Government Relations Update — March 2022

Throughout the pandemic, the American Camp Association (ACA) has been advocating for the full field of camp at the national level to ensure that camps can operate fully — without additional barriers or unintended consequences that might result from new national legislation or regulation. The following article will provide updates on a number of current key initiatives.

Visas for International Staff and Campers

Annually, nearly 30,000 international students provide cultural exchange as staff at camps in the United States.  International campers also provide an important aspect of cultural exchange as they live side-by-side in US camps with American campers.  

Public Policy

As an educational nonprofit association, the American Camp Association is dedicated to providing quality, reliable, and up-to-date information about the laws and regulations applicable to the camp community.  To that end, ACA partners with other organizations to advocate for quality camp experiences, and to increase the understanding of and support for the value of the camp experience for all children and families.  Access detailed information about all of our government relations and public policy initiatives in the following categories below:

School Comes to Camp: A New Era in Funding Camp/School Partnerships - Three Part Series

Think camp!  Think academics surrounded with the enrichment experiences camps traditionally provide. Add in the social emotional learning skills camps reinforce.  The result is a community based expanded learning experience dedicated to the whole child.  It is a partnership between the K-12 educational community and the out of school time community – including CAMP.  This is the new era.  This three-part series will explore that relationship including opportunities, funding sources, program design, resources, research, case studies. Think CAMP!

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Limit Raised to $2 Million

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has retooled the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program to better serve and support businesses still reeling from the pandemic. 

Updated Financial Relief for Camps

September 8, 2021

Since the American Rescue Plan was signed into law on March 11, 2021, several federal relief provisions have been made that can further provide much-needed relief to many camps and youth-serving organizations across the country.

Question & Answer - Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021

This Question & Answer resource will help camps understand many of the various provisions in the law. ACA will continue to update this resource as new information becomes available. 

Designating Camp Staff as Essential Workers

ACA has been advocating for camps and other youth-serving organizations at the federal and state level with an urgency and focus at an unprecedented level — matching the unimaginable challenges camps and camp professionals are facing today. One of our most important advocacy initiatives right now is to have camp staff certified as “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers,” allowing staff to be prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccination within the Education sector.

Camps May Be Eligible for Expanded Main Street Loan Program

Effective July 17, 2020, the Federal Reserve has expanded its Main Street Lending Program to include nonprofits with at least 10 employees, opening another potential avenue for camps that meet this and other requirements to receive financial assistance during the coronavirus pandemic. The original proposal required a minimum of 50 employees. As a direct result of ACA’s advocacy on the issue, this threshold was lowered to 10, making this potential relief vehicle accessible to many more camps in the country.