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International Staff — Be Ready. Participate. Appreciate.
A note from ACA CEO Peg Smith:
Many ACA camps have a strong tradition of supporting and creating caring communities that embrace cultural diversity. That said, many of you participate in the International Cultural Exchange program to integrate international visitors with J-1 Visas into your camp programs. ACA would like to remind you of our resources to help ensure your compliance with the program and support you with resources if you are contacted by your sponsoring organization or the U.S. Department of State. We have an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to the principles of the International Cultural Exchange program.
Here are the resources we've been asked about the most over the past few weeks:
- Fair Labor Standards Act and its applicability to camps as employers. (Generally, most camps are considered recreational establishments by definition for the purposes of FLSA federal minimum wage.)
- Compliance with U.S. Department of State regulations related to J-1 Visas.
- State Wage Laws: Choose your state from our database of camp-related laws and regulations.
We have an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to the principles of the International Cultural Exchange program.
As we have shared before, the U.S. Department of State is increasing its efforts to ensure compliance with regulations. For example, many of you have very recently received communication from your placement sponsors asking for information about the FLSA exemption for your camp. We realize these types of questions can make camp directors uneasy this close to the summer, wondering if visas might be impacted. Work closely with your sponsor to provide as much information as they need as soon as possible for any request. If you have questions about the FLSA and your camp, check out the resource above.
By providing camps with the information they need to be in compliance, ACA is working to demonstrate our commitment to this incredible program — one that provides cultural exchange for not just the international visitor, but for the American children who get to participate in camp experiences that allow them to learn more about other cultures.