As the holiday season approaches, the American Camp Association® (ACA) is offering parents and grandparents a unique gift ideas for children: Camp. The gift of camp is one that never breaks, something children never grow tired of, and an experience that offers the recipient life-long benefits. -Deidre Pettinga, Meltwater Press

To aid in the selection of a camp, ACA provides parents an easy-to-use, searchable database called Find A Camp, available at This flexible site allows parents to search both day and overnight camps, along with specialty camps and other programs that best serve the needs of the individual camper. Parents can search ten different criteria to help find camps that would best fit their child’s needs and interests. Selection parameters include:

- camper’s age and gender - cost
- location - affiliation, religion or culture
- disabilities or special populations - overnight specific camps
- activities offered - day specific camps
- session dates / duration - waterfront camps
In addition to helping adults find the right camp for their child, the ACA website ( offers parents resources on evaluating their child’s readiness for camp, preparing them for the camp experience, as well as information on the importance of selecting an ACA–Accredited® Camp.

As the only nationally-recognized accrediting body for the camp experience, ACA accredits approximately 2,400 diverse camps in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Currently, only one in four camps across the county is an accredited camp. ACA-Accredited® Camps meet up to 300 health and safety standards. Accreditation is a family’s best evidence that a camp is committed to the health, safety, and overall well-being of their child.

Parents and grandparents who give the gift of camp are making a choice that will have a life-long, positive impact on the development of a child. The camp experience yields tremendous benefits for campers. They grow in self-confidence, problem-solving, persistence, and self-reliance. According to ACA research, the benefits of camp are recognized by both campers and their parents.
Camper Results Parent Comments
Camp helped me make new friends. (96%)
Camp helped me get to know kids who are different from me. (93%)
The people at camp helped me feel good about myself. (92%)
At camp, I did things I was afraid to do at first. (74%) My child gained self-confidence at camp (70%)
My child continues to participate in some of the new activities he or she learned at camp. (63%)
My child remains in contact with friends made at camp. (69%)
ACA Chief Executive Officer Tom Holland shares his comments on the importance of the Gift of Camp in this video.
To commemorate the gift of camp, ACA also provides families with a free downloadable gift certificate, available at For more information on selecting a camp or providing the gift of camp to a child, parents can contact ACA at or call 1-800-428-2267.



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