Research & Evaluation

Learn about ACA's summer camp research, camp evaluation tools and services, and research related to youth development and out-of-school time experiences.

ACA Camp Business Operations Report

Access the most recent budget and finance data for camps. 

Staffing, Compensation, and Benefits Report

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:

Our Research & Innovation

The ACA research team supports and facilitates rigorous research in order to expand the value and visibility of the summer camp experience and provide research-informed resources for camps.  Explore summaries, scholarly reports, research briefs, and research-informed resources from current and past research initiatives.

Working at Summer Camp Can Be More Than Fun and Skill Development

Working at camp can be a blast and a great opportunity to make lifelong friends while learning skills useful to life beyond camp. Although a great deal of camp research has focused on understanding the benefits of attending camp for youth participants, we know less about what this experience is like for the staff who make the programs happen. Do not fear! Research about seasonal summer camp staff experiences does exist (see Warner et al., 2021 for a review) and more is on the way! 

Webinar - Evidence-Informed Guidance for Summer Camp Staff Training

This webinar will provide camp professionals with promising, evidence-based practices for summer staff training. 

ACA Research Forum

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. Previously known as the Camp Research Symposium.

Celebrating Camp: New Research on the Similarities and Differences across Camp Types

This Research 360 blog post discusses a new study called Similarities and Differences in Summer Camps: A Mixed Methods Study of Lasting Outcomes and Program Elements.

5-Year Camp Impact Study

Exploring the outcomes of the camp experience related to career/college readiness for campers and staff.

Update on the Camp Program Quality Initiative

Building systems of continuous quality improvement within our camps and greater community ultimately supports our goal of positive youth development — and this is exactly what the Camp Program Quality Initiative has set out to do.

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