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:


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.

New Camp Industry Research Series, Part 3: Programming with a Purpose

This blog is part of a series that gives a snapshot of the results of the Sites, Facilities, and Programs survey completed by 2,426 ACA-accredited camps. Check out Part 1 and Part 2.

New Camp Industry Research Series, Part 2: What Do We Know about Camps and Environmental Stewardship?

This blog is part of a series that gives a snapshot about the results of ACA’s Sites, Facilities, and Programs survey. About 2,426 ACA-accredited camps responded to the survey, and this post features what camps are doing toward environmental stewardship.   

If you haven't yet, check out the first part of this research series here: New Camp Industry Research Series, Part 1: Promoting Diversity & Inclusion at Camp

New Camp Industry Research Series, Part 1: Promoting Diversity & Inclusion at Camp

Each year, the American Camp Association conducts rigorous industry research to help better understand the camp industry and to support camps in their work. The Site, Facilities, and Programs Survey is one of three surveys administered on a rotating basis every three years (the others are the Business Operations Survey and the Staff Compensation and Benefits Survey). 

Camp Research: Your Link between the Work You Love and the Real World

Yes, I said it. “Research” — that nasty stuff your teachers make you do in school, typically involving math, Excel, APA citations, etc. When I was in school, writing research papers always felt so stiff, so stifling. As a college professor, I see my students break out in hives at the sheer thought of research, and then I feel their angst when I read what they come up with. I get it, research has a bad rap, but like it or not, it is one of the most valued skills in the job market.