Many individuals have happy memories of summers spent with friends at camp, playing outside, learning new things and just having fun in general. The American Camp Association, a community of summer camp professionals that works to ensure the quality of camp programs across the country and enrich the lives of children, youth and adults through the camp experience, took a look at the industry and how it benefits kids each year.
Summer Camp by the Numbers
- 14,000+ day and resident camps exist in the U.S.
- 8,400 are resident (overnight)
- 5,600 are day camps
- Camp is an $18 billion industry
- 14 million+ children and adults attend camp each year in the U.S.
Half of summer camps report having community service or good deed programs incorporated into their programs. The top projects conducted at camps were community clean-ups, food drives, recycling programs and volunteering with senior citizens and hospital patients. These experiences benefit children in many ways even long after camp has ended.
Source: American Camp Association
The Benefits of Camp
Summer camp has a variety of benefits outside of providing a fun place for kids to play and learn with their friends while school is out. These statistics from the ACA Youth Outcomes Study shows what children and their parents are getting out of time spent at camp.
- 96% Camp helped me make new friends
- 93% Camp helped me get to know kids who are different from me
- 92% The people at camp helped me feel good about myself
- 74% At camp, I did things I was afraid to do at first
- 70% My child gained self-confidence at camp
- 69% My child remains in contact with friends made at summer camp
- 63% My child continues to participate in some of the new activities he or she learned at summer camp
Source: ACA Youth Outcomes Study