Peg L. Smith, Biography

Former Chief Executive Officer, American Camp Association

Peg Smith, CEOPeg Smith, with forty years’ experience working with children, youth, and families, is widely recognized for her entrepreneurial work style and organizational capacity — and her ability to move people, organizations, and government agencies through significant change.

As former chief executive officer of the American Camp Association (ACA), located in Martinsville, Indiana, Smith was the champion of ACA’s mission: enriching the lives of children, youth, and adults through the camp experience. In order to reach more children through critical, developmental camp experiences, Smith set forth ACA’s 20/20 Vision — to directly impact 20 million children through the camp experience by the year 2020.

As a past spokesperson of ACA, Smith appeared in publications such as USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, and on programs such as NBC’s Today Show, Fox News, and CNN radio. She was a favorite presenter at both state and national conferences for varied professional associations and youth-serving groups.

Smith began in 1974 as a Head Start teacher. After steady advances directing, innovating, and creating child and youth development programs with Child Adult Resource Services, the Indiana Bureau of Child Development, and the Indiana Youth Institute, Smith signed on as chief executive officer of ACA in 1998. For nearly two decades, Smith advocated for the success of all young people through the social, emotional, and cognitive skill gains of the camp experience.

In her time as CEO, Smith was fortunate to visit hundreds of quality camp programs worldwide, and she is still in awe of the magic she's found at each one.

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