Disclaimer: The American Camping Association (ACA), Inc. provides guidelines, but cannot and does not specifically monitor continued adherence to those guidelines. Nor does ACA, Inc. warrant, guarantee, or insure that adherence to guidelines will prevent any or all injury or loss; nor does ACA, Inc. assume any responsibility or liability for any such injury or loss. Further, ACA, Inc., hereby disclaims any responsibility, liability, or duty to persons or organizations using these resources for any such liability arising out of use of these materials. In addition, ACA, Inc. is not in a position to independently verify that use of these policies or procedures will alone provide a basis for adequate compliance with ACA standards. Such compliance can only be verified by comparing the policies and their implementation to current practice in the camp(s) in question by an on-site visit.

Purchase the Accreditation Process Guide v.2019

If you are having trouble finding the information you need, please contact ACA with your specific questions.

Standards-at-a-Glance, 2019 Edition (November 2019)

Please read the disclaimer above.

Standards that are bold, italicized, and with an asterisk * are mandatory, and as they apply to camps, they must comply with these standards to be accredited by the American Camp Association.

CR.1 Rights and Dignity of Campers/Staff — The camp should have a written statement specific to respecting the rights and dignity of all individuals that is shared with staff, parents/guardians, and campers, and that staff are trained to facilitate.

CR.2 Goals and Outcomes — The camp should have a written statement of goals, identify measurable outcomes, train staff to help campers achieve them, and inform parents and campers of these intended outcomes.

CR.3 Camper Development — Camp programs should provide specific activities that are designed to help camper developmental, emotional, social, and physical health.

CR.4 Environmental Activities — The camp should offer program activities that help develop awareness of, appreciation and responsibility for, and stewardship toward the natural environment. CR.5 Condition of Facilities, Equipment, and Vehicles: Buildings, structures, grounds, equipment (including vehicles, if applicable), and activity areas should be maintained in a clean, safe, and sanitary condition.

Administration: Site/Transportation

* AD.1 Local Emergency Response — The camp must make annual contact with all applicable local emergency officials to notify them of the camp’s dates of operation and relevant scope of programming (including items such as clients served, key elements of the program, and overview of the facilities).

* AD.2 Emergency Medical Transportation — If the camp does not use 911 for emergency medical transportation, the camp must have emergency transportation available at all times provided by the camp being accredited OR by the rental group.

AD.3 Private Vehicle Use — The camp should obtain written permission from owners to use their private vehicles for camp business.

AD.4 Arrival and Departure — The camp should have and use procedures for an orderly arrival and departure of campers, for the loading and unloading vehicles, and supervision during these times.

AD.5 Transportation Information for Parents — Parents should be provided with written pick-up and drop-off times, including a system to communicate any changes, safety procedures, and safety rules for buses/vans.

AD.6 Accident Procedures — A staff member trained on accident procedures should be in each vehicle transporting campers/staff.

AD.7 Transportation Safety Procedures — Transportation procedures should include seating limits, required use of seat belts/booster seats, passengers remaining seated, and wheelchair-handling procedures when applicable.

AD.8 Transportation Orientation — The camp should orient all passengers to safety regulations and procedures.

AD.9 Driver Requirements — Driving records should be reviewed by the camp, and the camp should confirm that drivers have appropriate licenses for the vehicles driven.

AD.10 Leased, Rented, or Chartered Vehicles — The camp should select providers who include evidence that they have a system for regular maintenance/safety checks and that they verify acceptable driving records of provided drivers.

Administration: Health and Wellness

AD.11 Special Health Needs — The camp should provide parents of potential campers with special health needs information about the camp’s philosophy and health management practices and should have a system to evaluate the camp’s ability to meet special health needs, including providing sufficient health staff.

AD.12 Record Maintenance — All health-related forms and records should be kept for at least the period of statutory limits.

Administration: Risk Management

AD.13 Risk Management — The camp should identify and analyze risk exposure and take risk control measures.

AD.14 Incident Reporting and Analysis — Written reports on incidents and accidents should be completed and annually reviewed to modify or change procedures as necessary.

