Enriching Lives, Changing the World


The American Camp Association is a community of camp professionals who, for over 100 years, have joined together to share our knowledge and experience and to ensure the quality of camp programs. Just as our membership is diverse and our camps, so are the children who participate in the camp experience. Through what ACA members teach, the opportunities they offer, and the example they set, children become part of a sharing community.

As an organization we value the world, the people who live in it, and the contribution each individual can make. These are not separate values, but concentric circles. The values that are important to us as an organization are the same as those we strive to instill in the children our members guide.

We believe that the camp experience is essential to every child’s growth and education. Through membership in the ACA, camp professionals contribute by working together to promote and articulate our association as a leading authority in child development. We contribute to the lives of the children and adults who participate in our programs and to their families and our communities, and, in turn, we encourage them to contribute to those who are part of their lives and to the world in which they live.

We believe in all the children and adults who come to our camps. They are the reason we exist. Through positive child development and partnering with parents, our members encourage children to value their uniqueness and to understand and appreciate their part in the larger community. Our members help children develop self-esteem, character, courage, responsibility, resourcefulness, and cooperation. Quality camp experiences help children develop the healthy emotional and social skills necessary to grow into strong, considerate, competent adults.

The World
We believe that each of us plays an important role in the stewardship of our environment—both natural and manmade. Our members help children grow into committed, responsible citizens by teaching them to appreciate, respect, and care for the world in which they live.


The mission of the American Camp Association is enriching the lives of children, youth and adults through the camp experience

End Statements

  1. There will be greater public understanding of and support for the value of the camp experience.
  2. An increasing number of children, youth, and adults of all social, cultural, and economic groups, will have a camp experience.
  3. The camp experience will be of high quality.