Initial Priorities for the Strategic Plan — January 2020

We are thrilled about the enthusiastic reception that our Strategic Plan received this past fall. We believe that the field of organized camp is at an inflection point with the rapid technological and cultural changes in society, and this ambitious Strategic Plan recognizes and leverages the opportunities inherent in such change. We appreciate the encouragement that we have received from many of you both electronically and in person as we have communicated the details of the plan.

ACA staff spent the summer and early fall working with the Strategic Planning Committee to identify our initial priorities from the overall plan. The ACA Board endorsed the following initiatives this past October:

Leading Voice for Youth Education and Development

Brand Awareness and Education Strategy:

  • Develop consistent messaging to promote camp as an essential educational and developmental experience for children, youth, and adults.
  • Create a series of stories guided by our research findings that demonstrate the lasting impact of camp experiences and clarify ACA’s brand promise.

Government Relations and Advocacy Strategy:

  • Develop, resource, and implement a proactive plan that identifies and prioritizes anticipated, current, and emerging federal issues that could significantly impact the camp community.

Expanding Reach, Relevance, and Equitable Access

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy (DEI):

  • Map out the overall DEI plan and identify what can happen in the first five years and what should begin this year.
  • Build actionable strategies to develop an internal culture of inclusion at ACA.

Championing Quality

Professional Development Strategy:

  • Strengthen the continuity and quality of regional camp conferences and events.

Accreditation Strategy:

  • Develop an action plan to grow ACA accreditation through the engagement of nontraditional camp markets and organizations that aggregate significant numbers of camps.

Accelerating Organizational Growth and Sustainability

Operational Effectiveness Strategy:

  • Review current workflow to identify potential productivity improvements and efficiencies.

Financial Strength and Vitality Strategy:

  • Create revenue growth plans for each core revenue center, including implementing a focused membership development program that will promote accreditation and a targeted business development program that will increase business partners and sponsors.
  • Structure, resource, and implement a fundraising and donor program to expand the universe of financial givers and the amounts contributed, with emphasis on nonmember communities including corporate entities.

Volunteer Growth and Engagement Strategy:

  • Develop engagement, recruitment, and retention programs that increase volunteer numbers, diversity, and satisfaction levels.


ACA staff began working in the fall to chart out the implementation plan for each of the first initiatives. Our next step is to begin sharing the draft work plans with key stakeholder groups for refinement and improvement. In addition to this planning work, staff have already begun implementation in a variety of areas.

If you are interested in more detail about the work to implement the ACA Strategic Plan, visit the Strategic Plan web page on our website or listen to this Strategic Plan podcast that was featured in ACA Now.

To get involved, we encourage you to connect with the members of your Local Council of Leaders (LCOL). ACA staff will engage each of our LCOLs in the details of our implementation plan. To achieve the ambitious goals of this plan, we will need a high level of volunteer involvement. Our LCOL leaders will be the first to know about specific opportunities for engagement in the implementation of the plan. If you have specific questions about the plan, feel free to contact us at StrategicPlan@ACAcamps.org.