Letter from ACA

Several campers sitting around a table.Childhood, what a magical time. Mysteries, discoveries, and possibilities abound during childhood. However, some children, today, have that period of magic compromised by hurried schedules, emotional and physical challenges, and economic and social hardships. Yet, childhood is no less important. The truth be known, it is more important.

I am a fierce protector of childhood. I desperately want my children to feel accepted by their peers and to feel the warmth of friendship. The sweet giggles of shared joy and mischief should be a given rite of passage. I, passionately, want my children to experience the delight of success and accomplishment surrounded by peers and caring adults. I want my children to feel embraced by the power of sheer grit and will. I hunger for my children to be able to explore the power of independence and risk-taking, while surrounded by the protective arms of those who care. For many parents, these treasures cannot be secured by simply sending your child out the door. Alternative settings must be secured.

For me, one of the best alternative settings can be found in the camp community. Camp is an environment that has been designed for and with young children. It is said, “there is a camp for everyone.” Camp is a place where the best of childhood is preserved and nurtured. A community secured with caring and trained adults. Camp, a place full of mysteries, discoveries, and possibilities.

I cannot help but believe that regardless of the challenges any of us face, in the most fundamental way we all want our children to be safe, have friends, know success, feel independent, and experience acceptance. I knew camp would give those gifts to my child. I believe camp can give the same to your child. Funny, I received the same gifts inkind. Give the gift of camp because Camp Gives Kids a World of Good.


Peg Smith
Executive Director, American Camping Association

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