AD.15 Insurance Coverage — The camp should have applicable insurance coverage for general liability, worker’s compensation, loss on buildings, business personal property, motor vehicles, and campers.

AD.16 Personal Property Policy — The camp should advise all participants of policies for possession and use of alcohol/drugs, personal equipment (sports, electronics, etc.), vehicles, animals, and weapons.

* AD.17 Non-Program Firearms Control — Firearms and ammunition not used in programs must be stored under lock.

AD.18 Camp Security and Active Threats — The camp should annually review security concerns, establish a written plan to address possible intruders and active threats, and train staff and campers in the steps to take.

AD.19 Safety Orientation and Emergency Plan — The camp should provide a safety orientation to campers, staff, and rental groups, regarding camp boundaries and hazards, behavior expectations, and emergency procedures for natural disasters and other reasonably foreseeable emergencies.

AD.20 Missing Person Procedure — The camp should develop written search-and-rescue procedures for lost, missing, or runaway persons.

AD.21 Emergency Communications — The camp should have written procedures specifying a system for emergency communication when campers or staff are away from camp, for contacting parents/guardians of minors, and for communicating with the media.

AD.22 Campers in Public Areas — When campers are in public places and/or have contact with the public, the camp should specify supervision ratios, safety rules and behavior guidelines for campers, and emergency procedures if someone is separated from the group.

AD.23 Camper Release/Verification — The camp should establish written procedures for releasing minor campers and for verifying absences at the beginning of the day or session.

Administration: Human Resources

AD.24 Hiring Policies — The camp hiring policies should include an application and screening process for each job category and have been reviewed by legal counsel/human resources personnel within the last three years.

* AD.25 New Staff Screening (year-round/seasonal staff) — The camp must require a criminal background check, at least two references, and a personal interview for all new staff based on camp property.

* AD.26 Subsequent Criminal Background Check Screening (year-round/returning seasonal staff) — The camp must require a criminal background check annually for all seasonal staff based on camp property and at least every five years for year-round staff based on camp property.

* AD.27 Annual Screening for All Staff — Camp procedures must require the annual completion of a voluntary disclosure statement and an annual check of the National Sex Offender website for all camp staff based on camp property.

AD.28 Job Description/Information — Prior to accepting a position, camp staff should be provided job descriptions and information on the nature and diversity of the camp program and population served.

AD.29 Personnel Policies — Written personnel policies should address general equal employment opportunity policies, benefits, time off/absence, performance evaluation, severance/grievance procedures, and work rules and personal conduct, including harassment policies.

AD.30 Staff Time Off — Resident camp staff should be provided with time off daily, as well as 24 hours or more off each two weeks, in blocks of not less than 12 hours, throughout their employment.

Administration: Program

AD.31 Camp Experience Evaluation — Camps should have an evaluation system that includes at least three sources of feedback to determine whether the stated goals/outcomes are met and is applied to improve the quality of the camp experience.

AD.32 Program Eligibility for Camp Programs — The camp should identify in writing any eligibility requirements necessary for campers to participate in each program activity offered.

AD.33 Activity Information and Permission — The camp should inform campers and parents/guardians in writing of the nature of camp activities and the related risks/degree of difficulty, and require the parent’s/guardian’s written approval or denial of participation.

Administration: Trip or Extended Trip/Travel Standards

AD.34 Emergency Assistance — Leaders of out-of-camp trips should know how to access emergency assistance and what to do when a participant cannot continue.

AD.35 Trip Itinerary/Details and Designated Person — The itinerary and details of all out-of-camp trips should be planned in advance and made known to a designated person in the camp office or a responsible person located elsewhere. Information should include a roster of participants, departure and return times, bad weather plans, intended routes, and communication plans.

AD.36 Extended Trip/Travel Procedures — Camp transportation procedures should specify emergency procedures, provisions for nontravel days, and guidelines for acceptable travel times and conditions.

Administration: For Camps That Serve Rental Groups

AD.37 Rental Group Agreement — The camp should have a written use agreement for rental groups that includes terms of use, cancellation, minimum fees, refund policy, and cost for use of equipment and/or services.

