Research 360

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.

ACA Youth Outcomes Battery

Want youth feedback about outcomes from your program?

Camp Youth Outcomes BatteryACA offers data-gathering youth self-report measures that focus on common camp outcomes related to skills that build successful contributing members of our society. Questionnaires are statistically tested, camp-specific, age-appropriate, easily administered tools AND they can be customized to any camp.

Compensation, Benefits, and Professional Development Report

The American Camp Association (ACA) continues to support the importance of research efforts into the business of camp operations through an annual systematic survey process focused on important business aspects. The focus for 2015 was on the collection of staff compensation, benefit, and professional development information.

ACA Camp Business Operations Report

Access the most recent budget and finance data for camps. Questions this year included scholarship information, discounts, marketing strategies used, revenue sources, weekly fees, detailed expenditures, profitability, and more. For ease of application, there are two sets of findings: one for overnight camps and one for day camps. Each set (overnight/day) includes:

Research

ACA research efforts center on a two-fold approach that 1) advances the knowledge about the value of the camp experience and 2) enhances the business acumen of professionals involved in the industry of camp. These approaches allow for the development of tools, information, and resources that address current societal issues such as positive youth development in camp and other out-of-school time settings, youth outcomes, workforce development, as well as business issues around industry benchmarks, staff training, and quality program improvement.

More Exciting Research: Finding and Keeping Great Staff

Hello Camp Evaluators!  In my last post, I wrote about ACA’s Impact Study and some of the things we are learning as we launch Phase 1.  What I didn’t share is a second exciting ACA research project — this one focused on leadership development among CITs/LITs and young staff.   To tell you about this project I asked Dr. Deb Bialeschki — former ACA Director of Research and now Senior Researcher — to describe the purpose and timeline, as well as how this project complements the 5-Year Impact Study.

Here’s Deb:

5-Year Impact Study Update: 3 Lessons Learned So Far

Hello Camp Evaluators!

If you are new to the Research 360 blog, you’ll see that our posts fall into three main categories: camp evaluation tips and tricks, creating powerful charts and reports, and updates on ACA’s 5-Year Impact Study. Today’s post falls into this last category, but stay with us over the next few weeks, as we have new topics planned in the other two categories. 

2016 Camper Enrollment: With Strong Enrollment Comes New Challenges

The results from the 2016 Enrollment Survey are in, and here's the bottom line: Camps had a good year as enrollment continued to rise. The majority of camps reported at least maintaining the same enrollment numbers compared to 2015, and, in many cases, they were higher. This enrollment trend is a sign we have recovered from the economic recession, but with strong enrollment comes new challenges. Camps now face issues with capacity, competition, and diversity.

February is for Evaluation Capacity Building

Hello Camp Evaluators! In my camp director days, February was an auspicious month. The lull of the holidays is over, but summer still feels like a long way off. March, for me, was pedal-to-the-metal time, which made February a strange combination of anticipation and calm: like a racer with their toe on the starting line waiting for the starting gun to go off.

From Silence to TMI: How to Get Useful Information from Your Parent Surveys

Surveying parents before, during, and after camp programs is one of the most common forms of camp evaluation, yet it is not easy to do well. Some parents are vocal and tell you more than you want to know while others do not complete the survey at all. This webinar will provide some tips to help you ask useful questions and get (lots of) useful responses, all while demonstrating to your parents that you value their voice and participation in your program.

Learning Objectives:

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