You may have seen circulating in your email, on our website, or elsewhere on the world wide web our fall survey, CampCounts 2020. I'm willing to admit that as ACA's graduate research assistant, I may be a little biased when it comes to considering the importance of research and surveys and collecting information to try and make more informed decisions. (Spoiler alert: I think it's SUPER IMPORTANT!) That being said, I'm here to help YOU understand why it's worth putting in the time to fill this thing out.
The bottom line: it all comes back to you.
- We heard you when you said you wanted help lobbying for federal, state, and local relief. Responding to this survey will SUPPORT ACA in these ongoing advocacy efforts on behalf of you and your camp.
- Even though we in the camp community know that hundreds of camps ran safe and COVID-free summer programs, we also know those camps rarely made headlines. Information from this survey will help ACA DEMONSTRATE to local and state health departments how camps ran safely in summer 2020, so that you and your camp can get back to doing what you do best in summer 2021.
- Obviously, some of the biggest questions running through everyone's mind revolve around how. How exactly did camps run safely and successfully in this Summer, and how exactly can we run the safest and most successful camp possible next Summer? Responses to this survey will enable ACA to SHARE the most effective COVID-19 prevention and mitigation strategies for you and your camp to implement in summer 2021.
- Finances can be challenging, even in a normal year. Whether you were unable to run and lost your entire revenue stream, or managed to run but incurred new unforeseen costs, understanding the unique and extreme financial challenges posed by a COVID-19 summer will be essential for ACA to DEVELOP educational opportunities that help you and your camp recover financially from summer 2020 and prepare for summer 2021 and beyond.
Now I know you may be saying to yourself, "But we didn't even RUN camp this summer. (Thanks a lot, COVID-19!) Who cares what we have to say… it's not like they're going to learn anything they couldn't have already guessed on their own.” I've got two responses for you. Firstly, as researchers, we never like to guess. We frequently hypothesize, but that's still only so that we can then validate what we think we might know or learn with real, hard data. But more importantly, ACA knows that your story matters. I'm willing to bet that, whether it's a normal summer or a COVID-19 summer, you're not just thinking about all of the campers who show up on site. You're also thinking about all of those would-be campers who didn't get to come for one reason or another. Well we feel the same way about you. Even if you didn't get to run camp this summer, you are part of our community and we care about what you have to say.
So, I hope you'll take the time to complete CampCounts 2020. Because in our camp community, we all know that camp counts.
But it's hard to make it count without you.