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Between 2001 and 2004 the American Camp Association conducted national research with over 5000 families from 80 ACA-Accredited camps to determine the outcomes of the camp experience as expressed by parents and children.
Parents, camp staff, and children reported significant growth in:
- Peer relationships
- Adventure and exploration
- Environmental awareness
- Friendship skills
- Values and decisions
- Social comfort
The findings from this national study indicated that camp is a unique educational institution and a positive force in youth development. The camp experience can benefit children by increasing:
- confidence and self-esteem
- social skills and making friends
- independence and leadership qualities
- willingness to try and adventurousness
- spiritual growth, especially at camps focused on spirituality.
No differences were found based on the camp type (day, resident) or session length.