American Camp Association: Parent's Guide To Summer Camp


Summer camp is much more than bug juice and color war. Camps provide children with skills and memories that will help them throughout life. Finding the right camp for your child and preparing for the summer may feel very overwhelming for parents. 

American Camp Association

The American Camp Association (ACA) acts as a parental guide for summer camps by helping parents navigate the camp experience. ​ACA, a leading authority in youth development, is made up of a community of camp professionals who joined together to share their knowledge and experience.

 ACA provides comprehensive summer camp resources for families, including expert advice from camp directors on selecting the right camp, camp readiness, child development and other issues important to families. 

Tom Holland, ACA's Chief Foundation and Funds Development Officer explains that “camp experiences are ripe with opportunities for teens to learn, makes friends, have adventures, and yes, “just chill” with their friends and role models. These opportunities are rare in our over-scheduled world. We mean well as parents, but in today’s world, our children are finding fewer and fewer opportunities to relax and explore in an environment where they can also grow. Camp provides that for these teens.

ACA accredits over 2,400 camps. ACA-Accredited® camps meet up to 300 standards for health, safety, and program quality (Safety Tips/Accreditation).

Find a Camp

ACA provides parents with an easy-to-use online camp search of the 2,400 camps.

ACA's "Find a Camp" allows parents to search by the following categories: day camp, overnight camp or family and then limit the search by age/gender, location, disabilities or special populations, activities, session/dates/duration, cost, affiliation/religion or culture, overnight specific and waterfront options.

Tom Holland encourages parents to ”engage your child in the decision of choosing. Their ability to participate in the process will ultimately help to set the stage for a successful camp experience. The best camp experiences occur when children take an active role in choosing a camp that aligns with their interests. There is a camp experience for everyone, including travel camps, specialized camps, or traditional camps, for an example."

American Camp Association is your guide to finding the right camp and will help prepare both you and your child for a wonderful summer!

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