Today, the American Camp Association (ACA) celebrates the release of a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that identifies how four overnight summer camps in Maine were able to operate safely and successfully without the spread of COVID-19 this summer.

Integral to these camps’ success was employing a multilayered nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPI) strategy, reflecting adherence to measures outlined in ACA’s educational resource, a Field Guide for Camps on Implementation of CDC Guidance. Each of the NPIs provides a limited layer of protection, but when implemented collectively in a consistent and diligent manner by a camp’s entire community — campers, staff members, and camp parents/guardians — they create a culture of compliance that can prevent and mitigate transmission of disease.


“This study of more than 1000 camp attendees shows promising data that overnight camps can operate safely in the era of COVID-19,” said lead study author Laura Blaisdell, MD/MPH, FAAP. “With this foundational information we look forward to ACA convening wider studies investigating the experience of more diverse camp experiences this year.”

President and CEO of the American Camp Association, Tom Rosenberg, said, “While safety was the foundation for a successful summer, the camp experience teaches children social-emotional skills for 21-century learning and leadership. These skills are paramount to persevering in a time of pandemic and beyond.”

Dr. Blaisdell highlights the four participant camps did not restrict attendance from any part of the country or globally. The study’s findings demonstrate that a multilayered public health prevention and mitigation strategy in an overnight camp setting can identify and control COVID-19 transmission, regardless of the prevalence of the virus in campers and staff arriving from various communities.


Rosenberg emphasized the importance of this new report, stating: “This summer, more than 3,000 day and overnight camps ran, serving kids and families in need of fun and engaging time outdoors with friends. Camp provided much-needed time away from technology, with opportunities to thrive socially, emotionally, and physically in a year marked with isolation and unprecedented challenges for every family. Camp was truly the unsung hero of summer 2020 for every kid able to attend.”

Rosenberg followed this statement with exciting news about ACA’s upcoming four research studies focused on camp practices and programs that continued to provide safe and engaging camp experiences this summer by following ACA’s educational resource, a Field Guide for Camps on Implementation of CDC Guidance. “Looking ahead to school this fall, the upcoming research will support educators and after-school programs adhering to ACA’s Field Guide’s suggested practices. Applying multiple layers of NPI’s and leaning into a culture of compliance, even without testing and bubbling, can help any school or organization that brings children together while mitigating spread of the virus.”

In closing, Rosenberg said, “The primary goal of this research is to identify effective practices so that more camps will offer in-person day and overnight programming for summer 2021, ensuring children receive the life-changing camp experiences they need and deserve. Today’s report is positive news for the coming year, and the ACA would like to thank Laura Blaisdell, MD/MPH, FAAP, et. al for this landmark study.”


About American Camp Association
The American Camp Association® (ACA) is a national organization with more than 12,000 individual members and 3,100 member camps. ACA is committed to collaborating with those who believe in quality camp and outdoor experiences for children, youth, and adults. ACA provides advocacy, evidence-based education, and professional development, and is the only independent national accrediting body for the organized camp experience. ACA accredits approximately 2,400 diverse US camps. ACA Accreditation provides public evidence of a camp’s voluntary commitment to the health, safety, risk management, and overall well-being of campers and staff. For more information, visit or call 800-428-2267.


Brandon Peterson_Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp_IMG_1713

The American Camp Association and YMCA of the USA Announce Groundbreaking Educational Resource to Support Summer Camp Safety

Martinsville, IN (May 18, 2020) — The American Camp Association (ACA) and the YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) announce the release of Camp Operations Guide – Summer 2020, a groundbreaking educational resource developed to support day and overnight summer camp operations this summer. ACA more

active-activity-adult-1430116 (1)

Camp and its Lasting Impact; a Study from the American Camp Association

Salt Lake City, UT, (August 8th, 2019) - Meeting new friends, trying new activities, and spending time away from home. These are all things we remember fondly when looking back at the camp experience. But did you know they these experiences can impact young people’s lives for the more


SylvanSport’s New VAST is the Definition of Comfortable Camping

Brevard, NC (June 12, 2019) - SylvanSport, industry innovators of the camper lifestyle, continue to break the mold with the VAST camper. An extraordinary new travel trailer, the VAST has been reimagined with breakthrough design and engineering. SylvanSport’s biggest camper yet, more


The American Camp Association Begins Important Work to Achieve Access and Inclusion at Camp through Counselor-in-Training Programs

Martinsville, IN (November, 16 2020) — The American Camp Association (ACA) announces an exciting new project that includes a three-year grant program designed to foster evidence-informed planning, testing, and improving initiatives to increase access to and engagement in more

Camp Stomping Grounds

ACA Camps Offering Free Online Activities for Kids During Coronavirus Outbreak

Martinsville, IN (March 25, 2020) - Recognizing with schools closing and child care options at a minimum parents and carers may be struggling to entertain their kids, many American Camp Association (ACA) Accredited Camps (and growing) are rallying to keep the camp experience more

Heather Monks_YMCA Camp Shady Brook_CSB17-Session9-Weds-038-39

American Camp Association Influential in Ensuring Youth Outdoor Recreation Participatio

Martinsville, IN (March 16, 2020) - The American Camp Association (ACA) - leaders in youth camp development - have enriched lives through the camp experience for over 100 years. For the past 5, they have been diligently researching how broadly ACA camp experiences affect the more

Blue Ridge Chair Works Debuts New Products for Spring 2020

Asheville, NC (March 5, 2020) - Blue Ridge Chair Works - a North Carolina based outdoor furniture brand - kicks 2020 off with two new offerings ideal for the quickly developing overland market. Meet The Nomad Stool and the Limited Edition - Blue Ridge Chair, chic, on-the-go more


GoSun Launches Flatware: Utensils That Fit In Your Wallet, Not The Ocean

October 5, 2020 (Cincinnati, OH) - Green Energy Company GoSun - known for their ingenious solar ovens and appliances - introduces their latest innovation: Flatware. The size and shape of a credit card, Flatware - a pop out travel utensil set - aims to target single-use plastic more


Watershed Joins Kitsbow, Industry Nine, Oowee Products in COVID-19 Response

Asheville, NC (March 30, 2020) - Known for their top-of-the-line submersible packs, duffels and cases, Watershed Drybags joins the ranks of Kitsbow, Industry Nine and Oowee Products in creating hundreds of thousands of face shields in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The more