Keeping It Going: The Nature Connection Year-Round

So you did it! All your planning and intentionality in working to make connections to nature a cornerstone of your program are paying off. You watch happily as, in those glorious days of camp, children play enthusiastically and freely in the woods near their cabins, finding lucky stones, or making mini-dams in the brook. Or maybe they cleared a vacant lot and planted cucumbers and tomatoes. Perhaps they managed the recycling on their own or worked to conserve water. They learned all the local trees and enthusiastically studied bugs on their way to rest hour.

Nature Loves Nurture

In the spring of 2002, Psychologist Wallace Dixon published the results of a survey of 1,500 randomly selected, doctoral-level members of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD). He had asked the society members which studies, published since 1950, they considered "most revolutionary."In this series, psychologist Christopher Thurber - an ACA member as well as a member of SRCD - shares a summary of the top twenty most revolutionary studies.

Public Lands Use - Resources for Camps

Use of public lands and waters is essential for many camp programs.  It is estimated that at least 9 percent of all camps use public lands and waters for at least a portion of their program. ACA partners with government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels to achieve our common goal of increasing access to public lands for young people and of helping to inspire an environmental ethic among campers and staff.

Noticing Deficit Disorder - How Camp Can Restore The Art of Seeing the World

We are in the midst of an epidemic of visual impairment no medical doctor can fix — but which camps might cure. Back in the `60s, artist, researcher, and psychologist Rudolf Arnheim (1969) lamented that the American school system had become a “12-year apprenticeship in aesthetic alienation,” — producing children whose eyes could no longer see. Today, our children’s entire minds (and many of our own) have become serfs to technology, seduced into acquiring contrived world views presented on a dizzying array of digital platforms.

Community Parks Revitalization Act


The Community Parks Revitalization Act will provide matching federal grants for much needed parks and recreation infrastructure. Specifically, the bill would authorize the Department of Housing and Urban Development to:

Children and Nature: How Camp Teaches Kids to Think Green!

After a long day of exercise and fun at camp, children’s eyes can be much bigger than their stomachs! Camps across the country are encouraging children to put on their plates only what they will eat, then camps teach children about recycling by converting the leftovers into compost. The compost is then used to fertilize the fields that create food for the campers!

Children and Nature Belong Together

How Camp Teaches Kids to Think Green!
Camp programs are among the very best ways for children to learn a lasting appreciation for nature and a lifelong interest in caring for the earth.

The Natural Gifts of Camp 
By Richard Louv

Family Fun Ideas to Get Green!
Ten ways for you and your child to connect with nature.

Nature & Environment

Establish a learning environment that capitalizes on the experiential opportunities offered within the camp setting to facilitate an emotional connection to — and stewardship of — nature.

Competency Aspiration

Build participants’ appreciation of nature as well as model practices that promote stewardship and sustainability.