Resource Library

Camp. Learning. Outcomes. College.

Can you prove that you improve the 21st Century learning skills of your campers?

ACA offers data-gathering measures that focus on 21st Century learning outcomes. Questionnaires are statistically tested, camp-specific, age-appropriate, easily administered tools, AND they can be customized to your intentional focus.

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Summer Learning Resources
Published Date: 2010-10-27

During the summer children experience “summer learning loss” when they are not involved in high quality programs with opportunities for skill building.  As a result, young people can forget up to 2 months of academic instruction, particularly in the areas of reading and math when they are not in school. Camps and other youth development programs provide the opportunity to reduce summer learning loss in an expanded learning environment where children are engaged experientially and have an opportunity for additional academic enrichment. 

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Clinging to the position that camp is different and unique will isolate us unless we can speak intelligently about how camp is an essential complement to what young people do for the other ten or 11 months of the year. Carefully study the list of terms included in this article and you'll see that schools are striving to do a lot of what camps do incredibly well already. But don't rest on your laurels believing that just because we know that we are special, the rest of the world does too. That solipsistic stance has hurt the camp world and could eventually lead to our extinction.

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In a world that is witnessing the most dramatic demographic transformation in its history, these words could not be more poignant. Defining camp by duration, activity, or location, or by labels such as resident, day, for profit, or nonprofit, has become a secondary issue to those who are deciding whether to send a young person to camp or not.

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Learning for Life
Published Date: 2013-01-15

Camp is an experience that strengthens one’s life journey; it enables, reinforces, and facilitates one’s ability to learn for life. It is a process of risks and mistakes that are meaningful and reflective — not a series of grades, scores, and tests. It is not about the right or wrong answer but the critical-thinking process that reveals patterns and alternatives. Camp is about taking experiences and adding language that not only expands understanding of self but of others.

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Positive Learning
Published Date:

It's a beautiful July morning at Camp Nevva GoHoma. Let's get out of the office which we know is like Grand Central Station with campers, staffers, specialists, administrative personnel, parents, (and sometimes grandparents) coming and going, USPS, UPS, FedEx drivers arriving and departing, phones constantly ringing, faxes flowing in and out, e-mail messages overf lowing on your computer screen, dogs meandering through the building — and take a Walk About . . . .

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When I was four, I fell in love with Hot Wheels toy cars. My favorite was a drag racer with its own parachute. The chute clipped to the underside of the car with a pair of wire hooks. You packed the chute in a tiny compartment behind the back wheels and it deployed when a knob on the track clicked the compartment open. It was really cool.

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How often do you see the following examples occur in campers? Kenny, a bright ten-year-old, focuses his attention on the counselor's directions during an activity. He appears attentive, but always needs to ask the counselor or a peer to repeat portions of the directions. Sue, an impressionable thirteen-year-old, likes to participate in sports activities, but finds constant misjudging of distances to catch or hit a ball is embarrassing. She slowly withdraws from these activities. And Bob, a competitive fellow, enjoys playing table games except for the ones that require him to spell.

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Programming with a Theme
Published Date: 2014-03-01

The positives for a child who attends a summer camp experience are widely known. Children and youth develop independence, self-esteem, and confidence; they experience positive role model influences; they make friends; and they learn new skills and have new experiences in a safe environment. In recent years, camps have also been asked to focus on improving educational benefits to stay relevant for today’s kids. In response, pop culture and literary-themed camp programs that encourage reading, critical thinking, and character development have evolved.

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People in medical professions call it a “post mortem” — an unfortunate term that literally means “after death.” People in human services and professional development call it “debriefing,” while the rest of us call it “learning from our past.” Whatever you call it, there can be great value in reflecting on the summer and thinking about how what you have just experienced might inform your work with parents, staff, and campers in the coming year.

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E.g., 2022-06-22