Gilbert — Camp Esquagama recently received American Camp Association accreditation after a five-year long renovation and revival of the facility and its programs.
The American Camp Association (ACA) provides advocacy and evidence-based education and professional development, and is the only national accrediting body for the organized camp experience. ACA accredits approximately 2,400 diverse camps nationally. ACA-Accredited® Camps meet up to 300 health and safety standards. Accreditation provides public evidence of a camp’s commitment to the health, safety, and overall well-being of both campers and staff.
Camp Esquagama Executive Directors Roy Connaughton and Steve Popowitz have led the effort to revitalize the 82 year-old facility and programs.
“This summer our staff and Camp Director Robert Johnson went above and beyond to get everything in place for the challenge of accreditation,” said Popowitz. “We are very pleased to have passed the accreditation process in our first attempt.”
Camp Esquagama’s renovation process began five years ago when just 243 campers attended the summer camp program. Substantial renovations to the site and to the programming have resulted in a 2017 summer camp attendance of 508 youth from around the state. St. Louis County Commissioners have supported the renovation effort to provide a true summer camp experience and continue the legacy many northlanders have had growing up.
“Restoring Camp Esquagama has been vital to the community and to children and youth throughout St. Louis County who, now more than ever, need a place to go to experience nature, build relationships and a love for the Iron Range,” said St. Louis County Commissioner Keith Nelson, Chair of the Camp Esquagama Executive Advisory Council.
Thanks to the support and investment of the St. Louis County Commissioners and the people of St. Louis County, the children of Minnesota are assured another eighty years of camp experience that can change lives and be remembered their entire lives.
ACA accreditation is another step in fulfilling that promise and assuring the high quality facility and programs Camp Esquagama offers will continue in the region. For more information about Camp Esquagama, visit campesquagma.com, and for more information on ACA visit ACAcamps.org.