FAQs

FRQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS — 2012 Standards, Updated Sept. 2012
(Information for Both the Camp and the Visitor)

1. If a camp uploads documents to the ACA “My Accreditation” site, can those documents then be subpoenaed through ACA, Inc.?
2. If I use chartered vehicles with hired drivers, what standards do I DNA? 
3. With the change in HW.2 (level of first aid certification needed based on distance), what courses will be acceptable to meet the standard?
4. I ask my parents/ staff to fully complete the information requested on the Health History Form(s), yet it seems we always have a few that just don’t fully complete the form. Does a camp have to take a “no” on this standard?
5. My camp has reviewed our program and our clientele and feels we don’t need our campers to have a health exam at all. The state in which my camp is located requires a health exam for campers every 24 months. Will we meet the standard?
6. What things do I need to consider as I “assess” the need for a health exam for my campers?
7. Standard HW.12 asks: “Does the camp utilize treatment procedures allowed under the scope of practice of the designated healthcare provider(s) for dealing with reasonably anticipated illnesses and injuries?”
8. With the revised addition to the Contextual Education in HW.19, can I still make my staff turn in their medication?
9. What is an acceptable method to document we have completed the check of the National Sex Offender Public Web site (www.nsopw.gov)?
10. I’m confused about the difference in job functions and essential functions as referenced in HR.6.
11. Several standards ask if the supervisor of a specific activity has “documented training and/or experience.” What “paperwork” helps meet this standard?
12. I’m still confused on what might qualify for a specialized activity. It seems that sometimes baseball is a specialized activity and sometimes it isn’t. What’s the difference? Is there a complete list of specialized activities?
13. I thought paintball was scored with firearms?
15. Now that my lifeguard, who actively guards from watercraft, has to have a PFD immediately available, does their rescue tube count as the PFD? Can my ski board driver count as the lifeguard?
16. Standard HW.17 asks about availability of an AED. Does the AED have to be on-site?
17. We conduct several two (2) night trips during our summer programs. Do I score the PT Section of Standards?

Answers to FAQs

1. Q: If a camp uploads documents to the ACA “My Accreditation” site, can those documents then be subpoenaed through ACA, Inc.? A: All information submitted to ACA as part of the camp accreditation process is kept confidential. If ACA were to receive a valid subpoena for the production of its records ACA would be required to turn over any records it had maintained just as the camp that submitted those records would. ACA would only provide the specifically requested information.

2. Q: If I use chartered vehicles with hired drivers, what standards do I DNA? I’m confused. A: As stated on page 53 in the applicability (and revised since the original printing), TR.12 through TR.15 would be a DNA if the camp is using chartered vehicles with hired drivers. The score form will also indicate this.

3. Q: With the change in HW.2 (level of first aid certification needed based on distance), what courses will be acceptable to meet the standard? A: A list of acceptable certifications can be found at: www.ACAcamps.org/accreditation/firstaidcpr.

4. Q: I ask my parents/ staff to fully complete the information requested on the Health History Form(s), yet it seems we always have a few that just don’t fully complete the form. Does a camp have to take a “no” on this standard? A: The standard does ask if the camp requires each camper/staff to submit a current, signed health history. If the camp has a form for each required individual and makes a good faith effort to have the forms completed, the intent of the standard is met — e.g. A form is received without any notation regarding medication (for the camper). Camp personnel should attempt to contact the parent/guardian /staff to obtain this information. If the parent/guardian/staff does not provide it, the camp has done their due diligence.

5. Q: My camp has reviewed our program and our clientele and feels we don’t need our campers to have a health exam at all. The state in which my camp is located requires a health exam for campers every 24 months. Will we meet the standard? A: Yes. ACA is asking the camp personnel to assess the need for a health exam AND if it is determined they need one, it should be within 12 months. In the situation referenced, the camp is meeting the ACA standard by having completed their assessment (and decided NO). Meeting the state regulations is part of the Statement of Compliance.

6. Q: What things do I need to consider as I “assess” the need for a health exam for my campers? A: Some key things to consider are: How long are the campers at camp? How far away from home are your campers (how easy is it to access their primary care physician)? What type of programming do you offer – are the campers involved in activities that are more strenuous and different than what they do in their everyday lives? Do you serve campers with special medical needs? What are the requirements of your insurance provider? What type of health care provider do you have onsite? In the nearby community? Additional things to consider are:
a. How robust is your camper health history form? Some camps ask parents to complete a thorough health history form and find that the information provided by physicians simply reiterates what parents actually provide.
b. When you compare your health history form to your current physician’s exam, is there information on the physician’s form that doesn’t show up on the health history form? If so, do you need that information for camp?
c. Might there be a need for campers with chronic health problems (e.g. asthma, diabetes, allergies) to complete a physician’s form that might not be needed for “normal” healthy kids?
d. Consider the camp’s activities. Are there any activities for which a physician’s recommendation for participation is helpful?
e. Do state regulations require physician exams?
f. This decision should be made in consultation with a variety of individuals: Camp director, health care provider, insurance provider, local health care, etc.

7. Q: Standard HW.12 asks: “Does the camp utilize treatment procedures allowed under the scope of practice of the designated healthcare provider(s) for dealing with reasonably anticipated illnesses and injuries?” Please tell me more. A: Treatment procedures still need to be written but they should be sensitive to the credential of the healthcare provider using them (e.g., what’s provided to a first aider is different from what an RN needs). The contextual education for HW.12 continues to recognize that some healthcare providers (e.g., nurses) must have annually signed procedures by an MD if the camp nurse’s duties include tasks under medical authority (e.g., medication decisions). Other providers — such as a trip’s first aider — may be able to simply use the text that compliments their certificate. If prescription and/or OTC medication is being administered to campers and/or staff, state regulations should be checked to determine under what “conditions” and who might administer those medications.

