ACA Accreditation: What Does Accreditation Mean?

To you and your staff

Confidence/Assurance

  • Nine out of ten camp directors across the country say they continue to seek accreditation for their camps because they believe it helps them maintain a safe, quality environment for their campers and staff. (Responses to the question: "Why do you continue to seek accreditation?" 1997 ACA Summer Camp Survey, American Camping Association.)
  • Crisis Hotline available 24/7 during the summer season.
  • ACA has 50 years of experience in developing and administering a standards program.
  • Industry-established.
  • Developed specifically for camps.

Ongoing Training Program

  • An ongoing tutorial in best practices.
  • A disciplined management style that results in professional integrity and quality.

Risk Management Process

  • A way to manage your specific risk areas, evaluate your practices, and develop critical thinking skills in yourself and your staff.

To your public

  • A trusted sign. The ACA-Accredited Camp sign has 50 years of parent trust behind it. 
  • For a very busy and preoccupied public, a way to presort among camp options. Accreditation identifies those programs which offer a solid foundation of health, safety, and program quality.
  • Assurance that you comply with up to 300 health, safety, and program quality standards.
  • Solid proof of your accountability, credibility, and commitment. Evidence that you care. It demonstrates you have gone to great lengths, have been evaluated, and have passed the test!
  • It shows you continually seek expert counsel. Experts from many fields: The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Red Cross, etc., continually work with ACA to improve our camp standards program.

To your supervisor/camp board

  • A regular, independent health and safety audit of your camp.
  • As expectations and concerns rise higher and higher, accreditation is a sign parents have trusted for 50 years. Two out of every three camps maintain their accreditation based on the pressure of public image and parent concerns. (Responses to the question: "Why do you continue to seek accreditation?" 1997 ACA Summer Camp Survey, American Camping Association.)
  • A connection in Washington -- clarifying language so camps aren't bound by regulations not intended for them; maintaining the international staff exchange program; and so on.
  • Nationwide publicity -- ACA's positive messages about the life-changing experience of camp have been disseminated through video, print and outdoor advertising, and cinematic advertising to millions of families from coast to coast.
  • Built-in staff training in best practices.
  • Discounts available only to ACA camps on credit card processing, staff recruitment services, staff training, program materials, education, and more.

To your funders

  • A demonstration of your accountability. You comply with up to 300 industry-established health and safety standards.
  • Verification of your commitment to the children you serve.
  • You seek continual input from national experts. The Standards program is the result of collaboration and review by experts from many fields -- risk management, child development, aquatics, and health care.
  • A process to maintain staff training in best practices.
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