AD.38 Rental Group Responsibilities — The rental group agreement should specify parties responsible for emergency response, supervision, recreational activities, insurance coverage, and the need for rental group staff to have appropriate screening.

AD.39 Rental Group Food Handling Procedures — The camp should advise rental groups regarding clean and sanitary food preparation and safe temperatures for food.

AD.40 Rental Group Appropriate Dishwashing Procedures — The camp should advise rental groups regarding appropriate dishwashing, sanitizing, and drying procedures.

AD.41 Rental Group - Conditions — The camp should advise rental groups of any conditions for use, safety guidelines, supervision requirements, and warnings/restrictions for activities, equipment, and facilities that are available to them.

* AD.42 Emergency Care Personnel — The camp must provide or advise rental groups to provide adults with appropriate first aid and CPR/AED certifications.

AD.43 Healthcare Planning — For rental groups, camp should identify who is responsible for first aid, emergency care, and transportation; availability of first aid supplies/equipment; and training/information for staff, families, and groups concerning emergency procedures and reporting requirements.

* AD.44 Health Information — The camp must gather or advise rental groups to gather emergency contacts for all participants, any allergies or health conditions for all participants, and signed permission to treat for minors. The camp must also advise the rental group of the need to lock all medication.

Administration: For Vendor Provided Specialized and Aquatic Programs

AD.45 Vendor Provided Specialized Activities — The camp should select vendors for specialized activities that provide an adequate number of qualified instructors and leaders, orient campers and staff to boundaries and rules, limit camper access as appropriate, and use equipment and facilities that are appropriately sized and in good repair. When using vendors for adventure/challenge course activities, the facilities and areas must meet nationally recognized guidelines for construction and maintenance. When using vendors for horseback riding, horses must be physically sound and suitable for the skill levels of participants.

* AD.46 Vendor Provided Swimming — The camp must use only swimming vendors or public swimming facilities that provide persons with appropriate current certification in lifeguarding, first aid, and CPR/AED.

* AD.47 Vendor Provided Watercraft Activities — The camp must use only watercraft activity vendors or public facilities that provide persons with appropriate certification for watercraft instruction, lifeguarding, first aid, and CPR/AED.

Facilities: Site and Food Service

* FA.1 Emergency Exits — Buildings used for sleeping must have at least two exits.

* FA.2 Care of Hazardous Materials — Hazardous materials used at camp must be store appropriately and used only by trained persons.

FA.3 Utility Systems — The camp should have available blueprints, charts, or descriptions showing locations of utility systems and cut-off valves.

FA.4 Water Testing — If the camp does not use a public water system, the camp should have written verification of safe drinking water.

FA.5 Electrical Evaluation — Qualified personnel should conduct an annual electrical evaluation.

FA.6 Fire and Safety Equipment Evaluation — Qualified personnel should conduct an annual safety examination of all fire detection and suppression equipment and systems.

FA.7 Power Tools — The camp should allow use of power tools only by trained persons.

FA.8 Playgrounds — Staff should verify that playground equipment is in good repair prior to its use by campers.

FA.9 Permanent Sleeping Quarters — All permanent sleeping quarters should have ventilation/temperature control, at least 30” between beds, and adequate space for freedom of movement or emergency exit.

FA.10 Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors — The camp should have smoke detectors in all buildings used for sleeping and carbon monoxide detectors in any building used for sleeping that also contains fuel-burning equipment.

FA.11 Bunk Guardrails — Upper bunks used by youth should be equipped with guardrails.

FA.12 Healthcare Center — The camp should have an area available that provides protection from the elements, space for treatment, an available toilet, drinking water, a place for privacy and isolation, and one bed per 50 persons in camp.

FA.13 Access of Specialized Activity Areas — The camp should control access to specialized activity areas.

FA.14 Handwashing Facilities — The camp should provide handwashing facilities near toilet areas and in areas where food is prepared/consumed.

FA.15 Food Service Area — The camp should provide food service areas that are clean and protected from rodents/insects.

FA.16 Refrigeration — The camp should store potentially hazardous foods at 40°F or below, provide thermometers in refrigerators, monitor temperatures, and take corrective action if temperatures exceed 40°F.

