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ACA, Evergreen Accreditation
The American Camp Association provides an accreditation program to camps seeking excellence in the field of camping and for the camping public seeking quality camp experiences.
Purpose of the Accreditation Program
The main purpose of the ACA-accreditation program is to educate camp owners and directors in the administration of key asspects of camp operation, particularly those related to program quality and the health and safety of campers and staff. The standards establish guidelines for needed policies, procedures, and practices. The camp, then, is responsible for on-going implementation of these policies.
The second purpose of ACA accreditation is to assist the public in selecting camps that meet industry-accepted and government-recognized standards. ACA's Camp Database provides the public with eleven separate ways to search for the ideal ACA-accredited camp.
Camps and Visitors currently going through a Standards Visit
Online Resources and Tools - Standards information, Checklists, Sample Forms, etc.
Camps Interested in the Standards Accreditation Program
Check Evergreen's Events Calendar for a list of upcoming courses. The last in-person Standards and Visitor courses for 2013 have passed. If you are still looking for a course contact the Local Field Office for additional options.
Which Course Do I Need?
With the introduction of the new accreditation manual in the fall of 2011, there will be a new set of courses. Watch here for complete descriptions. There will be courses for Camps to be visited, Instructors, current visitors and those seeking to become visitors in the accreditation program.
Standards Course - For those who are new to the standards program or have not taken a standards course.
Standards Update Course - For those who have previously taken a Standards Course and for Camps to be visited that year.
Visitor Update Course - For Visitors who are current in their training.
Associate Visitor Course - For those wishing to be Camp Accreditation Visitors.
ACA e-Standards Course
While attendance at a face-to-face course is optimal for a variety of reasons, it is not always possible. ACA is now offering a Web-based electronic version of the Standards Course. Learn More.
Associate Visitor Course
Offered by ACA sections to prepare persons to serve as Associate Visitors in the Standards program. Participants must have taken the NEW Standards Course or Standards Update course prior to attending the Associate Visitor Course.
This course helps participants to identify the purpose and structure of ACA's accreditation programs and to understand the steps in the process at the camp, section, and national levels. Participants will become familiar with the legal implications of visitor actions as well as develop skills in gathering information, making compliance decisions, and consistently applying the standards in a variety of situations. This course will stress the awareness and acceptance of the intent of the standards to represent accepted practices of organized camping. Prerequisites: Participants in the Associate Visitor Course must be at least 21 years of age, a current ACA or CCCA member, and have completed the Standards course.
ACA e-Visitor Update Course
The e-Visitor Update Course will only be offered in the spring. This course informs participants on the new and revised standards and other information pertinent to the accreditation visit process. This course is intended for current ACA Visitors. Visitors are required to attend an update to remain an eligible Visitor. Learn More.
Standards Update Course
4-5 hours. Offered by ACA sections to help prepare camp executives/directors/owners and visitor personnel already familiar with ACA Standards Program with information and training on the newly revised camp standards. This course is appropriate for camp directors/administrators/owners who are "experienced" in the ACA accreditation process – have completed the "old" Basic Standards Course and assisted a camp through an accreditation visit. Those attending will have been through the accreditation process, either as a director or visitor. This course is also appropriate for current ACA Visitors and Associate Visitors and is required to maintain visitor certification. This course is held in all seasons except for summer. Required prior to visits in the new camp standards.
New Director Orientation
A special 8 hour session for seasonal or new camp directors, assistant directors, program directors, or persons that have been in other administrative positions and are considering directing camp next summer. This is an overview of all the aspects of the director's job with the primary focus on the summer operation. It is an interactive session beginning with a board game covering the core areas and then going into sessions on risk management, camper behavior and staff training and supervision. Contact your local ACA Section office for more information on scheduled courses. This course is typically held in all seasons except for summer.
Basic Camp Director Course (BCDC)
The BCDC provides the basics and more for camp directors with fewer than six years of experience or for seasoned program directors and site managers. This is an excellent opportunity to be sure you have well-rounded knowledge of the core areas and begin building your personal network of camp professionals. A 4-day course for camp directors with less than five years experience. The course is designed to present specific content in 13 management areas. The expertise, knowledge, and diversity of the participants are integrated into highly interactive learning sessions that focus on real situations, problems, and solutions.