Economic Impact of New England Camps is $3.2 Billion


New Report Reveals Youth Summer Camp Industry Has a Direct Economic Impact on the Northeast of $3.2-Billion.

Economic Impact Report Commissioned by the American Camp Association, Northeast Region Outlines the Billions of Dollars and Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs Created by Camps in New England, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania

Lexington, MA & New York, NY - An Economic Impact Report conducted by Planning Decisions, Inc. on behalf of the American Camp Association, Northeast Region reveals that the youth camping industry has a direct financial benefit of $3.2-billion on nine states including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. There are 7,000 camp programs in the Northeast that employ 190,000 people seasonally and 11,000 full-time.

The direct economic impact of the youth summer camp industry comes from three main sources:

  1. Employment

190,000 seasonal workers and 11,000 full-time workers in the region's camps receive more than $900-million in wages.  The 16-to-24 age group holds most of the seasonal jobs, helping a demographic with a national unemployment rate (2011 statistics) of 18%.  The youth camping industry in the Northeast stands out as a rare example of economic strength during the Great Recession over the past several years. Between 2007 and 2010, the total payroll of Northeast camps increased 7.3% while the total payroll of all businesses during that time period fell by 0.7%.

  1. Spending

In addition to payroll, camps spend more than $1.6-billion on goods and services including food, supplies, fuel, marketing, banking, maintenance and repair in small, local communities who rely heavily on this income.

  1. Camps as Tourist Destinations

Each summer, 16-million young people go to day and overnight camp in the Northeast.  As a result, there is a great deal of intra-regional, out-of-region and out-of-country tourism.  Family trips surrounding drop-off day, pick-up day, visiting day, and visits from prospective campers are common.  The communities surrounding camps see increased spending on lodging, meals, transportation, shopping and recreation by families visiting camps and campers.According to the American Camp Association, Northeast Region's Economic Impact Study, when the indirect economic impact, which includes tourism, is added in, the figure rises to $8.1-billion.  

Combining payroll, operational and capital spending, the total annual direct economic impact of the youth camping industry in the Northeast is more than $3.2-billion. 

Payroll Data is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

ACA New England ( & ACA New York & New Jersey ( are 501(c)3 organizations that accredit summer camps and serve as a primary source of summer camp information and resources. Both organizations are affiliated with the American Camp Association headquartered in Martinsville, Indiana.

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