How do we increase the exposure of ACA-accredited camps to parents AND simultaneously educate parents on the value of being accredited?
ACA’s new approach to Find a Camp is the solution to this question. By allowing all camps to be listed on ACA’s Find a Camp — not just ACA-accredited camps — we open the door to more parents than ever and engage them in a conversation about the importance of accreditation.
Here are the stats:
- There are more than 15,000 camps in the US; only 2,400 of them are ACA accredited. Consider a parent’s/consumer’s view: Would you use a search database that only listed 1/3 of your possible results?
a. Example: If someone is searching for a flight, hotel room, or shoes, and is given the choice of visiting a site with nearly all the choices or a site with just 16 percent of the choices, he or she will go to the larger site.
INSIGHT: Becoming a larger search database will drive more parents to our site, and ultimately, to ACA camps.
- Find a Camp will serve as a comparative education piece just as much as a search database. Our parent research done by APCO in 2005 indicated that most parents don’t ask about accreditation or know that camps are not licensed or accredited — they just assume they all are. To counteract this:
a. The main Find a Camp page contains a chart showing how many listed camps are ACA-accredited. This instantly dashes any assumptions that “all camps are accredited,” and it begs this question: “What is the difference?”
b. There are two advantages for ACA camps on the results page:
i. Each ACA-accredited camp will be listed with the Accreditation logo.
ii. Accredited camps will be listed first in the results.
c. Find a Camp takes every opportunity to educate parents on accreditation within the search process, and an overarching heading on the site links to more information  about ACA accreditation.
INSIGHT: Parents and families will be given comparative data to counteract assumptions that “all camps are accredited,” and the value of accreditation will continue to be emphasized.
The development phase of ACA’s new Find a Camp has been lengthy and careful. ACA’s interests will always be to inform parents and the public about the value of a quality camp experience — and we will continue to highlight ACA camps that go above and beyond expectations by becoming accredited.