8. Q: With the revised addition to the Contextual Education in HW.19, can I still make my staff turn in their medication? A: YES! As stated in HW.19, all drugs should be locked unless in the controlled possession of the person responsible for administering them. This standard can be met in a few different ways: 1) Staff can be provided a locker in which they lock their medicine. 2) Staff can be allowed to turn their medication in to the health center in a container that does not allow anyone to determine the kind/type of medication. The medication would be locked and staff would be allowed access at the specified times. 3) Staff can voluntarily allow the health care provider to know what type of medication they are taking. The key piece is to understand that medication can and should be locked.

9. Q: What is an acceptable method to document we have completed the check of the National Sex Offender Public Web site (www.nsopw.gov)? A: One acceptable method is create a chart which includes a list of names checked and the date on which the check was completed. Many camps will combine this list and add columns to confirm the completion of the following as well: voluntary disclosure statement, criminal background check, references checked, date of interview, etc.

10. Q: I’m confused about the difference in job functions and essential functions as referenced in HR.6. A: A job function of a backpacking counselor might be: To lead campers aged 12–15 on three day backpack trips. An essential function of the backpacking counselor would be: Ability to lift and carry 30 lbs. over varied terrain for 5–6 miles a day. Camp administrators are reminder to review their job descriptions to make sure essential functions are included.

11. Q: Several standards ask if the supervisor of a specific activity has “documented training and/or experience.” What “paperwork” helps meet this standard? A: Ideally, if a certification is available for that specific activity (such as an archery instructor), the individual can provide current certification along with examples of their recent experience. If certification is not held (or available), documentation of experiences as well as any training is critical. While it is best to have this information documented by someone OTHER than the individual in question (transcript that indicates course was taken/completed, outline of training attended, etc.), the key piece is that the information is “verifiable” — if necessary, could someone confirm that training was attended or the experience is real.  Essentially, a very detailed list of experience and training specific to that activity is expected.

12. Q: I’m still confused on what might qualify for a specialized activity. It seems that sometimes baseball is a specialized activity and sometimes it isn’t. What’s the difference? Is there a complete list of specialized activities? A: A few key things to remember about the standards which might help in this decision – the standards focus on health, safety, and risk management. Page 147 of the Accreditation Process Guide, 2012 Edition also provides basic criteria. SAFETY of the camper/staff is the intent. So, staying with the example of baseball: If your camp offers baseball as one of the key program offerings and stresses skill development, strategy, competitive play, and requires your staff to be college baseball players, then YES, it would be a specialized activity. If your camp offers baseball as an “after dinner” activity, anyone who wants can play, and fun (rather than competition) is the focus, then chances are, it is not a specialized activity. The camp might consider wearing batting helmets (as it is good practice), yet would not be required.

In the example of sports, a key thing to consider is the level of play: competitive or for fun. Again, safety of the participant is the focus. Activities such as teaching foreign language (which does require a special skill) or teaching basic use of computers (again, requires a special skill) are NOT specialized activities.

In response to the question: “Is there a complete list?” No, there is not a comprehensive list of specialized activities, but there is a very good resource titled “Specialized Activity Checklist” at: www.ACAcamps.org/accreditation/resources-tools. While the list isn’t comprehensive, it does list many activities that might be considered specialized activities and some that are definitely specialized.

It is important for the visitor and the camp contact to have a discussion prior to the onsite visit to discuss what activities are offered and which ones might be considered specialized so there are no surprises. If you have questions, feel free to contact ACA at: accreditation@ACAcamps.org.

13. Q: I thought paintball was scored with firearms? A: Paintball is currently scored under specialized activities. After review of information from authoritative sources, the National Standards Commission felt this was the most appropriate location to score this activity.

14. Q: I’m not sure what standards to score if I only use “staffed public facilities” for specialized programs. HELP!
A: Standards PD.12 through PD.16 are scored when the CAMP provides the specialized program (staff to lead the program). Standards PD.17 through PD.39 are to be scored no matter WHO provides the program. The only time these standards would be scored a DNA is if a specialized program is not offered at all.   See the resource at:  http://www.acacamps.org/accreditation/resources-tools  titled “ Specialized Activity Scoring Clarifications”. 

15. Q: Now that my lifeguard, who actively guards from watercraft, has to have a PFD immediately available, does their rescue tube count as the PFD? Can my ski board driver count as the lifeguard? A: While it would be appropriate for the lifeguard to have the rescue tube in the watercraft, it does not count as the PFD. Regarding the boat driver serving as the lifeguard: A ski boat driver needs to focus their attention on driving the boat, on other boats on the lake, etc.; a lifeguard needs to focus their activity on the aquatic participant. As each role has a specific (and different focus), the same individual can’t do both at the same time.

16. Q: Standard HW.17 asks about availability of an AED.  Does the AED have to be on-site?  A: No, the standard asks if an AED is accessible within the time frame recommended by authoritative sources.  The AED might be located at the nearby fire station, through EMS, etc.     

17. Q: We conduct several two (2) night trips during our summer programs.  Do I score the PT Section of Standards?   A: No.  Only trips of three nights or more are scored in the PT section of standards. Overnight trips lasting one (1) or (2) nights are scored in the PD Section of Standards.

 

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