Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Package

(The first in a series.)

Help to create an environment that builds capacity within the camp community to understand, accept, value, and honor the unique contributions of all people in our camps.  ACA hope to encourage camps to create and maintain an inclusive camp community that eliminates stereotypes, bias, and bullying based on differences that include but are not limited to age, gender, ability, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual identity, and socio-economic status.

Become a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Virtual Camp Champion

Webinar Description: 

ACA has a commitment to promote and champion diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the camp world.  As camp leaders, you are being asked to consider approaching the preparation and delivery of all virtual camp sessions with a DEI lens to ensure participants are left with the feeling of an inclusive camp experience. ACA has teamed up with Nika White Consulting to further explore DEI in the camp setting. Join us for a webinar that will focus on different areas of DEI that will drive the execution of inclusive virtual camps. 

Inclusion at Camp

Welcome to Trail Mixed: Inclusion at Camp. We are happy you are here. The stated mission of the American Camp Association (ACA) is enriching the lives of children, youth, and adults through the camp experience. Our mission is to enrich the camp experience through this ongoing column, which we hope will serve as a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) basecamp for the camp world.

Capturing the Inclusive Camp Experiences of Teens with and without Disabilities through Photography and Dialogue

Across the country, summer camps are an integral part of children’s traditional summer experiences. Unfortunately, the same may not be true for children with disabilities. Representing only 3 percent of campers in one study of overnight summer camps across the United States (Laszlo Strategies, 2013), children with disabilities, just like their peers, should have opportunities to gain positive physical, emotional, and social outcomes from an inclusive camp experience (Schleien, Miller, Walton, Roth, & Tobin, 2017).

Race Conversations at Camp


The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others are forcing the country to reconcile with the injustices that plague our systems. As camp professionals, it’s our job to give campers a place to talk about how racism affects their lives.   

ACA in partnership with Teaching Matters, is offering an exciting webinar for camp educators to discuss how to talk about racism in the camp setting. 

Camper Inclusion at Day Camps: Making It Work for Campers and Staff

". . We started him at a camp that didn’t like that he didn’t fit into their ‘normal’ box. They didn’t have the flexibility, tools, or understanding that you and your staff have. They didn’t listen, work with the family, work with outside resources, and, most importantly, take the time to get to know the child in order for them to be able to soar." — Camper parent email, August 2019

Fear Interrupted: Reframing Cross-Cultural Narratives at Camp

Several years ago, when I directed my camp program specifically for African- American teen girls (Camp Butterfly), there were many memorable moments. But one in particular has been etched in the recesses of my mind since the day it occurred. The event happened during one of our summer sessions; it involved a young 13-year-old girl named “Lea.”

What's the Impact of Gender-Inclusive Cabins on Campers' Friendships?

That question was one that I and my collaborator Leila Bighash sought to help answer in our recent study, recognized at the ACA National Conference with the Eleanor P. Eells Award for Research in Practice.

Camp and Culture: The Core Competencies Deeply Engrained in Culturally Responsive Camp Leaders and Counselors

Camp Includes Me Series

This feature article is part of an ongoing series of articles in Camping Magazine that will focus on inclusion, diversity, and cross-cultural agility to share in our individual communities and out in the world.