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- About ACA
Start A Camp — How ACA Can Help
Expertise, Counsel, Inspiration, Encouragement
ACA has a variety of excellent resources for information, inspiration, & encouragement.
- Join ACA! This is your baseline for involvement.
- Secure a local resource person with whom to discuss your new venture. Contact your local office and ask for a name.
- Get connected with several other camp directors as soon as possible. Go to the next local ACA meeting.
- Join the national e-mail discussion group for ACA members named the Camp Professionals Discussion Group.
- Discuss your ideas with an ACA staff person: Denny Elliott, 765-342-8456 ext. 538, or Brigitta Adkins, 765-342-8456 ext. 535.
Education, Training, and Professional Development
ACA has a variety of courses and training events and publishes camp specific material and other written resources.
- National courses
- National and regional conferences
- Local office educational events
- ACA Bookstore (800-428-CAMP)
- Camping Magazine published bimonthly - free with ACA membership
- CampLine published three times a year - free to accredited camps
ACA Accreditation Standards for Camp Programs and Services
ACA has a set of industry-established baseline standards that will help you put together your plan for risk management and health and safety in your camp. You may want to be accredited in the future and beginning your camp with standards in mind will be helpful. Standards address:
- Staffing: ratios, ages, education, certifications, etc.
- Program planning and specific safety standards for aquatics, challenge course, horseback riding, and other special activities
- Health and sanitation issues
- Best practices in the area of administration
ACA provides a number of resources specifically to help camp directors find staff.
- Book of job descriptions for 30 specific camp jobs, It's My Job, available from ACA Bookstore.
- Recruitment resources
Locating a Camp Property
- Visit Buy/Sell Camps Message Board on the Web!
- Look up real estate brokers in ACA's online Buying Guide.
- Call the ACA local office in the area where you hope to start your camp.
- Attend the next local ACA section meeting and start networking with other members. Members can be great resources for knowing where to look for camp properties and can lend helpful insights to your search.
You can locate nearly 20 insurance providers for camps.
Other ACA Resources
ACA's resources are constantly being developed and updated to meet the current needs of camp directors.
- Camping Magazine article: Tomorrow's Camps, Today's Realities (Sept./Oct., 2010) (PDF)
- Order our best "Start-a-Camp" resources
- Locate professional camp consultants in facility design, program design, marketing development, etc.
- Connect with hundreds of camp suppliers
- Administrative resources
- ACA National Collaborators: ACA has negotiated special rates for ACA-accredited camps on some resources.
- Share ideas with other on ACA's message boards.
- Use ACA's Camp Database: Find A Camp to locate camps with similar program or clientele.
- Join groups specifically designed to serve a special clientele such as Association for Independent Camps, Religiously Affiliated Camps, and the Not-for-Profit Forum/Council
- Join ACA's online Camp Professional Discussion Group to get questions answered on a regular basis.
- Use other organizations that are affiliated with ACA for resources in serving a special clientele or professional group such as the Association of Camp Nurses.
- Keep up on industry statistics and trends through surveys and research.