If one positive thing has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s this: we have collectively realized the benefits of many of the experiences we took for granted prior to the pandemic. Parents and caregivers became more interested in opportunities for their children to get out of the house, go to camp, and have “normal” experiences.

A recent piece from NPR discussed the story of eight-year-old Kenley, who stopped talking shortly after her school switched to virtual learning in the spring. She went from being social and a good student to one who avoided her Zoom classes and hid under her blanket. It wasn’t until Kenley started attending an outdoor day camp during the summer that she began improving. Within weeks, Kenley rebounded and started to act like her old self (McClurg, 2020).

As a result of the increased interest in camp and as the American Camp Association (ACA) became the go-to leader for information about camp in the US, ACA received an unprecedented number of media requests. ACA President and CEO Tom Rosenberg gave more interviews to national and regional media in one year than in the last five years combined. The following media coverage timeline for 2020 represents 10.2 billion in media reach.

2020 media coverage timeline

Google trends data for the last five years (below) show that more parents than ever before now know who ACA is and what we do: more people have Google-searched “American Camp Association”; more people found the Field Guide for Camps; more parents understand the importance of the social-emotional learning that takes place at camp; and more parents are interested in learning about camp.

ACA brand awareness over five years

If your camp is an ACA-accredited or member camp, now is the time to let people know about it. Include those details in your marketing and advertising materials. Instantly tell viewers you stand for safety and quality by making sure the accredited camp logo is featured prominently on your website. This is the year to tell both existing and prospective camp families that your camp is accredited by the American Camp Association.

Interested in learning more about marketing your status as an accredited camp or member camp? Check out these resources:


McClurg, L. (2020, November 28). Pandemic takes toll on children’s mental health. NPR. Retrieved from npr.org/2020/11/28/938460892/pandemic-takes-toll-on-childrens-mental-health