed in the 21st century, the two will partner to survey and interview past camp staff that have entered the workforce to look and the immediate, medium, and long-range benefits associated with being a camp staff member.

“This is important and much needed research,” said Peg Smith, ACA’s chief executive officer. “The camp and youth development communities intuitively understand how camp programs contribute to the success of America’s children in the global community. The informed and evidence based articulation of how we develop the much needed 21st century work place and life skills will serve professionals, youth, and families – America’s future.  ACA is pleased to collaborate with Texas A&M on this important study.”

Dr. Mat Duerden, Coordinator of Texas A&M’s Sequor Youth Development Initiative (YDI), echoed this sentiment adding, “The Workforce Development study provides A&M and YDI an exciting opportunity to collaborate with ACA on an important and unique camp research topic. Increasing our understanding of the impact of the camp experience on staff members, many of whom are emerging adults, will help further define camp as a youth development context and allow camps to more intentionally facilitate staff professional development.”

It is important for the camp and youth development communities to better understand how young adults in the camp setting learn 21st century skills such as professionalism, work ethic, teamwork, and communication skills. This study will allow for the development of recommended practices and resources regarding camp involvement and developmental outcomes for young adult staff.

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

About Texas A&M University’s Sequor Youth Development Initiative
The mission of Sequor YDI is to meet the needs of public and not-for-profit agency managers, staff, and researchers for science based information to improve youth program staff competencies, program design and evaluation. For more information, visit

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