The American Camp Association foresees a growing trend towards specialty camps focused on particular sports, educational experiences, distinct groups of people, or particular causes. Although the traditional concept of “camp” as a place to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities is still popular, niche interests and special purposes are changing the way camp facilities look and operate.

The American Camp Association reports that there are approximately 12,000 privately operated camps in the U.S. including church camps, educational camps, senior citizen camps, special needs camps, adventure camps, performing arts camps, and sports camps. The majority of the camps are residential, where attendees stay anywhere from 1-8 weeks. The Nike Corporation, and its affiliate US Sport Camps, are the largest operators of sports camps in America. They attract more than 50,000 attendees yearly to their network of camps that offer programs in 15 different sports.

The facilities at these camps are far from the rustic tents and cabins of traditional camps. In addition to their core programs, many of these camps rent out their facilities to corporations and other organizations to conduct team-building events, skills-training, implement community service initiatives or hold other group events. The dorms, dining halls, and recreation rooms need to accommodate camp residents of many ages, sizes, and abilities, as well as appeal to populations that expect a higher level of comfort and aesthetic qualities.

To offer comfortable and safe environments, camp operators need to consider furnishings and finishes that can stand up to rugged use without showing wear, have an upscale design aesthetic, are easy to clean and maintain, and accommodate various populations and uses.

Norix tables feature 5-ply construction incorporating special joinery that is ideal for sleeping quarters, dining halls, lounge areas, and outdoor spaces. Ron Schram, Manager of Special Markets for Norix, describes how the furniture needs of camps have changed. “Traditionally, most camps used wood furniture for the rustic look, but the issue of bedbugs in the hospitality industry has created a demand for beds and bedding that are resistant to bedbug infestations.” Since most bedbug infestations are concentrated where people sleep, standard wood furniture and standard mattresses have too many seams and crevices where the insects can hide and multiply.  In addition, standard-quality wood furniture degrades over time due to temperature and humidity swings. “It shrinks and swells, shrinks and swells, so over time the joints are loosened making the furniture wobbly, or weakening it altogether,” Schram adds.

Norix offers several styles of heavy-duty steel bunks in the Protégé and Titan Series, along with the made-to-fit Comfort Shield mattresses that are available in both foam core and innerspring core styles. Norix’ line of camp furniture also includes tables and chairs that are ergonomically designed, resist breakage and sun-fading, are easy to clean, and will last for years and years without showing wear, which helps to keep replacement costs down. Norix’ rotationally-molded furniture comes in 8 rich, nature inspired colors to complement any décor and to suit the needs of specialized camp environments. Norix wood tables and chairs are made with solid hardwoods and special joinery that keeps them sturdy and true even through years of constant use.

At the upcoming 2013 American Camp Association Conference in Dallas, Texas, Norix will be exhibiting a number of furnishing options for both youth and adult-oriented camps.  Ron Schram along with the Norix representative in Texas, Dave Craig, will be in attendance to demonstrate the durability and cleanability of Norix furniture, and to answer furniture questions from camp ground owners. Conference attendees can see the following furniture at the Norix booth:

Titan Bunkable Frame-style Bed with Head and Footboards

Comfort ShieldInnerspring Mattress

Titan 2 Drawer Chest

Titan Nightstand

Protégé Double Bunk Bed

Comfort Shield Foam Mattresses

Sierra Chair in colors Autumn Leaf or Pine Cone

Forte Guest Arm Chair in Autumn Leaf or Pine Cone

Integra Arm Chairs in Lagoon

Please share this information with others who may be interested in camp furniture or heavy-duty furniture.