Building Bridges of Understanding

The camp experience has the unique ability to break down economic, racial, geographic, religious, ethnic and social barriers. Camp celebrates diversity and promotes understanding. And open-hearted children become open-minded adults.

The American Camp Association invites you as an ACA-Accredited® camp to take an active role in promoting unity and an appreciation of differences among your campers. The ACA Camper Scholarship Program was designed to help ACA-accredited camps do that.

Each year, participating camps give scholarships to campers who cannot afford the entire camp fee and whose presence at camp will broaden the composition of the camp community.

Families: Learn more about affording camp.

Building the Bridge - Steps for Camps

  1. If you are an ACA-accredited camp, you are eligible. To get started, you must develop the benchmarks by which your scholarship recipients will be evaluated and selected. Here is a sample list of benchmarks you may use as you consider your camp's benchmarks. You will also fill out a Camp Scholarship Agreement. Submit both to Andrea Stearley at
  2. Solicit contributions from parents, businesses, organizations, and foundations.  Free brochures describing the ACA Campership Program are available for distribution in soliciting donations, along with some tips on how to write an informational letter to go with the brochure.    
    All donor checks must be made payable to the ACA Campership Program with your camp's name in the lower left memo line. Checks may be sent directly to ACA, or you may collect and forward them. 
    For online donations, you can add this link to your website:
    If you would like to offer recurring gift-giving, you may also add this link to your website:
    Here is an example of what one of our program camps does on their website:
  3. ACA credits funds received to your camp's account* and routes a donor acknowledgment for each gift back to you so you can attach a personal "thank you" to the donor. Note: Camp owners and operators may not make contributions to their own camp's scholarship fund.
  4. Select your scholarship recipients. Camp directors must complete a paper application (Fillable PDF) or an online application for each scholarship. Relatives of a camp’s owner, operator, or employees are not eligible for scholarships, nor may the individual choosing the scholarship recipients be a donor or be influenced by a donor.
  5. The ACA issues a check and account balance statement within fourteen working days of receiving the participating camp’s request for scholarship funds. The total amount requested cannot exceed the amount in your camp’s account.

Invite diversity into your camp and build a bridge of understanding that stands the test of time and proves it is the compassion we have in common that bonds us together as human beings.

* A 7.5 percent administration fee will be assessed on all campership contributions at the time they are credited to a camp's account.

Contact ACA's development department at 765-349-3305 or for more information on how you can help change a child's life, brochures, applications, or for general information about joining the scholarship program.