New Camp Industry Research Series, Part 1: Promoting Diversity & Inclusion at Camp

Each year, the American Camp Association conducts rigorous industry research to help better understand the camp industry and to support camps in their work. The Site, Facilities, and Programs Survey is one of three surveys administered on a rotating basis every three years (the others are the Business Operations Survey and the Staff Compensation and Benefits Survey). 

Camp Research: Your Link between the Work You Love and the Real World

Yes, I said it. “Research” — that nasty stuff your teachers make you do in school, typically involving math, Excel, APA citations, etc. When I was in school, writing research papers always felt so stiff, so stifling. As a college professor, I see my students break out in hives at the sheer thought of research, and then I feel their angst when I read what they come up with. I get it, research has a bad rap, but like it or not, it is one of the most valued skills in the job market.

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: