Let's Get Retrospective!

It’s the end of the camp season, which means you are likely looking ahead at a mountain of loose ends while at the same time looking back and seeing a long list of things you wish you had done, or wish you had done differently. This is part of the beauty of camp, that we work in cycles that have clear starting points and ending points (or at least pausing points) and a lot that goes on in between. Think back to the start of summer—are there things you know now that you wish you knew then?

How to Measure Success

I used to be a camp director, which means that, like many of you, my summers were spent in the whirl of camp. Each day flew into the next, and never did a day pass without a crisis (or 30). After ten weeks, I was left with a pile of mismatched socks and moldy towels and a deep sense that something had just happened, although I really did not know what.

Yet.

How to Measure Enrollment: Part Three

Hello camp evaluators! Welcome to Part 3 of my series on measuring enrollment. When I started this series, I believe I had in mind that it would be a single blog, but that blog extended into two and here we are at Part 3. The fact that this series has blossomed like this is an indicator of the thing we are dealing with — enrollment as a concept is more expansive and complex than it might seem.

How to Measure Enrollment: Part Two

To truly understand if you are serving campers in the ways you hope, you need to look at enrollment from several different angles.

How to Measure Enrollment: Part One

Enrollment represents the number of campers we serve — but, as straightforward as that sounds, it’s not. 

Introducing a New (and Free!) Friend: The Camp Program Quality Staff Checklist

Before I get started, I have a confession: I lied. I said in the title that in this post I was going to introduce you to a new friend, but that’s not entirely true. The Camp Program Quality Staff Checklist is not in fact new: it’s been available (for FREE!) on the ACA website for almost ten years. But it is likely new to some of you, and I’m going to discuss some new ways to use it, so the use of the word new is not entirely misleading. Now on to business.

Calling All Camp Enthusiasts! A Special Issue of Camp Research Is Here

This blog is about a special double issue of the Journal of Youth Development focused entirely on camp research.

Happy Campers: How Camp Relationships Promote Social and Emotional Learning

Young people are diverse and dynamic, and they have myriad pathways to success. Unfortunately, youth development research often highlights watered-down averages of sample sets that offer limited insight and inspiration, in part because they don’t represent the youth that organizations serve.

Let's Get This Party Started! Are You In?

The research party has started, but, like most parties, the research project is most impactful when everyone at the party is engaged, giving and taking in equal parts so the entire community party benefits.

The Unexpected Upside of Evaluation: How Your Program May Improve, Even Before Results Are In

Simply by being more intentional about assessing your program, and using existing research to sharpen your focus onto the things that matter most, you may be surprised by just how easy it is to make meaningful changes.

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