Research 360: The Cast of Characters, Part 2

Hello and happy fall from the ACA Research Team!  With the change in seasons comes an exciting time for Research 360 as we launch ACA’s 5-year research project, the outer circle of ACA’s new strategic direction focused on research and evaluation.  In past posts I identified the purpose of this project and the ACA volunteers who will advise the project over the next 5 years.

Research 360: Into the Center of the Circle

If you’ve been following these posts you might be familiar with the two facets of Research 360:  ACA’s new full circle approach to research and evaluation. Quick review:  we have the outer circle, which represents the 360 degree process that ACA’s 5-year research project will follow, and the center, the local camp research and evaluation efforts, around which this process moves. 

Want to Improve Your Response to Mental Health Challenges?

Camp professionals often ask what they might do to more effectively respond to staff and camper mental, emotional and social health (MESH) needs. This often arises from a desire to be as inclusive as possible while also recognizing that most camps are not therapeutic settings. The Healthy Camps III committee, a group of ACA and ACN professionals working to address that concern, offer the following ideas:

Research 360: Introducing the Cast of Characters, Part 1

Hello camp researchers and evaluators! Welcome again to Research 360: ACA’s new full circle approach to research and evaluation. I promised in last week’s post that I would dive deeper into ACA’s 5-year research project, which is one element of Research 360 (local camp evaluation is the other). 

Research 360: A Full-Circle and Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation

Greetings once again from the ACA Research Team!  Two weeks ago I compared research and evaluation in the first of a series of Research 360 blog posts.  In that post I described ACA’s new strategic aim focused on research and evaluation, an initiative we are now calling Research 360.

The Latest from Tish

During the October 2015 meeting of the ACA Board of Directors two areas of strategic focus were proposed and adopted by the board; accreditation and research. It’s been exciting to see that through a strong staff and volunteer partnership both focus areas are moving forward with concrete plans and recommendations.

Research 360: Research vs Evaluation

Greetings from the ACA Research Team!  As you might have heard, ACA has identified research as one of its strategic priorities for the next 5 years. This is exciting news for camp professionals because it promises new data, recognition, and support for the camp experience from individual camps to the camp industry as a whole. Every camp has an important role to play in this strategic direction, and a lot to gain from engaging with research and evaluation at the local camp level.

Moderating Childhood Stress Through Camp

Exposure to adverse childhood events (ACE) can lead children to drinking alcohol, smoking, illicit drug use, overeating, and other maladaptive behaviors (Stevens, 2015). These children can experience depression, anxiety, and a variety of other psychological problems. In 2013, the Center for Disease Control reported 17% of students considered attempting suicide and 113 actual suicides occurred each day (one every thirteen minutes). What does this say about the current child life experience?

To Camp Alone

Being “Home Alone” did not always work out so well for Macaulay Caulkin.  He should have gone to camp alone, instead. 

Many parents and children are under the false impression that camps are places for hometown friends to re-gather for summer vacation. They demand to be placed in bunks together and often choose nearly identical camp schedules. Consequently, their time at camp is considerably cloistered, which significantly reduces the best by-product of the experience — an opportunity to make new and enduring friendships.

Tell the Story of Your Camp's Impact on Kids!

I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation with a camp staff member who didn’t have a great story about a transformational experience that happened to some child at their camp. The shy camper that blossomed in a supportive environment, the child that took six tries before they could finally step off the zip line platform, the sullen teen on the fringe of the group who returned from a wilderness trip enthused by newfound respect and independence. We all have those stories. What many of us do not have is the evidence back these stories up.

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