Greetings camp friends!

Can you believe we’re nearly halfway through summer already? I know I can’t. But now that staff trainings are complete and sessions are underway, I wanted to share some exciting news with you. ACA is launching a brand new, easy to use survey tool designed to help you measure the outcomes of your programs… and it’s totally and completely one hundred percent free.

If you’re a regular reader of the Research 360 blog, you may remember previous discussions centered on camp as a unique environment for social and emotional learning, as well as how camp relationships promote social and emotional learning. Recently, in light of the pandemic, the critical role of social and emotional learning has reemerged as a hot topic, both at camp and within the national educational landscape

And while we’ve got lots of data from years past, allow me to pull out a familiar line just one more time: these are unique times.  Therefore, one of the many goals of our research team this summer is to help camps collect and report on the data that, firstly, highlights their successes in supporting social and emotional learning, and secondly, uncovers opportunities for improvement. 

Enter the Assessing the Benefits of Camp Tool — or ABC Tool for short. This new tool allows camps to create a customized survey tailored specifically to their own programs, goals, and needs. While the end of summer is a great time to measure the outcomes of camp, no matter where you’re at in your season, the ABC Tool has been intentionally designed to be quick and easy to implement. So try it now or try it later, try it for one session or try it for every session remaining! Just try it! And as always, we’ll be here to help you along the way.

Why Use It?

  • Learn more about the efficacy of your programs regarding social and emotional learning, and/or overall well-being outcomes.
  • See how your camp compares to others of similar sizes, budgets, program types, etc.
  • See where your camp sits in the national landscape of the camping industry.
  • Use the report and implications for practice to inform next steps and program adjustments.

How Does It Work?

  1. Fill out the ABC Tool Intake Form. You’ll be asked to:
    1. Identify a point of contact (POC).
    2. Provide basic information about your camp.
    3. Select up to three scales that you would like included in your ABC Tool.
  2. An ACA research team member will:
    1. Reach out to you to confirm the details of your ABC Tool.
    2. Build your custom ABC Tool in Qualtrics.
    3. Deliver to your POC a custom survey link for your ABC Tool.
  3. You will distribute your ABC tool to your campers. 
  4. Once all the survey responses have been entered into the online survey form, an ACA research team member will generate and deliver a custom report with camp-level results and implications for practice.  (Note that Data must be entered into the online survey form via the Qualtrics link provided to receive your customized report.  If you decide to distribute the survey to your campers via paper and pencil, camp staff must enter the paper survey responses online into the Qualtrics survey form to have ACA's research team analyze it.)

What’s Included?

  • A link to a customized, online survey of up to three unique scales.
  • A customized report including benchmark and like-camp comparisons (pending available data).

What’s Not Included?

  • Camper informed consent.  Your camp will need to obtain this according to your own unique policies and procedures.
  • Survey distribution/Data collection.  Your camp is responsible for all survey distribution and data collection efforts.

Which Scales Will I Get To Choose From?

  • Scales from ACA’s Youth Outcomes Battery
    • Young Camper Learning Scale
    • Affinity for Nature
    • Camp Connectedness
    • Family Citizenship
    • Friendship Skills
    • Independence
    • Interest in Exploration
    • Perceived Competence
    • Problem Solving Confidence
    • Responsibility
    • Spiritual Well-Being
    • Teamwork
  • Additional Scales/Measures
    • Children’s Hope Scale
    • Core Districts Social Emotional Learning Survey
    • Grit Scale
    • Mental Toughness Scale for Adolescents
    • Mindful Attention Awareness Scale-Adolescents
    • Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale
    • WCSD Social and Emotional Competency Assessment Short Form

Ready to get started?  Fill out the ABC Tool Intake Form today!

Photo courtesy of Camp Arrowwood in Seviereville, Tennessee

Thanks to our research partner, Redwoods.


Additional thanks goes to our research supporter, Chaco.