ACA Facts and Trends

Association Facts

  • ACA's mission is enriching the lives of children, youth, and adults through the camp experience.
  • Founded in 1910, ACA is a tax-exempt corporation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code.
  • ACA's Audience: 10,000-plus members encompassing all segments of the camp and youth profession, including educators, camp owners & directors, staff, executives, parents, families, and the public.
  • ACA is the largest association serving the organized camp industry.
  • ACA is the only organization that accredits all types of camps, with up to 300 national standards for health and safety that are recognized by courts of law and government regulators. ACA accreditation is a standardized, voluntary system of review with a fifty-year history.
  • ACA's Reach: 2,400 ACA-accredited camps, employing more than 320,000+ camp staff and serving over 7.2 million children. See more(2013 ACA Camp Compensation and Benefits Report)

Camp Trends

National Data and Statistics*

  • Camp is an $18 billion industry. (2015 ACA Business Operations Report)
  • More than 14,000 day and resident camps exist in the U.S. 8,400 are resident (overnight) and 5,600 are day camps. (2017 ACA Sites, Facilities, Programs Report)
  • Each year more than 14 million children and adults attend camp in the U.S. (2013 ACA Camp Compensation and Benefits Report)
  • Camps employ more than 1.5 million camp staff to work in various camp positions. (2013 ACA Camp Compensation and Benefits Report)

ACA Camp Data and Statistics*

  • 44% of camps offer specialized programs for individuals with disabilities. (2017 ACA Sites, Facilities, Programs Report)
  • 93% of ACA-accredited camps offer some form of financial assistance to over one million children who are from economically deprived families, have special medical needs, or special situations that might preclude them from attending camp(2015 ACA Business Operations Report)
  • Programs: 86% of camps offer recreational swimming, 63% offer camping skills, 47% offer climbing/rappelling, 34% offer horseback riding, 75% teambuilding, 41% community service, 23% farming/ranching/gardening, and 21% wilderness trips. (2017 ACA Sites, Facilities, Programs Report)
  • Camps adapt to the evolving interests of campers. According to ACA’s 2015 Emerging Issues survey:
    • In the past two years, camps have added programs such as adventure camps/programs (22%); family camps/programs (15%); nature/environmental education programs (12%); and gardening programs (19%).
    • Other new programs include college planning programs; health, wellness, and fitness programs; service learning / community service programs; and cooking with food from the camp's garden.
  • Half of camps report having community service or good deed programs incorporated into their programs. The top projects conducted at camps were community clean-ups, food drives, recycling programs, and volunteering with senior citizens and hospital patients. (2017 ACA Sites, Facilities, Programs Report)
  • 49% of camps report some relationship to schools or school curricula. One out of every five camps partner directly with schools as part of their academic programs during the school year. New partnerships with school systems are emerging as a way to help children retain learning over the summer. (2017 ACA Sites, Facilities, Programs Report)
  • Enrollment Trends: 82% of camps report enrollment that stayed the same or increased within the past five years, and 50% of camps are reportedly 90-99% full. (ACA Fall 2016 Enrollment Survey)

*Projected estimates based on survey results.