Study Demonstrates Day and Overnight Camps Successfully Mitigated COVID-19 Spread in 2020


Martinsville, IN— (February 23, 2021)  — The American Camp Association (ACA) — thought leaders in summer camp and youth development — announce the release of an independent research study on the 2020 summer camp experience. Led by Dr. Helen Suh of Tufts University with support from Maine Medical and Environmental Health & Engineering, the study offers critical information on the pediatric experience in child congregate settings, such as camps, schools, and community and recreation centers. The manuscript was released in preprint form and has been submitted for publication after peer review.

"This research study illustrates the success of summer camps as stewards of public health in pandemic response and management," said Tom Rosenberg, president and CEO of ACA. "Since April 2020, ACA has continuously focused on the development of responsible guidelines for day and overnight camps on behalf of the out-of-school community."

ACA guidelines, which includes the Field Guide for Camps and consistent educational resources, aimed to serve, support, and protect the 26 million children attending camp and their families, as well as the camp industry. This recent study demonstrates these efforts were a success, offering statistical data that camps following the guidelines were successful in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

"Our findings of low incidence of transmission of COVID-19 in summer camps through our review of data from camps nationwide provides evidence for the effectiveness of the nonpharmaceutical intervention (NPI) strategies promoted by ACA and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)," said Dr. Suh. "The low incidence rates are comparable to similar studies of the experience of children in school and day care settings."

For more information, the research study manuscript is available at

For media inquiries, contact ACA at

About American Camp Association

The American Camp Association® (ACA) is a national organization serving the more than 15,000 year-round and summer camps in the US who annually serve 26 million campers. ACA is committed to collaborating with those who believe in quality camp and outdoor experiences for children, youth, and adults. ACA provides advocacy, evidence-based education, and professional development, and is the only independent national accrediting body for the organized camp experience. ACA accredits more than 2,400 diverse US camps. ACA Accreditation provides public evidence of a camp’s voluntary commitment to the health, safety, risk management, and overall well-being of campers and staff. For more information, visit or call 800-428-2267.