Summer camps have been around almost as long as kids have had summer breaks. And they’re more popular than ever. Here are some facts and figures from the American Camp Association.
Each year more than 14 million children and adults attend camp in the U.S.
Camps employ more than 1.5 million camp staff to work in various camp positions.
82 percent of camps report enrollment that stayed the same or increased within the past five years, and 50% of camps are reportedly 90-99 percent full.
44 percent of camps offer specialized programs for individuals with disabilities.
86 percent of camps offer recreational swimming, 63 percent offer camping skills, 34 percent offer horseback riding, 75 percent offer teambuilding, 23 percent offer farming/ranching/gardening, and 21 percent offer wilderness trips.
In the past two years, camps have added programs such as adventure camps/programs (22 percent); family camps/programs (15 percent); nature/environmental education programs (12 percent); and gardening programs (19 percent).
Other new programs include college planning programs; health, wellness, and fitness programs; service learning / community service programs; and cooking with food from the camp’s garden.
Half of 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.
93 percent of ACA-accredited camps offer some form of financial assistance to over one million children who are from economically deprived families, have special medical needs, or special situations that might preclude them from attending camp.
Some stars made the most out of their summer camp experiences.
“When I was 10, I won the horseshoe-throwing contest at summer camp. I was also the Wiffle ball champion in my town.”
-Actor Dwayne Johnson
“It’s been a dream of mine to run my own summer camp. I went to one as a kid, and I put on productions, and got lots of confidence.”
-Idina Menzel, actress, singer & songwriter
“I hate camping, but I love summer camp.”
-Actress Zooey Deschanel
“I always try to describe making movies like summer camp… where you spend all day, every day with a new group of people whom you kind of love and then never see again.”
-Eddie Redmayne, British actor who starred in ‘The Theory of Everything’ and ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’
“It’s one thing to experience your Broadway debut alone, but to share it with an entire company was like summer camp… where you were really growing up together.”
-Lancaster County native Jonathan Groff, actor and singer
“There is something very special about being away from your parents for the first time, sleeping under the stars, hiking and canoeing.”
-Actress Jami Gertz
–Quotes are from brainyquote.com