Web Exclusive - June 2012
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Camp Trends

A Look at Trends in Camps, Campgrounds & RV Parks

By Emily Tipping

Facility Plans

Respondents from camp facilities were far more likely than others to report that they had plans for construction over the next three years, whether to build new facilities, add to their existing facilities or renovate. While 60.4 percent of all respondents had some construction plans, for camp respondents that number jumps to 80.2 percent. Nearly two-thirds (65.5 percent) said they planned to renovate their existing facilities. Another 44 percent have plans for additions, and 42.2 percent are planning new facilities.

Camps, of course, spend a great deal less than most other respondents on their construction, with an average budget for their current plans of $1,312,000, compared to $4,225,000 for all facility types.

The features most commonly found now in camp facilities include: trails; open spaces; campgrounds; playgrounds; outdoor sports courts; park structures such as shelters and restroom buildings; waterfront and marinas; outdoor aquatic facilities; classrooms and meeting rooms; and challenge courses.

Some 50 percent of camp respondents indicated that they have plans to add more features at their facilities over the next three years, making them the most likely of all facilities to be planning such additions. The features most commonly planned for addition include:

  1. Climbing walls (planned by 22.4 percent of camp respondents who have plans to add features)
  2. Splash play areas (20.7 percent)
  3. Trails (20.7 percent)
  4. Disc golf courses (17.2 percent)
  5. Nature centers (17.2 percent)
  6. Outdoor aquatic facilities (17.2 percent)
  7. Classrooms and meeting rooms (15.5 percent)
  8. Open spaces (13.8 percent)
  9. Outdoor sports courts (13.8 percent)
  10. Challenge courses (13.8 percent)


As usual, respondents from camp facilities offer different types of programming, compared with other respondents. The vast majority (98.3 percent) of camp respondents said they offer programming of one kind or another. The 10 programs most commonly found among their facilities include:

  1. Day camps and summer camps (69.8 percent of camp respondents)
  2. Camping (69 percent)
  3. Arts and crafts (63.8 percent)
  4. Holiday events and other special events (53.4 percent)
  5. Educational programs (48.3 percent)
  6. Teen programming (46.6 percent)
  7. Environmental education (44.8 percent)
  8. Water sports (41.4 percent)
  9. Trips (34.5 percent)
  10. Climbing programs (30.2 percent)

Nearly one-third (32.8 percent) of camp respondents reported that they have plans to add more programs to their lineup over the next several years. The top planned programs include:

  1. Environmental education (also No. 1 planned program in 2011)
  2. Holiday events and other special events (up from No. 9)
  3. Educational programs (down from No. 2)
  4. Day camps and summer camps (down from No. 3)
  5. Arts and crafts (up from No. 6)
  6. Teen programming (down from No. 5)
  7. Water sports (down from No. 4)
  8. Climbing programs (down from No. 7)
  9. Fitness programs (did not appear in last year's top planned programs)
  10. Active older adult programs (did not appear last year)