Update From The Visitor System Task Force

2012 Fall Standards Newsletter

Visitor and Accreditation Challenges
ACA's accreditation program has taken major steps forward to develop a more rigorous process, supported by authoritative sources, responsive to contemporary issues, and providing excellent resources for camps who participate in the program. With this growth have come challenges:

  • The number of camps being accredited has not grown significantly.
  • The camps that are accredited are increasingly diverse in size, location, and style, requiring many “unique” applications of the standards.
  • The practice of making changes to the standards on an “as needed” basis challenges the training system.
  • The number of visitors is often insufficient for the camps to be visited, and in many areas, the distances are very difficult to overcome.

Questions Asked

  • What are the options that might be pursued in the future to enable the accreditation program to be expanded to more camps and to more diverse camps?
  • What are the implications for the visitor system?
  • What changes need to be made to potential future program models to assure adequate visitor system personnel, to provide training that results in uniform applicationof the standards, and to maintain the legitimacy of the program within a viable financial model?

Assigned Task
To look at the accreditation program through the lens of the visitor and recommend ideas that address the questions asked and allow the number of ACA accredited camps/programs to grow. 

Committed To

  • Strengthening the education aspect of accreditation while maintaining the rigor
  • Making accreditation approachable and accessible to the variety of camps in today’s world

Steps to Date

  • Three conference calls
  • One in-person meeting
  • Sharing of initial ideas with a variety of camp directors and visitors in the field
  • Continuing to refine ideas

To present at least one viable idea for the future of all aspects of the accreditation process to the National Standards Commission in January 2013.  

Task Force Members:
Dave Silverstein — Chair (NY/NJ)
Tom Riddleberger (NY/NJ)
Dan Reynolds (OH)
Elizabeth Snell (NE)
Genie Gunn (SE)
Jared Knight (SW)
Marie Schmid (NL)
Reid McKnight (RM