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:

Excellence in Research in Practice

In 2015, ACA, with the help of the Committee for the Advancement of Research and Evaluation (CARE), created the Eleanor P. Eells Award for Excellence in Research in Practice. This award is designed to honor camp programs that:

2022 ACA Research Forum

Please consider sharing your camp-related research at the 2022 Camp Research Forum, held in conjunction with the American Camp Association National Conference, February 8-11, 2022, in Portland, OR.

2021 Camper Enrollment Snapshot

With spring officially sprung and summer just around the corner, it’s hard to believe another camp season is nearly upon us! In an effort to try and gain some insight into enrollment and staffing trends for the upcoming summer, we recently sent out our annual enrollment snapshot survey. However, knowing that 2020 was a unique year, we asked respondents to think back and compare current enrollment and staffing trends to 2019, prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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!