Program Outcomes at a Resident Camp for Youth with Serious Illnesses, Disabilities, and Life Challenges

In 2005, the American Camp Association (ACA) published the first large-scale national research project assessing the youth development outcomes of children who attend day and resident camps in the summer. Children between the ages of eight and 14 from 80 ACA-accredited day and resident camps participated in the study. Results indicated the camp experience was a positive influence on youth development in four domains: positive identity, physical and thinking skills, social skills, and positive values and spirituality.

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.

Summer Camp: A Unique Environment for Social and Emotional Learning

As an education research organization affiliated with the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, we thought it was an exciting opportunity to investigate camp as a unique learning environment. 

National Conference Takeaways for Practitioners, Researchers, and Everyone in Between

In the latest Research 360 blog post, ACA Research Assistant Victoria Povilaitis shares highlights from several research sessions that were held at the ACA National Conference

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