Research 360

Research 360 logo

Research 360 is ACA’s new strategic direction focused on research and evaluation that aims to improve camp experiences for youth and to advocate for the value of camp to our many audiences.

Why the name "Research 360"?

This name captures two features of a circle: The 360 degree path of a circle and the center around which this path moves. The name represents the two dimensions of ACA’s strategic direction that have exciting implications for individual camps and the camp industry in general.

The Circle: ACA's 5-Year Research Project

For Research 360, the outer circle represents ACA’s 5-year research project. This project will explore the outcomes of the camp experience related to career/college readiness for campers and staff and how camp programs achieve those outcomes. Currently under the direction of an all-volunteer Research Advisory Committee, the project will be conducted by a university research team. This team will collect data from campers and staff over the next 5 years and will report their findings at ACA conferences and in various publications. A major result of the project is the translation of the research finding into camp practices that create beneficial camper and staff outcomes.

The Center: Local Camp Research and Evaluation Efforts

At the center of the Research 360 circle are the research and evaluation efforts that occur at camps throughout the ACA community. These local efforts focused on better understanding campers and staff experiences help each camp offer a quality experience for youth. Building on ACA’s existing evaluation tools and training resources, Research 360 will expand and improve ACA evaluation tools and increase our library of quick, easy to read and watch research and evaluation blogs, infographics, and videos. Through these efforts, Research 360 will keep at its center the individual camp and the campers, parents, staff, and communities they serve.

Want more Research 360?

The best way to participate in Research 360 is to follow our bimonthly blog, or look for sessions related to Research 360 at ACA’s National Conference and regional events over the course of the coming years. For fun, you can also watch (and share!) this short Research 360 cartoon.


Thanks to Chaco for their ongoing support of Research 360.

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