ACA polled a number of camps across the country to determine how they were dealing with the perplexing issue of rising fuel costs and to accumulate the following list of energy-efficient ideas and methods camps are currently using to curb increasing fuel prices and the subsequent consequences of higher food prices and declines in the economy:
- Use golf carts and scooters instead of camp vehicles for driving around camp.
- Evaluate trips camp staff take for errands, supply runs, and other trips to the city if you are a rural camp. Determine the actual need and consolidate the outings into fewer and more efficient trips to streamline vehicle use and eliminate unnecessary trips.
- Reconfigure heat and water systems use in cabins for better energy efficiency. If a cabin is not needed for a week or weekend, drain water and turn heat completely off until the cabin is needed again.
- Offer discounts to parents who make efforts to reduce their carbon footprint by carpooling to camp or using public transportation to motivate conserving fuel.
- Encourage staff to bike to work, carpool, or take the bus.
- Focus camp activities around self-propelled sports, such as canoeing, kayaking, and biking versus use of speed boats, pontoons, etc. in an effort to cut gas consumption.
- Plan local adventures versus long-distance trips for your tripping program.
- Work more strategically to educate your campers and staff regarding food waste to cut consumption.
- Investigate long-term use of wind and solar power.
- Use vans instead of buses for camp transportation.
- Cut back on your ski boat hours.
- Turn to local growers or grow your own food in camp gardens to combat the excessive delivery charges.
- Be mindful that charter bus companies are adding surcharges and consider creating a policy that allows your camp to add a surcharge to camp fees as needed for transportation costs.
Send your camp's energy-efficient ideas to magazine@ACAcamps.org . We will post your recommendations to this evolving list.