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ACA Accreditation: What Does Accreditation Mean?
To you and your staff
- 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.
- 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.