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1996 summer camp survey results.

The American Camping Association conducts an annual survey of ACA-accredited camps to gather information on issues such as summer camp enrollment, demographics, and trends. Of the respondents to the 1996 survey,

* 80% represented resident camps

* 20% represented day camps.

Enrollment is up

52% of camp directors surveyed reported an average increase in summer camper enrollment by 15% in 1996 over 1995's figures. An additional 28% of survey respondents reported 1996 enrollment at about the same as the previous year.

New camp programs

61% of camp directors surveyed reported adding new activities and programs over the past few years. The most common reasons given by camp directors for adding new programs include:

* camper and/or family requests

* diversity

* attract older or younger campers

Most common program trends

* challenging and adventurous activities: high and low ropes courses, climbing wall, backpacking, rock climbing, zip lines, mountain biking, technical tree climbing, wilderness camping, and cave exploring

* equine activities

* in-line skating/roller hockey

* increased emphasis on fine arts, such as origami, ceramics, leather crafts, woodworking, photography, theatre, drama, and dance

* unique program additions: dulcimer making, hot air ballooning, canoe building, astronomy, circus arts, and wind surfing

Parents and camp directors form partnerships

The American Camping Association's vision statement is "Camp gives kids a world of good." Camp is a building block in the successful development of children and youth. Camp directors and parents rated camp's four most important contributions to child development:

* self-confidence and self-esteem

* getting along with others/teamwork

* an appreciation for the outdoors/environmental concerns

* recreational skills

Camp builds community

* 85% of camps surveyed reported offering financial assistance to campers, with the average amount being $33,000; campership amounts ranged from small contributions to $870,000.

* 30% of camps reported having community service or other good deed programs, including food drives, recycling programs, trail maintenance and cleanup at local parks, and fire/rescue volunteering and support.

Camp utilization

* 29% offer summer day camp

* 51% offer youth group rental

* 62% offer weekend programs/retreats

* 53% offer group trainings/meetings

* 34% offer family reunions

* 69% offer summer resident camp

* 40% offer outdoor education

* Less than 1% offer elder hostel

* 17% offer corporate retreats

* 45% offer programs school groups

[TABULAR DATA OMITTED]
COPYRIGHT 1997 American Camping Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:American Camping Association's survey of ACA-accredited camps
Publication:Camping Magazine
Date:Mar 1, 1997
Words:366
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