CARE-ing for Camp: The Committee for the Advancement of Research and Evaluation

Hello Camp Evaluators! Spring is a busy time for camp people — with the ACA National Conference, several major regional conferences, and annual camp preparations, it is hard to believe camp people can find time to volunteer for ACA. But indeed, there are volunteers at local and national levels that give their time and expertise to our camp community over and above their many, many camp responsibilities.

More Exciting Research: Finding and Keeping Great Staff

Hello Camp Evaluators!  In my last post, I wrote about ACA’s Impact Study and some of the things we are learning as we launch Phase 1.  What I didn’t share is a second exciting ACA research project — this one focused on leadership development among CITs/LITs and young staff.   To tell you about this project I asked Dr. Deb Bialeschki — former ACA Director of Research and now Senior Researcher — to describe the purpose and timeline, as well as how this project complements the 5-Year Impact Study.

Here’s Deb:

5-Year Impact Study Update: 3 Lessons Learned So Far

Hello Camp Evaluators!

If you are new to the Research 360 blog, you’ll see that our posts fall into three main categories: camp evaluation tips and tricks, creating powerful charts and reports, and updates on ACA’s 5-Year Impact Study. Today’s post falls into this last category, but stay with us over the next few weeks, as we have new topics planned in the other two categories. 

2016 Camper Enrollment: With Strong Enrollment Comes New Challenges

The results from the 2016 Enrollment Survey are in, and here's the bottom line: Camps had a good year as enrollment continued to rise. The majority of camps reported at least maintaining the same enrollment numbers compared to 2015, and, in many cases, they were higher. This enrollment trend is a sign we have recovered from the economic recession, but with strong enrollment comes new challenges. Camps now face issues with capacity, competition, and diversity.

February is for Evaluation Capacity Building

Hello Camp Evaluators! In my camp director days, February was an auspicious month. The lull of the holidays is over, but summer still feels like a long way off. March, for me, was pedal-to-the-metal time, which made February a strange combination of anticipation and calm: like a racer with their toe on the starting line waiting for the starting gun to go off.

From Silence to TMI: How to Get Useful Information from Your Parent Surveys

Surveying parents before, during, and after camp programs is one of the most common forms of camp evaluation, yet it is not easy to do well. Some parents are vocal and tell you more than you want to know while others do not complete the survey at all. This webinar will provide some tips to help you ask useful questions and get (lots of) useful responses, all while demonstrating to your parents that you value their voice and participation in your program.

Learning Objectives:

Tips and Tricks for Developing a Logic Model

Greetings Camp Evaluators! Today’s post comes from ACA National Board Member Lisa Westrich, who is the program development director at Challenge Success. In this role, Lisa works closely with schools and camps to improve programming, operations, and other initiatives through research and evaluation. We asked Lisa to write about logic models because this is one tool she has used with great success when working with camps. Here’s Lisa:

Research 360: Politics (I Dare You, Keep Reading!)

Hello colleagues! Yesterday was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and a day that holds a lot of meaning for our country, our communities, and our work at camp. But this day seems to hold particular meaning this year as our nation faces unprecedented ideological divisiveness and uncertainty. So, in recognition of this day and the hard work that lies ahead, I must write about the one topic you thought you were safe from in a blog about evaluation: politics.


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Choosing a Camp: Don’t Forget the Data!

Hello camp parents! My name is Laurie, and I recently joined ACA as the Director of Research. In this role, I facilitate Research 360, which is ACA’s new strategic focus on research and evaluation. The goals of this initiative are to conduct a 5-Year Impact Study on camp experiences and to help camps start and expand their own evaluation efforts.

Research 360: A Crash Course in Geek Speak

Happy New Year, Camp Evaluators! The year 2017 brings a lot of excitement for ACA’s Research 360 efforts, for both local camp evaluation and the 5-Year Impact Study. For local camps (the inside of the Research 360 circle), we will expand our evaluation training resources and initiate a Youth Outcomes Battery User’s Group.