Now Accepting Applications for Phase 2!

Application Deadline - April 11, 2024

Awards Announced the week of April 22

Up to 20 grant recipients will receive up to $18,000 per year for three years to support creating, improving, or expanding counselor-in-training or similar leadership development programs at camp. Grantees will work with a peer cohort to design, implement, and improve a counselor-in-training (CIT)-related initiative to increase access to camp leadership pathways for young people of diverse backgrounds, abilities, and identities.  

All nonprofit camps and government agency organizations (i.e. parks & rec) that run camps are invited to apply. You do not need to have a grant writer to submit, nor does the camp need to be ACA accredited. Applying to (or receiving) this grant does not disqualify you from future grant opportunities through ACA. Please visit our Application Guide to review all applicant criteria and all other information regarding the application process.

Webinars and office hours are available to support you in applying for this exciting opportunity. Dates and info below.

Application Instructions

  1. Read the entire Application Guide. This is a comprehensive guide to the application process and includes the background of this project, a checklist of tasks to help you complete the application process, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and a glossary of terms.
  2. Review all the FAQs in the Application Guide.
  3. Read the Review Criteria to understand what the review team is looking for specifically
  4. Download the Application Questions to prepare your application answers.
  5. Prepare your answers and reflections. We highly suggest you write your answers before logging into the online application, to ensure you do not lose your work.
  6. If you are a camp with an existing CIT program, you are eligible to apply to be an exemplar camp in the cohort for additional award dollars. An exemplar camp has successfully increased the representation of individuals identified as underrepresented within their community and is committed to sharing their time, resources, and lessons learned with other camps. More information about exemplar camps can be found in the Application Guide.
  7. Apply Here! The application form saves as you go, and you will be allowed to go back to previous questions.

Quick Links

The application deadline is April 11, 2024. Awards will be announced the week of April 22.

Webinars and Office Hours

To support our community in completing the application, ACA is holding two free webinars and several one-hour, drop-in office hours about the Leadership Pathways Project. These events will explain the purpose of the project, walk through the application, and answer audience questions. Please register in advance for these free events (recordings will be made available for webinar attendees).


Drop-In Office Hours

  • Monday-Wednesday, March 25-27 & Friday, March 29, at 3:00–4:00 p.m. ET daily (Zoom link)
  • Monday, April 1 to Friday, April 5, at 1:00–2:00 p.m. ET daily (Zoom link)

More Questions?

If you still have questions after reading through all of the documents above, attending webinars and/or bringing your questions to office hours, please reach out to Bristol Posatko, Grants & Special Projects Manager. (Thank you for your patience with her response rate, as it will vary based on interest.)

Awarded Grantees

Check back in May 2024 for the announcement of our awarded grantees for 2024 Phase 2!

Here are the awarded grantees from Phase 1 (2021-2024)

  • Camp Common Ground
  • Big Sur Land Trust Youth Outdoor Programs
  • Tampa YMCA
  • Camp Blodgett
  • Aspire
  • Trail Blazers
  • Camp Santa Maria
  • Montgomery County Recreation
  • NatureBridge
  • YMCA of Greater Seattle
  • Camp Bovey
  • Camp Mendocino
  • Easterseals Colorado
  • 4-H Primitive Pursuits
  • Sherwood Forest
  • Timber Pointe Outdoor Center
  • Camp Kaufmann
  • Camp Mokule’ia
  • Lexington Recreation and Community Programs
  • Acta Non Verba
  • PARI Summer Space Camps

This project is made possible through the generous support of Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.