Media Tip from the American Camp Association
January 16, 2009
Keeping Camp Costs Budget-Friendly
Most parents were well aware of the recession long before the official announcement in late 2008. Many families have taken steps to trim any "fat" from their budgets – the purse strings are simply pulled too tight to factor in a night at the go-cart track or that family trip to the Grand Canyon. Parents may not realize that even with tightening budgets, the life-changing experience of camp is still within reach.
"I'm a great believer in you don't have to go to the most expensive camp to have a great camp experience," said Phil Lilienthal, former camp director of Camp Winnebago in Maine and Global Camps Africa CEO. If you're dealing with an experienced and caring staff of camp counselors, "you can have a program in a parking lot, and it can be great," he said.
Parents looking for budget-friendly camps should keep the following in mind:
- The ACA camp community generates $39 million annually for camp scholarships. Don't be afraid to call the camp director and ask if financial assistance is available.
- Contact your area's regional office of the American Camp Association. Go to www.CampParents.org  and click on the Local Offices link at the bottom of the page.
- Check with your church or synagogue.
- Get in touch with social services groups in your community.
- Visit individual camp Web sites. Most clearly outline whether or not they offer financial assistance for their campers.
Contact Public Relations at 765.349.3317 or pr@ACAcamps.org  to interview an ACA spokesperson  for more information about making camp more affordable. For customizable public service announcements  or article reprints , visit our Media Center  at http://www.ACAcamps.org/media_center/ .
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 www.ACAcamps.org .
ACA Annual Conference
ACA will host its National Conference of over 1,200 camp professionals in Orlando, Florida, February 17-20, 2009. The conference will bring together some of the nation's top child development experts to discuss The Power of the Experience. Keynote speakers include Ned Hallowell, MD, psychiatrist and author of CrazyBusy: Overbooked, Overstretched, and About to Snap and Linda Perlstein, veteran writer for the Washington Post and author of two books, Not Much Just Chillin': The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers and Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade.
For the complete program lineup, visit www.ACAcamps.org/conference .
During the conference, members of the news media will have the opportunity to interview keynote speakers and ACA spokespersons. For your convenience, you can register online  for the conference. For additional information, interview requests, and press credentials, please contact Dawn Swindle at dswindle@ACAcamps.org , 765-349-3317.