ACA's Standards Program has taken major steps forward to develop a more rigorous process that is supported by authoritative sources, is responsive to contemporary issues, and provides many 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.
A task force has been meeting throughout the fall and winter to address the above challenges by specifically looking at the following:
- What are the options that might be pursued in the future to enable the accreditation program to be expanded to more, and 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 application of the standards, and to maintain the legitimacy of the program within a viable financial model?
The task force has met in person once and via conference call several times. It has discussed several ideas with various members in the field (camp directors, visitors, instructors) and will be making a recommendation to the National Standards Commission this winter. Look for more information this spring!
Task Force Members are:
Dave Silverstein — Chair
Reid McKnight (ACA, Rocky Mountain)
Elizabeth Snell (ACA, New England)
Tom Riddleberger (ACA, New York and New Jersey)
Genie Gunn (ACA, Southeastern)
Marie Schmidt (ACA, Northland)
Jared Knight (ACA, Southwest)
Dan Reynolds (ACA, Ohio and NSC Rep.)