Resource Library

The results of the 2017 Fall Camper Enrollment and Staff Recruitment Survey show that, in general, the camp industry had a great year. Growth in enrollment in camp programs remained steady in comparison to 2016, with a total of 77 percent of camp directors describing enrollment for summer 2017 as about the same or higher than last year (results from 2016 showed 78 percent of respondents with this response).

Type of Program - Percent of Camps

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Each generation tends to look at the next generation and claim things aren’t as they used to be. There was a time in the 1970s and 80s when summer job opportunities for teens were so limited that many camps could rely on their former campers wanting to work as counselors all throughout their college years — and being willing to work for less money than new hires. There was a time also when the need for counselors to be gifted with counseling and communication skills was less important than their knowing the ins and outs of the rituals and routines of camp.

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From Tish
Published Date: 2014-01-01

It’s an exciting time for the American Camp Association (ACA) as we continue to grow and adapt, remaining always relevant, open to new ideas, and responsive. Our organization is no different than other legacy organizations that are confronting a time of many changes during a time of larger nationwide and global change. As we work toward our preferred future, it is important that we have opportunities to connect and learn with one another.

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ACA Makes It Possible
Published Date: 2016-07-01

Dear Friends,

Passion provides hope, direction, and vision. One quality I admire the most in the camp community is the dedication and commitment to the children we all serve. It is what we all do, and it is our passion.

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Camp - a Window to the World
Published Date: 2015-09-01

They were the first accents I ever heard that were different than mine. Australian, Dutch, English, Scottish, and heaps of others flew through the wooded, cabin-filled area at my Riverhead, New York, summer camp. I was ten and they could have been movie stars for all I knew. Some had been to camp before, while others crossed the seas for the first time to share a summer experience and glimmers of their culture with me.

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Last summer, I was hanging out with a group of our oldest campers, many of whom have attended since they were four or five years old. As I’m constantly thinking of program improvement, I asked these camp veterans what suggestions they would make for the upcoming summer. After many clever ideas, one quieter young man spoke up: “Whatever you do, don’t change it too much. It always feels like home, and you can’t do anything to mess that up!”

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Dutch Oven Cooking Tools and Tips
Published Date: 2019-05-01

Gabe, now a fifth grader, was pumped that he had graduated prerequisite camp programs required to experience Adventure Camp for the first time. Gabe conquered the zip line, sailed on the lake, and last summer, he and his fellow Adventure campers slept in tents in the wilderness for a whole week! A favorite delight that week surprised him — being sous chef to his counselors while Dutch oven cooking, especially when searing fajitas. Here are some pointers for your outdoor campers.

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Social skills and self-efficacy are fundamental processes and necessary for individuals in everyday life. Seeking employment, living independently, making friends, and trying new activities
all require social skills and self-efficacy. Empirical studies have found that outdoor residential camps improve these areas of development in children and youth because of the social encounters, new activities, independence, and leadership opportunities provided by enthusiastic and supportive staff (Thurber, Scanlin, Scheuler, and Henderson 2007).

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by Marcia L. Tate, Ph.D.

Visualize the worst presentation or training session that you ever attended. The chances are that you were talked at by a presenter who was either boring or argumentative. I would bet that you actually moved very little and maybe not even at all unless there was a break or lunchtime. Then attempt to recall what you learned in the session. The learning curve was probably directly proportional to the degree of active engagement you experienced. In fact, there is a saying that is as follows: As the bottom gets number, the brain gets dumber!

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Running a summer camp is a noble endeavor. Summer camps impart skills and values to all types of children. Nevertheless, every summer camp, small or large, private, religious, nonprofit or for-profit, is a business. If a summer camp takes in less money than it spends, it will eventually fail. Not coincidentally, summer camps that run well as businesses are usually effective in executing their mission. The same talents and skills required to run a business—focus, persistence, attention, and intelligence—are also required to run a quality summer program.

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