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Worldwide Campaign to Support Camps and Camping Launches in August 2020

LogoNEW ICF.jpgThe International Camping Fellowship (ICF) is launching #ThanksToCamp, a global social media campaign to raise awareness of the importance and value of the camp experience for children’s physical, emotional and mental health. Through the campaign, ICF is providing:

  • support to individual Camps by sharing camp voices and stories on social media through #ThanksToCamp
  • an opportunity for Camp Associations to springboard and leverage those voices to address the challenges to recovery of the camp industry as a result of COVID pandemic

Tens of thousands of camps operating around the globe are impacted by the health and economic crisis of CoVID. Many camps have been devastated and forced to close as a result of CoVID-19. In Canada, overnight camps are operating in one province only. In the United States, approximately 30% of overnight camps are running in-person programs. Those camps that have been given permission to operate are doing so with reduced and modified programs. Day camps are also affected by new operating procedures. In Australia, China, Russia, Europe and the Americas, similar restrictions are in effect. The resulting economic uncertainty has forced some camps to close entirely and every camp is impacted adversely.

“Together we must draw even more public attention to the problem of the survival of children's camps in the situation with CoVID” Taras Kononets, Camp Industry, Russia 

THANKSTOCAMP_1.jpgThe ICF #ThanksToCamp campaign is fashioned after a similar project initiated by the Canadian Camping Association in 2016. That program has prompted its expansion to reach thousands of ICF members and associates in over 100 countries. Through these contacts the campaign hopes to extend to the tens of millions of past and present campers everywhere. Testimonials in various languages highlight just how widely the camp movement has been adopted in various cultures and countries.

“Children generally have little idea of the long-term impact of Summer Camp; however, we know definitively that a camp experience can shape and define who we become. Summer Camp helps us gain confidence, empathy, independence, resilience and a crucial sense of place and community.” Jeff Bradshaw, President, Ontario Camps Association

The month-long ICF #ThanksToCamp campaign begins on August 1 with a live-streamed virtual campfire linking staff, campers, families, alumni and directors in every time zone. The program includes testimonials from campers and leaders in different countries of the world and a musical performance of The Camp Song written by Canadian recording artist, Peter Katz. Designed to celebrate camps that are operating, this event will also assist all camps beginning their recovery to camp summer 2021.

“Camping is a worldwide industry serving millions of children. Camps are desperately trying to stay
connected with their families and to chart a path to next year. Most camps carry a year’s worth of
expenses on the income of an 8-10 week summer. This campaign highlights the need for policy-makers and the public at large to recognize the camp experience as a critical component for the growth and development of children.”
– John Jorgenson, ICF President

Contact: John Jorgenson, ICF President
Phone: 705 571 4757 (Canada)
Email: jjorgenson@icfconnect.net

Visit the ThanksToCamp Website


The Australian Camps Association encourages all members and industry colleagues to participate in this event.
More information will be distributed via ACA communication chanels early next week.


Help support people with disabilities enjoy the many benefits of outdoor experiences by donating to the People Outdoors Fund. All donations will be used to directly support participation.

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