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The mission of the American Camp Association is enriching the lives of children, youth and adults through the camp experience.
The American Camp Association (ACA) is a community of camp professionals who, for over 100 years, have joined together to share our knowledge and experience and to ensure the quality of camp programs. ACA is a nonprofit national association, organized in the state of Indiana, and recognized by the Internal Revenue Service under section 501(c)3 as a charitable organization.
The association has adopted three ENDS statements, overall goals of the association:
- There will be greater public understanding of and support for the value of the camp experience.
- An increasing number of children, youth, and adults of all social, cultural, and economic groups, will have a camp experience.
- The camp experience will be of high quality.
As an organization we value the world, the people who live in it, and the contribution each individual can make. These are not separate values, but concentric circles. The values that are important to us as an organization are the same as those we strive to instill in the children we guide:
Contribution: We believe that the camp experience is essential to every child’s growth and education. Through our membership in the ACA, we contribute by working together to promote and articulate our association as a leading authority in child development. We contribute to the lives of the children and adults who participate in our programs and to their families and our communities, and, in turn, we encourage them to contribute to those who are part of their lives and to the world in which they live.
People: We believe in all the children and adults who come to our camps. They are the reason we exist. Through positive child development and partnering with parents, we encourage children to value their uniqueness and to understand and appreciate their part in the larger community. We help children develop self-esteem, character, courage, responsibility, resourcefulness, and cooperation. Quality camp experiences help children develop the healthy emotional and social skills necessary to grow into strong, considerate, competent adults.
The World: We believe that each of us plays an important role in the stewardship of our environment--both natural and manmade. We help children grow into committed, responsible citizens by teaching them to appreciate, respect, and care for the world in which they live.
- Susan E. Yoder
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