FA.17 Food Temperature — Food service staff should minimize the time that potentially hazardous foods remain in the danger zone of 40°F to 140°F.

FA.18 Sanitized Utensils and Surfaces — Food service staff should follow procedures for clean/sanitized utensils and food contact surfaces.

FA.19 Dish Washing — Dishes and utensils should be washed and sanitized after each use, following appropriate procedures.

FA.20 Dish Drying and Storage — Dishes should be air dried and covered when not in use.

Facilities: Transportation

FA.21 Nonpassenger Vehicles — Transportation in non-passenger vehicles should be prohibited.

FA.22 Emergency Equipment — All vehicles used to transport campers/staff should have appropriate emergency accessories.

FA.23 Mechanical Evaluations — All vehicles used by the camp to transport passengers should have regular checks for mechanical soundness. ©2020 American Camping Association, Inc.

FA.24 Safety Checks — All vehicles used by the camp to transport passengers should have daily visual checks of tires, weekly checks of tire inflation, and regular checks of lights, windshield/wipers, emergency flashers, horn, brakes, mirrors, and fluid levels.

HW.1 Camper Health History — The camp must gather health history information for each camper that includes allergies/dietary restrictions, medications, past medical treatment, immunizations, current conditions, and activity restrictions.

HW.2 Permission to Treat — Parents/guardians of minors should provide signed permission for the camp to provide routine health care, administer prescribed medication, and seek emergency medical treatment.

HW.3 Contact Information — The camp should have access to contact info for each minor camper, including name/birthdate, home address, name/address/phone number of parent/guardian, and any additional emergency contacts.

HW.4 Health Information for Short-term and Family Camp Participants — The camp must collect information for all campers, including names/addresses, emergency contacts, allergies or conditions requiring treatment/restrictions, record of medications, and permission to treat (for minors without a parent/guardian on site).

HW.5 Health Exam — Each resident camp should assess the need for campers to have a physical exam. If an exam is required, it should be within the previous 24 months.

HW.6 Health Screening for Resident Camps — Within 24 hours of arrival, an appropriately trained staff person should conduct health screenings for incoming campers.

HW.7 Health Information Review and Screening for Day Camp and Short-Term Camp — The camp should designate staff to review campers’ health information within 24 hours of first arrival and collect any medication to be given.

HW.8 Parent Notification — Parents should be informed in writing of situations when they will be notified of camper illness or injury, and the camp should document when parents have been contacted or attempts to contact have been made.

HW.9 Healthcare Policies and Treatment Procedures — The camp should have written healthcare policies, reviewed at least every three years by a licensed healthcare professional, that include scope and limits of camp healthcare services provided; authority/responsibilities of the camp healthcare administrator and providers, and other camp staff, to provide health and emergency care; guidelines for accessing external resources; and treatment procedures allowed under the scope of practice of the designated healthcare provider.

HW.10 Inform Staff of Specific Needs — The camp should inform appropriate staff of any specific needs of campers for whom they are responsible.

HW.11 Healthcare Equipment, Supplies, and Emergency Assistance — The camp should identify necessary healthcare equipment and supplies and methods to obtain them, and procedures for obtaining emergency healthcare assistance.

HW.12 Availability of an AED — The camp should have continual access to an AED managed by trained personnel.

HW.13 Medication Storage and Administration — All drugs (Rx and OTC) for campers and staff must be stored under lock and, for prescription medications, given under the directions of a licensed provider or, for OTC medications, per the camp’s written procedures or signed instructions from a parent/guardian.

HW.14 Recordkeeping — The camp should maintain records of all healthcare provided and reports of all incidents requiring professional medical treatment.

HW.15 Staff Health History — The camp should collect a current health history from each staff member.

HW.16 Contact Information for Staff Members Who Are Minors — The camp should have access to contact information, including emergency contacts, for staff members who are minors.

HW.17 Health Screening for Resident Camp Staff — An appropriately trained staff person should conduct health screening for staff members, prior to the arrival of campers.

