Camp programming promotes the mental, physical, social, and spiritual growth of campers. The camp provides program activities as a means of achieving its developmental goals and outcomes, conducted in ways that protect the health, safety, and well-being of its campers.
Program is the heart of camp — where camp philosophy and objectives are implemented in a sustained experience that provides a creative, recreational, and educational opportunity in group living, often in the outdoors. Camp programming uses trained leadership and the resources of the natural surroundings to contribute to each camper's mental, physical, social, and spiritual growth.
The program standards allow the flexibility for each camp to take advantage of its own unique programming strengths and determine its own procedures while still addressing areas of program planning, analysis, and delivery.
Defining specific standards for all potential and unique program activities is impossible and impractical. However, three basic concepts need to be at the core of any activity offered in camp. The program standards require the camp administration to address the following important considerations:
- Qualified supervision of the activity,
- Sound guidelines, safety regulations, and emergency procedures for conduct of the activity, and
- Provision and maintenance of acceptable facilities and equipment.
The standards included in this section address both general program activities and specialized program activities, including horseback riding and challenge/adventure programs.