ACA Awarded $2.25 Million to Create, Improve and Expand Leadership Pathways at Camp

The American Camp Association (ACA) is pleased to announce that over 20 camps across the United States will join Phase 2 of the Leadership Pathways Project. The project provides financial support to nonprofit summer camps and qualifying organizations that run camp. Grant recipients will receive up to $18,000 per year for three years to support creating, improving, or expanding counselor-in-training (CIT) or similar leadership development programs at camp.

Participating camps will work with a peer cohort to design, implement, and improve a CIT-related initiative to increase access to camp leadership pathways for young people of diverse backgrounds, abilities, and identities. The grant project runs from May 2024 to May 2027, with ongoing support to participating camps from ACA and its partners, through organized Community of Practice convenings, in-person conferences, and technical assistance.

This second round of funding comes on the heels of the success of the first 20 camps that participated in Phase 1 in 2021–2024, who expanded growth opportunities for campers to become counselors through CIT and leadership programs. This also demonstrates the effectiveness of investing in initiatives that increase access for youth of all backgrounds and abilities. ACA received over 300 applications for this project, and chose 21 grant recipients that represent the diversity of youth, staff, and camps across our country, including a mixture of day and overnight camps, and ACA-affiliated, not affiliated, member and non-member camps. Future grant project updates can be found on the ACA Leadership Pathways Project web page. This project was established through a grant opportunity from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP).

The awarded camp organizations are:

  • Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project - Camp ANV (California)
  • B'nai B'rith Camp, LLC / B'nai B'rith Men's Camp Association - BB Camp (Oregon)
  • Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco - Camp Mendocino (California)
  • Butler Community Arts School - Butler Community Arts School (Indiana)
  • Camp Fire Alaska - Camp K on Kenai Lake (Alaska)
  • Camp for All Kids - Four Star Fellowship Program (Wisconsin)
  • Camp Hazen YMCA (Connecticut)
  • Easterseals Central Illinois - Timber Pointe Outdoor Center (Illinois)
  • Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta - Camp Meriwether and Camp Misty Mountain (Georgia)
  • Happiness Is Camping (New Jersey)
  • Live Oak Wilderness Camp (Mississippi, serving New Orleans youth)
  • Maven Youth - LGBT+ Youth Summer Tech Camp (Texas)
  • No Limits Foundation - Camp No Limits (Maine)
  • Piers Park Sailing Center - Future Leaders Summer Camp (Massachusetts)
  • The Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center (New Hampshire)
  • The Fresh Air Fund (New York)
  • The H.E.A.R.T. Center (Arizona)
  • The TVRC Education Foundation, Inc - Teton Valley Ranch Camp (Wyoming)
  • University of Montana spectrUM Discovery Area - spectrUM Science Camps (Montana)
  • Wa-Ya Outdoor Institute - Camp Wa-Ya (Washington)
  • YWCA VT Camp Hochelaga (Vermont)