Campfire Notes

“Camplifying” the World with Tom Rosenberg, CEO of the American Camp Association

“Camplifying” the World with Tom Rosenberg, CEO of the American Camp Association

Sunshine Parenting Ep. 98: “Camplifying” the World with Tom Rosenberg, CEO of the American Camp Association.

In Episode 98 of the Sunshine Parenting Podcast, Audrey “Sunshine” Monke chats with Tom Rosenberg, CEO of the American Camp Association. Sunshine and Tom talk about research about the positive impact of camp and their joint passion for partnering with parents to bring camp to schools and homes. Tom uses Sunshine’s new favorite word, “camplify,” to describe this spreading of the positive camp message to venues outside of camp.

Topics & Ideas Discussed

  • There are an estimated 14 million kids going to camps in the U.S. this summer.
  • Ninety-three percent of American Camp Association camps offer financial aid and scholarships for campers. Parents need to work well in advance to apply for those resources.
  • Parents can use the ‘Find A Camp’ tool on the American Camp Association’s website to search for the ACA accredited camps. This is a parent’s best assurance that a camp has met the foundational standards of a safe and healthy camp experience for their child.
  • There are many different kinds of camps. There are camps for specific cultural groups, for kids with a particular medical disorder, for kids with a specific area of interest, and many, many more.
  • It’s important for parents to visit a summer camp before sending their child to one so that they can see what camp is all about.
  • At camp, kids have the opportunity to learn to be themselves, make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, and try again.
  • The American Camp Association website provides wonderful videos and other resources for parents.
  • Camp helps kids build relationship skills and learn from people with different backgrounds and experiences.
  • Camp is about positive risk.
  • The more kids put into their camp experience, the more they get out of it.
  • People who been camp counselors before becoming teachers or parents really have an advantage when it comes to relating to kids.
  • Camp techniques work at home too.
  • On Tuesday, July 20, camps across America will be celebrating Camp Kindness Day.

Camp Kindness Day

On July 20, 2021, the camp community will participate in Camp Kindness Day – an event highlighting the practice of intentional kindness that happens every day at American camps. This is an opportunity to raise awareness of the great work that camps are doing to teach kindness in engaging, simple, repeatable, and high impact ways that live on in the daily lives of campers and staff members when they return home.

Focusing on our youth and young adults, Camp Kindness Day will help showcase the commitment of the camp community to fostering the core values of kindness, compassion, generosity, and care, and integrating those values more fully into every aspect of our society. These values are already part of the fabric of the camp experience. We share the mission for our youth to be nurtured, taught, supported, and inspired to grow into our new generation of kind, compassionate, socially-minded, community-oriented citizens.

Camp Kindness Day will allow camps to incorporate into their July 20 programming fun theme-based activities and cooperative games, cool projects, and memorable moments which will celebrate the value and impact of kindness.

About Tom Rosenberg, CEO of the American Camp Association

Tom Rosenberg has a distinguished career in the camp profession and a long resume of service to ACA. He most recently served as the executive director of Camp Judaea in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Prior to Camp Judaea, Tom spent more than two decades with Blue Star Camps in North Carolina, most of those years as a director. Tom is a past national treasurer and board member of the ACA as well as a past board president and treasurer of ACA Southeastern. A founding board member of the North Carolina Youth Camp Association, Tom was awarded the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Camp Industry Leadership Award as well as the American Camp Association’s National Honor Award and ACA Southeastern’s Distinguished Service Award.

With an educational focus in business, Tom graduated with distinction from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California with an MBA and from the AB Freeman School of Business at Tulane University with a BS in Management. He is also a graduate of ACA’s Camp Director Institute.

Tom melds his experience in the camp profession with business expertise, inspirational vision, successful fundraising experience, professional agility, organizational skills, and strategic focus — attributes that are essential to achieving success as ACA’s President/CEO. We are indeed fortunate to have such a thoughtful, dedicated, and experienced leader who is willing to take his commitment to camp, youth development, and ACA to a greater level. Tom, his wife Pam Sugarman, and their son Daniel live in Atlanta, Georgia.


Parent Blog (ACA)

Find a Camp (ACA’s searchable database)

Accreditation (ACA Standards)

Kindness Evolution

July Kindness Calendar

HAPPY CAMPERS is now on Audible!

Ep. 87: The Impact of Camp Experiences

Ep. 46: Camp Kindness Day (2018)

Research Finds Children Learn Social Skills at Camp

5 Reasons Not to Worry While Your Kids are at Camp

The Power of Kindness

Too Much Screen Time? 4 Ways Summer Camp Can Help


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Whadda Week! July 4, 2021

Whadda Week! July 4, 2021

What’s happening this week at GAC? Find out on WHADDA WEEK – Your weekly look into life at camp!

We’re halfway through Session 1. Here’s an update from campers on what’s happening this week and what we’re learning about being BETTER TOGETHER and friendship at GAC. Listen to more episodes about camp at

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