Who is the American Camp Association?

From ACA’s website:The American Camp Association is a community of camp professionals who, for over 100 years, have joined together to share our knowledge and experience and to ensure the quality of camp programs. Because of our diverse 11,000 plus membership and our exceptional programs, children and adults have the opportunity to learn powerful lessons in community, character-building, skill development, and healthy living — lessons that can be learned nowhere else.

As a leading authority in youth development, ACA works to preserve, promote, and improve the camp experience. Our association is committed to helping our members and all camps provide:

 

  • Camp communities committed to a safe, nurturing environment
  • Caring, competent adult role models
  • Healthy, developmentally appropriate experiences
  • Service to the community and the natural world
  • Opportunities for leadership and personal growth
  • Discovery, experiential education, and learning opportunities
  • Excellence and continuous self-improvement

Frequently Asked Questions About Camp Accreditation

 

What’s the difference between state licensing of camps and accreditation by ACA?

Accreditation is voluntary and ACA accreditation assures families that camps have made the commitment to a safe, nurturing environment for their children.  State licensing is mandatory where applicable, and licensing requirements vary from state to state.  ACA standards are nationally recognized by courts of law and government regulators as the standards of the camp industry.

Do ACA standards exceed state licensing requirements?

ACA standards, like state licensing, include requirements for health, cleanliness, and food service.  However, ACA has standards regarding other areas of camp that many states do not include in licensing such as program quality, staff training, emergency management plans, health care, and operation management.  Additionally, there are specific ACA standards for areas of specialty programming such as waterfront, ropes courses, archery, horseback riding, and adventure trips and travel.  Through ACA’s accreditation process, camps are held accountable to the roughly 300 standards through an annual self-report and a visit by a standards specialist every five years.

Does ACA accreditation require criminal background checks?

ACA accreditation standards require a staff screening system, which may include criminal background checks where permitted by law. When talking to a camp director as you consider enrolling your child, ask what the screening process for that camp includes.

How can I verify that my child’s camp is ACA accredited?

Parents can (and should) verify the accreditation status of any camp at any time by visiting ACA’s Web site at www.ACAcamps.org or by calling 1-800-428-CAMP.

If your child’s camp isn’t ACA-accredited, ask WHY NOT?

Keep in Mind — Informed parents are best prepared to select a camp that meets their standards for staff, programs, safety, and facilities and strives to promote the welfare of every child.

– See more at: http://www.acacamps.org/campers-families/planning-camp/preparing-camp/fun-safety-aca-accredited-camps-set-standard#sthash.yzKK4VbF.dpuf

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