Our industry is changing and evolving. We know from robust research that quality camp experiences can provide cognitive and emotional growth for campers and staff. We also believe that all school-age children deserve the opportunity to have camp experiences, and we aim to grow our industry to make this possible.
In 2022, the ACA Board of Directors recognized the need to update the Mission and Vision to align with the strategic plan. We engaged in a multistage process to ensure that our new mission and vision statements resonated with our stakeholders. We invited ACA’s community — members, volunteers, donors, sponsors, and national and affiliate staff — to actively participate in building our future.
A task force of volunteer leaders and staff read and reviewed all contributions with a focused intent on identifying universal themes. A final survey was sent to all ACA stakeholders, asking them to weigh in on which draft supported a future where all individuals have access to safe, quality camp experiences.
The community's voice was clear, and a strong preference emerged for the new mission and vision.
New Mission: Empowering camps to create quality experiences.
New Vision: Building a world of belonging and growth.
What's truly exciting is how these new mission and vision statements link together, reinforcing our commitment to our collective values: "Empowering camps to create quality experiences that build a world of belonging and growth."
These new mission and vision statements can be seen in the story of fifth-grade camper Mark. In 2022, Mark attended Project Morry on a camper scholarship. Mark’s mom said although he was shy and had difficulty making friends, he was excited to go to camp. When asked about his one goal for camp, Mark’s answer echoed his mother’s thoughts: To make new friends and stop being shy.
Mark’s summer camp experience was a great success: he participated in activities, made new friends, and, in a post-summer evaluation, stated that attending camp made him feel more positive about himself, confident, and responsible. Through camp, Mark felt comfortable enough to find new friends and build a sense of belonging.
In July 2023, the ACA Board of Directors unanimously voted to adopt these powerful new mission and vision statements.
With our new mission and vision in mind, we are ready to embrace the future with open arms and an unwavering determination to scale and grow our industry to serve all school-age children and employ generations of leaders. Together, we will empower camps, create quality experiences, and build a world where everyone belongs and grows — where diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are not just ideals but lived realities.
We owe our success in this journey to the dedication and engagement of the entire ACA community.
Join us as we continue to write the story of ACA's legacy and impact for years to come.