Martinsville, IN (September 8, 2016): Summer camp has ended and kids are back in school. This begs the question: what’s next for summer camp? Many camps are gearing up for their fall season of school groups and outdoor education. These programs provide important partnerships with schools while allowing many kids to experience camp for the first time. Additionally, the partnerships that camps make with schools perpetuate camps’ commitment to environmental and outdoor education throughout the entire year.
Summer camp closes the gap on summer learning loss, but camps also add to a child’s education year-round. In an era where kids are spending increasing amounts of time indoors with electronics, camps provide a necessary environmental classroom. According to Kevin J. Coyle in a National Wildlife Federation report, “outdoor education and play time helps students become high-performance learners with skill sets that will be with them throughout their lives.” He adds that these programs “help students perform measurably better on standardized tests.”
The American Camp Association and many camps are buying into this idea. Forty-eight percent of accredited camps partner with schools one way or another while one out of every five partners directly with schools as part of their academic programs during the school year (ACA 2014 Sites, Facilities, Programs Report).
Last December, President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), creating a larger avenue for camps and schools to partner. ESSA provides funds for camps to develop environmental education programs.
The American Camp Association encourages parents and educators to visit ACAcamps.org to learn more about camp and outdoor education.
The American Camp Association® (ACA) is a national organization with more than 10,000 individual members and nearly 3,000 member camps. ACA is committed to collaborating with those who believe in quality camp and outdoor experiences for children, youth, and adults. ACA provides advocacy and evidence-based education and professional development, and is the only national accrediting body for the organized camp experience. ACA accredits approximately 2,400 diverse camps nationally. ACA-Accredited® Camps meet up to 300 health and safety standards. Accreditation provides public evidence of a camp’s commitment to the health, safety, and overall well-being of both campers and staff. For more information, visit www.ACAcamps.org.