HW.18 First-Aid Kits — First-aid kits stocked with supplies appropriate to the location and activity, including personal protective equipment, should be readily available in aquatic and specialized activity areas, on trips, in vehicles, and in food service areas.

Staff and Supervision: Staff Qualifications

ST.1 Food Service Supervisor — The camp should have documentation of the food service supervisor’s training/experience in food service management.

ST.2 Healthcare Provider — Resident camps should have a licensed prescriber or registered nurse on site daily. Day camps/short-term camps should have pre-arranged phone access to a licensed prescriber or registered nurse.

ST.3 First-Aid and Emergency Care Personnel — A staff member with training in the appropriate level of first aid and CPR/AED must be on duty at all times when campers are present, in camp and on out-of-camp trips.

ST.4 Healthcare Away from Main Camp — A staff member with current first aid and CPR/AED certification from a nationally recognized provider should be oriented and available to provide routine health care for participants and to handle emergencies on trips and in locations away from the main camp.

ST.5 Director Qualifications — The on-site director should have at least two seasons of camp supervisory experience, have completed an average of five hours a year of professional development, and be at least 25 years old. The director of a camp that primarily serves campers with special needs should have at least 24 weeks of experience working with that special population.

ST.6 Special Needs Staff Requirements — A minimum of 25 percent of staff with supervisory responsibilities should have at least 16 weeks of experience with the specific population OR a bachelor's degree relevant to the clientele served.

ST.7 First Aid, CPR/AED for Specialized Activities and Aquatics — The camp should have a staff member certified in first aid and CPR/AED on duty at all specialized activities and aquatic areas. A staff member with CPR/AED certification is required for aquatic areas.

ST.8 Supervisor Qualification, Specialized Activities — The overall supervisor for each specialized activity should be an adult and hold a current certification and experience specific to the activity or have documented supervisor training and experience specific to the activity.

ST.9 Adventure/Challenge Activities Supervisor Qualifications — The overall supervisor for adventure/challenge activities should be an adult; and hold a current certification and experience specific to the activity or have documented training and experience leading the activity within the past two years; and have at least four weeks of recent supervisory experience.

ST.10 Horseback Activities Supervisor Qualifications — The supervisor for horseback activities should be an adult; hold a certification as an instructor and documented experience or have documented endorsements of successful experience in formal horseback riding instruction; and have at least four weeks of recent supervisory experience.

ST.11 Aquatics Supervisor Qualifications — The aquatic supervisor for each aquatic area should be an individual who is an adult; holds or has recently held appropriate aquatic certification; and has at least four weeks of recent supervisory experience or has completed recent additional management/supervisory training.

ST.12 Swim Lifeguard Certification and Skills Verification — The camp must have an appropriately certified lifeguard (including first aid and CPR/AED) to guard each aquatic activity. The guard’s rescue skills must have been verified in the environment in which he or she will guard.

ST.13 SCUBA Diving Activities — The camp must have an appropriately certified SCUBA instructor to supervise SCUBA diving activities.

ST.14 Instructional Swimming Activities — Instructional swimming should be taught by an appropriately certified swim instructor or someone with documented experience in teaching swim lessons within the past two years and should be guarded by a certified lifeguard out of the water.

ST.15 Watercraft Guard Certification and Skills Verification — The camp must have an appropriately certified watercraft instructor or lifeguard to guard all watercraft activities. The guard’s rescue skills must have been verified for the type of craft and the environment in which he or she will guard.

ST.16 Extended Trip/Travel Leader Qualifications — The trip leader should be an adult with skills relevant to the trip activities, endorsements or observations of judgement and leadership ability, experience or training to handle camper behavior, and experience on similar trips.

ST.17 Extended Trip/Travel Aquatic Supervisor Qualifications — Aquatic staff on trips must have appropriate watercraft or lifeguard certification and documented skills and be trained in water rescue and emergency procedures specific to the location and activity.

Staff and Supervision: Staff Training

ST.18 Vehicle Nondriver Training — Vehicles transporting 15 or more campers should have a staff member, in addition to the driver, who is trained in safety responsibilities and group management.

