From The National Standards Commission

2010 Fall Standards Newsletter

September 2010 Meeting Overview and Decisions

The September 2010 National Standards Commission agenda included these items:

  • Reviewed statistics and issues related to the 2010 “visit” season; took corresponding actions.
  • Conducted significant discussion on the potential of Standard HR4B becoming a mandatory standard (sent to ACA National Board for approval)
  • Reviewed a formal “Approval Process for Standards” and recommended approval of this process to ACA National Board. This process includes:
    • Decision making protocol used to determine suitability of standards
    • Environmental scan and literature review
    • Consultation with subject matter experts
    • Initial legal review
    • Input and field comment periods from stakeholders (internal and external at various times)
    • Revisions as necessary
    • Final legal review
    • NSC made final recommendation to ACA National Board
  • Began the discussion regarding HW Standards and potential employment law concerns (specifically HW-2 and HW-6 with regards to employees. Research is being continued on these standards to determine the best action to be taken.
  • Assigned a team to review the current set of Foundational Practices to determine where the information in part of our current standards should be located in the future.
  • Continued the process to identify standards (and interpretations) that need to be corrected, updated, condensed, and potentially re-categorized.

As a reminder, the NSC maintains the value of the Written Document Preview (WDP) to improve the quality of their visits. 

Some very important key points and ideas:

  • This process increases the educational value by identifying material that is missing or incomplete prior to the visit. However, it must be completed in time for changes to be made, which means that visit assignments must be completed by early spring.
  • Remember that you are not SCORING the written documentation, but reviewing and notating its completion for the day of the visit. Therefore it is not essential for ALL written documentation to be reviewed — get done what you can.
  • The WDP does NOT have to be conducted in person! We have heard success with the following methods:
    • Send documents via e-mail (one visitor commented how the CD sent them to her by sections of the standards)
    • Review the camp’s Web site for the various forms, information shared with parents, transportation policies, etc.
    • Put documents on a CD and send via snail mail
    • Use SKYPE to conduct a WDP (each party having a copy of the documents to be reviewed)
    • We know some sections have a WDP “day” where many visitors are available and review what a camp brings.
  • If a WDP just can’t happen, the camp will still be visited.

The WDP “checklist” can be found at: www.ACAcamps.org/volunteers/standardsvisitors under “Visitor Resources.” If you are unable to review all of the written documentation, there is a list of suggested documents to review prior to the on-site visit on page one of this document. This list is not to indicate these documents are any more important than any other required written documentation, but it is to be used as a “starting point.”

The next meeting of the NSC will be held January 2011.