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ACA CEO Responds to a Recent Blog in Huffington Post
The following letter was sent by ACA CEO Peg Smith to Dr. Peggy Drexler in response to her blog post in Friday’s Huffington Post.
Dear Dr. Drexler,
I read your blog post with great dismay. While I appreciate the right one has to share an opinion, (although I do disagree with your premise, but more on that later), I was very troubled by the inaccuracy of your research.
The prominence to broadly share your opinion gives you the privilege of great influence. It is my hope that those with such influence would be mindful to support their opinions with carefully considered research.
First, your source of data is a private referral service. The American Camp Association® (ACA), on the other hand, is a professional nonprofit organization and a leading authority in child and youth development for the camp community and those serving children in expanded learning environments. We have worked with the camp community for over 100 years.
To that point, let me share some data that, if considered, might have influenced not only your opinion but what I consider your careless influence on others.
- Each year more than 11 million children and adults attend camp in the U.S. (projected from 2010 ACA Camp Compensations and Benefits Report)
- Average weekly fees at ACA accredited camps (2010 ACA Business Operations Report
- Day camp = $304 (as low as $194)
- Overnight camp = $690 (as low as $425)
- 90 percent of ACA-accredited camps offer some form of financial assistance to over one million children who are from economically deprived families, have special medical needs, or special situations that might preclude them from attending camp. (2012 ACA Business Operations Report)
- Campers often have choice in what they choose to do at camp, and most camps offer a range of structured and unstructured activity.
- Kids are physically active at camp – on average, between three to five hours in intense physical activity, and unlike kids at home, 74 percent of camps do not allow campers to use personal electronic devices at any time while at camp. Kids when going to school and at home spend an average of seven hours a day in front of a screen.
- According to ACA’