One of ACA’s public policy goals is to increase the public’s understanding of the value of the camp experience as an integral part of the year-round development and education of children and youth. As an outcome of increased understanding, we hope to increase the support for the camp experience. (Read more about ACA’s 2020 Vision at www.ACAcamps.org/2020.) One vehicle we are aggressively pursuing is ensuring that lawmakers and regulators who are considering education reform include camp programs (both during the summertime and the academic year) as they debate and ultimately make decisions about the year-round education of children and youth in America.
ACA is pleased to have gained the support of Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York. On July 29, 2010, she introduced HR 5963 — Promoting Students Using the Camp Community for Enrichment, Strength, and Success, also known as the Promoting SUCCESS Act, in the House of Representatives.
The bill is designed to address two of the most critical challenges facing children and youth today — obesity and summer learning loss. This legislation would direct the Secretary of Education to carry out a grant program to fund pilot projects. These projects would explore how camp experiences promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles among children and youth, reduce summer learning loss, and promote academic achievement.
ACA is working with the lawmakers who serve on the House and Senate Committees that are considering the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to advocate for the inclusion of the provisions in the SUCCESS Act as they reauthorize ESEA. Soon, we will be calling our members and the entire camp community to action to advocate directly with their legislators to gain their support.
For details on the SUCCESS Act and how you can get involved in advocacy, visit ACA’s Web site at: http://www.ACAcamps.org/publicpolicy/SUCCESS-Act .