Feature Article - June 2009
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A Look at Trends in Camps & Campgrounds

The features of these facilities are heavily focused on amenities that provide an outlet for outdoor activity. More than two-thirds of camps respondents said their facilities currently include trails (68.5 percent) and open spaces like natural areas or gardens (67.8 percent). More than half also said they currently include outdoor aquatic facilities (61 percent), playgrounds (56.2 percent), park structures like restrooms and picnic shelters (55.5 percent), campgrounds (of course, 53.4 percent), and outdoor sports courts (50.7 percent). More than two in five also include classrooms and meeting rooms (47.9 percent) and/or a waterfront or marina (46.6 percent).

According to a survey from the American Camp Association, 75 percent of camp directors reported that they had been adding new activities and programs over the past few years, with a focus on challenging and adventurous activities featuring high and low ropes courses, climbing walls, zip lines, backpacking, mountain biking and cave exploring.

Hole in One

The third most commonly planned addition at camp facilities—disc golf courses—may come as a surprise to some readers, but it shouldn't.

Played like traditional golf, disc golf was formalized in the 1970s and features a flying disc or Frisbee in place of the ball. Also like golf, it can be played in beautiful settings, with a nine-hole course requiring as little as five acres of land, according to the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA).

"Disc golf courses can coexist with existing park facilities and activity areas," the association reports on its Web site. "The ideal location combines wooded and open terrains, and a variety of topographical change."

The site includes resources to help you design and install a disc golf course. To learn more, visit www.pdga.com.