Federal Public Policy — Updates and Emerging Issues

The American Camp Association’s public policy agenda for the 113th Congress makes the highest priority on two specific goals: (1) to protect the safety of children, youth, and adults participating in the camp experience; and (2) to achieve recognition that camp is an expanded learning opportunity. While it has been challenging to make progress with this particular Congress — which thus far has been identified as a Congress fraught with gridlock and unable to accomplish anything — ACA continues to advocate for our agenda with both legislators and regulators. For the complete public policy agenda, and to read ACA’s public policy position statements, visit our public policy page online at www.ACAcamps.org/publicpolicy. For real-time updates of all of our public policy calls to action and news updates, sign up for our public policy RSS feed online at www.ACAcamps.org/rss/publicpolicy.xml. The items we are focusing on this fall are:
 

  • Child Protection Improvements Act (S. 1362): A bill to close the gaping hole in federal law that prevents camps, children’s groups, and other organizations that work with children from gaining access to federal criminal background checks on employees and volunteers. www.ACAcamps.org/publicpolicy/cbc
  • No Child Left Inside Act (S. 1306 and H.R. 2702): A bill that addresses environmental education and achieving environmental literacy for all children. www.ACAcamps.org/publicpolicy/NCLI
  • Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) — the Immigration Reform Bill: A wide-reaching bill on immigration reform that, without significant focused advocacy, could have eliminated the camp community’s ability to use cultural exchange visitors in their camp program. www.ACAcamps.org/publicpolicy/call-action-regarding-international-staff
  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA) — Heath Care Reform: ACA continues to monitor these laws and resulting regulations and their impact on camps as employers. www.ACAcamps.org/publicpolicy/health-care-laws/health-insurance
  • Americans with Disabilities Act: ACA continues to work with others to provide educational information to camps regarding this law and subsequent updates in accessibility regulations. www.ACAcamps.org/publicpolicy/ada-revisions
  • Community Parks Revitalization Act (H.R. 2424): A bill to support rebuilding, remodeling, expanding, or developing existing or new recreational areas and facilities; and to provide matching grants for innovative programming. www.ACAcamps.org/sites/default/files/images/publicpolicy/documents/CommunityParksRevitalizationAct.pdf
  • Zachary Lystedt Laws: Laws to protect young people from traumatic brain injury. www.ACAcamps.org/campline/w-2011/concussions-zachery-lystedt-law
  • Relationship Building and Other Issues: ACA also continues to partner with others to achieve shared public policy goals. For more information on any of these organizations or issues, visit the main public policy page at www.ACAcamps.org/publicpolicy. Current partnerships include: Healthy Out-of-School Time Coalition, No Child Left Inside Coalition, National Human Services Assembly, Outdoors Alliance for Kids, and Urban Parks Coalition.

Contributed by Susan E. Yoder

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