Code of Ethics

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Exemplary Ethical Practices for All Members of the American Camp Association

A Code of Ethics identifies those behaviors and attitudes the profession believes to be minimum acceptable commitments to the well being of others. It is not possible for a code to identify or include all such practices or concepts. The existence of a Code of Ethics cannot guarantee that all persons will behave in ways deemed ethical by all other persons. A code is built on a commitment to integrity, truthfulness, and fairness to all persons. To that end, the members of the American Camping Association agree, by their membership, to uphold the following:

  1. I shall conduct myself in a manner consistent with the association’s mission to serve organized camps, affiliated programs, and the public by promoting better camping for all.
  2. I shall recognize my responsibility for the welfare of others in my care.
  3. I shall abide by and comply with the relevant laws of the community.
  4. I shall be a member in the proper ACA classification as currently defined by the ACA National Board of Directors; and I shall disclose my affiliation with ACA only in a manner specifically permitted by the association.
  5. I shall speak for the association only when specifically authorized to do so and will otherwise make clear that my statements and actions are those of an individual member.
  6. I shall respect the confidences of ACA members, camps, and other constituents within the camp community; however, I shall accept responsibility to pass on to the appropriate ACA official, information I deem reliable that will help protect the camp community against unethical practices by any individual.

Exemplary Ethical Practices for Camp Owners, Directors, and Executives

The association recognizes the camp owner, director, and executive as the primary professional persons assuming the greatest responsibility for actual camp practices. Therefore, in addition to the Code of Ethics for all members, any member operating a camp accredited by or affiliated with the American Camping Association agrees to subscribe to the following:

  1. I shall endeavor to provide an environment conducive to promoting and protecting the physical and emotional well being of the campers and staff.
  2. I shall seek to instill in my staff and campers a reverence for the land and its waters and all living things, and an ecological conscience which reflects the conviction of individual responsibility for the health of that environment.
  3. I shall follow equal opportunity practices in employment and camper enrollment.
  4. I shall endeavor to employ persons based upon factors necessary to the performance of the job and the operation of the camp.
  5. I shall be truthful and fair in securing and dealing with campers, parents/guardians, and staff.
  6. I shall provide a written enrollment policy for all camper/family applicants including fees, payment schedules, discounts, dates of arrival and departure, together with a clearly stated refund policy.
  7. I shall provide for each staff member a written job description and employment agreement including period of employment, compensation, benefits, and exceptions.
  8. I shall promptly consult with parents or guardians of any camper or minor staff member as to the advisability of removing him/her from camp should it be clear that he/she is not benefiting from the camp experience or the camper’s or minor staff member’s actions have created this need.
  9. I shall make arrangements with the parents or guardians for the return of their camper(s) or minor-age staff member(s).
  10. I shall pay the correct national and section fees as established by the ACA National Board of Directors and the ACA Section Board of Directors.
  11. I, or my agent, will promptly respond to any and all complaints received by me and make a good faith effort to resolve all such complaints in accordance with generally accepted good business practices and the ACA Code of Ethics.

Adopted 2/26/95; Revised 3/2/97; 2/25/00; 2/23/02, ACA Council of Delegates