ACA and the Children & Nature Network Announce a Partnership to Connect Children and Families to Nature

October 10, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (October 10 , 2014) — The American Camp Association (ACA) and the Children & Nature Network announce the launch of their partnership to further the common goals of both organizations to significantly increase opportunities for children to get outside and experience nature.

ACA and C&NN offer their networks, members and the public a wide range of research and user-friendly resources, including those to enhance positive family bonding and access to fun nature-based activities. In the coming year, the organizations plan to work together to train camp and community leaders on the many benefits of children spending frequent time in nature. ACA and C&NN hope to extend camp leaders’ capacity in increasing family outreach and participation in outdoor recreation opportunities in natural areas.    

“Over the past 20 years, the time children spend outside has been cut in half. Kids are spending over seven hours per day plugged into media—watching TV, texting, video gaming—and only seven minutes per day outside. This means less time and access to the natural world, fewer chances to explore, be challenged, and be curious about new surroundings,” said Peg Smith, CEO, American Camp Association*. “By introducing children to nature, you make them aware of nature. That’s the first step in caring for the environment; as the leaders of tomorrow, we want our children to be stewards of the environment.”

“We can and must do a better job of connecting young people to nature,” says Sarah Milligan-Toffler, Executive Director of the Children & Nature Network. “Camps are a great place for seeding a love of the outdoors. We look forward to working with ACA and its members to extend the camp experience year-round.”

About ACA: The American Camp Association (ACA) is a national organization that works to preserve, promote, and enhance quality camp experiences for children, youth, and adults. ACA camp experiences ensure that children are provided with a diversity of educational and developmentally challenging learning opportunities in environments dedicated to health, safety, and growth. There are over 2,700 ACA camps. For more information, visit

About C&NN:  The Children & Nature Network advocates for children, their families and communities to enhance their health and well-being through direct experiences in nature. C&NN’s vision is a world in which all children play, learn and grow with nature in their everyday lives. For more information, visit


*Peg Smith retired as CEO of the American Camp Association on January 1, 2015