Resource Library

Between 2001 and 2004 the American Camp Association conducted national research with over 5000 families from 80 ACA-Accredited camps to determine the outcomes of the camp experience as expressed by parents and children.

Parents, camp staff, and children reported significant growth in:

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In 2003-2004 the American Camp Association conducted research with over 7600 campers (aged 10-18) from just over 80 ACA-Accredited camps to determine the degree to which developmental supports and opportunities were reported/received by those campers.

Which of the critical youth development domains do you believe was the strongest in camps, and which presents the greatest opportunity for improvement?

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In 2004-2005 the American Camp Association completed a Program Improvement Project with twenty-three ACA-accredited camps to learn what strategies and approaches would help strengthen the experiences of youth in four important developmental areas:

  • Supportive Relationships
  • Safety (emotional and physical)
  • Youth Involvement (including decision-making and leadership)
  • Skill Building

Most of the camps experienced improvement in one or more of these areas and their associated domains. We learned that:

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ACA Camp Business Operations Report
Published Date: 2015-03-23

Access the most recent budget and finance data for camps. Questions this year included scholarship information, discounts, marketing strategies used, revenue sources, weekly fees, detailed expenditures, profitability, and more. For ease of application, there are two sets of findings: one for overnight camps and one for day camps. Each set (overnight/day) includes:

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Each year, the American Camp Association (ACA) surveys its members about specific areas of their camp operations and makes the results available so camps can benchmark their business practices. The focus for 2017-2018 was on the following issues related to camp staff:

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The ACA Camp Sites, Facilities, and Programs Report: 2017 is an invaluable resource for camps interested in examining their business operations around programs, grounds, and facilities. Data for this report were gathered in November of 2016 in a survey of 1,350 camp owners and operators who were randomly selected based on stratified sampling to represent the 2,426 ACA accredited camps at the time of data collection.

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ACA Research Briefing Papers
Published Date: 2015-01-01

ACA wants to help busy camp professionals remain current on the research around "hot topics" that may affect our programs and practices or may be helpful with grant applications or key messages around the importance of the camp experience. The following research briefs were written by members of ACA’s Committee for the Advancement of Research and Evaluation. We welcome additional contributions! If interested, please contact Laurie Browne at lbrowne@ACAcamps.org.

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ACA Research Forum
Published Date: 2015-08-20

The ACA Research Forum is an opportunity for researchers and camp professionals to share and discuss new research related to campers, camp staff, camp programs, and a wide variety of other camp-related topics. Studies are blind peer-reviewed and accepted based on their relevance to the camp field and the rigor of their methods, and presented both orally and in a poster session each year at the ACA National Conference.

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In the fall of each year, the ACA research team polls its members about their enrollment and staffing trends during the summer season.  Members respond anonymously and voluntarily, meaning the findings are best used as a snapshot instead of truly accurate and representative of the camp industry.

Reports are free for download.

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Emerging Issues
Published Date: 2015-08-20

As camp professionals, you know the world of camp is ever-changing.  In an effort to meet the needs of our dynamic camp community, ACA set out to determine the current and emerging issues that influence and impact your work. Thank you for helping us identify and understand these issues. Due to your survey feedback, we'll be better prepared to meet your needs for information and resources!

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E.g., 2019-10-23
E.g., 2019-10-23