New England is home to some of the most beautiful mountains, beaches, lakes and rivers in the country. Nestled among this natural beauty are hundreds of camps accredited by the American Camp Association. Over generations, campers and staff have shared stories about friends made, skills learned, and challenges overcome. To understand why thousands of families send their children to ACA-Accredited camps in New England every year, we’ve broken down the big question into its three essential parts.

Why summer camp?

For years, camp directors have witnessed and championed the positive impact a quality camp experience has on a child. In 2016, the American Camp Association launched a five-Year Camp Impact study to verify and support what camp professionals have professed since the beginning. Preliminary findings suggest that relationship skills, independence, appreciation for individual differences, and an appreciation for living in the moment are all things campers and staff report learning through camp. Learn more about the science behind camp success on the American Camp Association’s Research page.

Why an ACA-Accredited camp?

While most New England states require a license to operate a summer camp, ACA-Accreditation is a commitment to a higher level of quality and deeper level of scrutiny. Seeing the ACA-Accredited Camp Logo associated with a camp means the camp has undergone a thorough, peer-review of its program and operations by trained visitors. Guiding those visitors and camps are nearly 300 standards recognized by both government regulators and courts of law as the standards for all camps in the industry. The ACA-Accredited Camp Logo on a camp means you can trust their ongoing dedication to quality and safety in all aspects of the camp’s operation. When seeking out a camp experience for campers or staff, make sure to look for the logo.

Why an accredited camp in New England?

New England is the home of summer camp. In 1861, Frederick Gunn of the Gunnery (Washington, Conn.) took his students on a two-week trek, 30 miles away from the comforts of school. Once safely in nature, the group foraged, swam, sang songs, and performed military drills (in 1861, you never knew when duty called). Being the first campers themselves, these youngsters referred to the activity as “gypsying.” Since then, camping in New England has grown to over 350 accredited camps and remains THE home of summer camp.

Selecting a camp is an important decision. Whether a parent choosing a summer home for a child or a young adult seeking a summer work adventure, finding the right fit is paramount. To get a head start on finding the right camp, visit ACA’s Find-A-Camp tool, select the six New England states, and simply look for the logo.

How can I verify that my child’s camp is ACA accredited?

Parents can (and should) verify the accreditation status of any camp at any time by visiting ACA’s Web site at www.ACAcamps.org or by calling 1-800-428-CAMP.

If your child’s summer camp isn’t ACA-accredited, ask WHY NOT?

Keep in Mind — Informed parents are best prepared to select a camp that meets their standards for staff, programs, safety, and facilities and strives to promote the welfare of every child.

Provided by the American Camp Association, New England, a 501 (c) 3 organization that serves families and camps as the hub for “all things summer camp” in New England. For help finding a camp or for additional camp information and resources in CT, MA, ME, NH, RI & VT, visit www.acanewengland.org or call (781) 541-6080.

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