The Aspen Institute Selects ESF Camps as 2019 Project Play Champion


The Aspen Institute recognized ESF Camps & Experiences as a Project Play Champion at their annual Project Play Summit—the nation’s premier gathering at the intersection of youth, sports and health—in Detroit, Michigan on September 18th. A nationally recognized leader in the delivery of award-winning Day, Sports, STEAM Specialty, Academic, Adventure, and Professional Sports camps, ESF has been chosen as a Champion for integrating Project Play strategies to guide its newly re-imagined multi-sports camp, ESF SportsLab, Powered by Under Armour in 2019. These strategies included giving children a choice in the sports they play; encouraging multi-sport play, also referred to as sports sampling; developing an age-appropriate athletics program; and providing in-depth training to their coaches and staff.

ESF is thrilled to have been selected as a 2019 Project Play Champion, part of a cohort of organizations making new, meaningful commitments to youth athletics. This recognition comes after our first summer of delivering ESF SportsLab and brings more awareness to how ESF Camps & Experiences continues to positively impact young people,” said Michael J. Rouse, ESF, CEO & Co-Founder.

“It’s exciting SportsLab was selected as one of the nation’s best programs benefiting today’s children. Next year, SportsLab will reach more than 3,000 young athletes throughout the Northeast, from Connecticut to Virginia. In 2021, the camp’s reach will be extensive as we begin to expand beyond our current footprint out west and down south,” said Rick Jacobs, ESF SportsLab Program Director and Master Coach.

The Aspen Institute’s Project Play initiative develops, applies, and shares knowledge that helps build healthy communities through sports. The organization produces reports that measure the state of play at the national, regional, and city levels, with exclusive data and insights. Since 2015, their work has been cited and highlighted by  national and international media, including The New York Times, ESPN, BBC, Fox News, and Associated Press, among others. Each fall, Project Play presents new recommendations, frameworks, and tools at the Project Play Summit. A limited number of organizations are selected as Project Play Champions each year.

Launched in 2019 and created by the program development team at ESF Camps & Experiences, SportsLab is a revolutionary, co-ed sports camp that empowers young athletes, ages 6-15, through multi-sport play, ESF’s character development platform, and Under Armour’s global leading athletic performance solutions.

SportsLab is part of ESF’s wide variety of camps for all ages and interests. Stay tuned! Summer 2020 Camp enrollment will open in mid-November.