ST.19 Training for Drivers — Drivers should be trained, including behind-the-wheel driving when the vehicle to be driven differs in size/capacity from the driver’s regularly driven vehicle, on backing up, loading/unloading passengers, handling breakdowns or passenger illness, handling camper behavior, location of campers during refueling, completing safety checks, and evacuation procedures if buses are used.

ST.20 Motorized Watercraft Training — Boat drivers should be trained on laws, common navigation and boater courtesy, safe loading and unloading of passengers, handling mechanical failure, and refueling. On-the-water training should be required.

ST.21 Staff Training for Role in Healthcare — Camp staff should be trained on their roles and responsibilities related to camp healthcare.

ST.22 Camp Security Training and Rehearsal — Camp staff should be trained and have rehearsed their roles in the event of an intruder, unauthorized guest, or active threat at camp (see AD.18).

ST.23 Emergency Plan Training and Rehearsal — The camp should provide training and rehearsal for staff, campers, and rental groups regarding responding to natural disasters and other foreseeable emergencies (see AD.19).

ST.24 Missing Person Training and Rehearsal — Staff members should be trained and have rehearsed their roles in the event of lost, missing, or runaway persons (see AD.20).

ST.25 Precamp Staff Training — Precamp training should address topics including the camp’s purpose and mission, developmental needs of campers, operating and safety procedures for activities, behavior management, expectations for staff performance and conduct, recognizing and reporting child abuse, and emergency procedures.

ST.26 Job Training Specific to Role — All staff should have training on specific job functions and clear expectations for acceptable performance.

ST.27 Supervisor Training — Supervisory staff should be provided written guidelines and trained to monitor staff performance, to reinforce or correct staff behavior, and to carry out their responsibilities in the camp’s performance review system.

ST.28 Camp Staff Supervision for General Camp Activities — Staff should be trained on written procedures for camper supervision responsibilities during general and unstructured camp activities.

ST.29 Staff–Camper Interaction Training — Staff should be trained to speak with and listen to campers respectfully, focus attention primarily on campers, and promote mental, emotional, social, and physical health and safety.

ST.30 Behavior Management and Discipline Training — Staff should be trained on written procedures to teach problem-solving skills, recognize and address bullying, and implement fair and consistent appropriate disciplinary steps.

ST.31 Sensitive Issue Policy — Staff should be trained on how to respond appropriately to socially sensitive issues.

ST.32 Extended Trip/Travel Staff Training — Trip staff should be trained to assess specific safety concerns and hazards, enforce safety regulations, and handle emergencies.

Staff Skill Verification and Observation

ST.33 Staff Skill Verification — Staff teaching specialized program activities should have their skills verified and evaluated prior to leading activities.

ST.34 Staff Observation — The camp should have a system of regular staff observations to provide support and ensure acceptable job performance criteria are continually practiced. These observations should include observation and evaluation of program areas (specialized activities, aquatics, trip staff, etc.)

Camper Supervision and Ratios

ST.35 General Camp Activities Supervision Ratios and Staff Age — The camp should specify the ratio of staff who are on duty and supervising campers in living areas, during unstructured time, and during general programming. The camp should determine when/if exceptions to the general ratios may occur.

ST.36 Training on 1:1 Camper-to-Staff Interactions — All staff must receive training to minimize the potential of being in a 1:1 camper/staff situation when out of sight of others.

ST.37 Health Center Supervision — All campers in the health center should be continually supervised. Staff should be supervised as necessary.

ST.38 Camper Supervision Away from Camp or At Vendor-Provided Programs — Staff accompanying campers to activity sites or with vendor-provided programs should be trained in their supervisory roles and responsibilities.

ST.39 Transportation Supervision — The camp should specify transportation supervision ratios of staff to campers that consider the age, mental ability, and physical condition of all passengers.

ST.40 Supervision Ratios for Specialized Program Activities — For specialized activities, the camp should determine the minimum ratios of trained staff to participants and when it is necessary to include a minimum of 2 staff (one of whom should be an adult).

ST.41 Supervision Ratios for Trips of Any Length — For trips of any length, the camp should determine the minimum ratios of trained staff to participants and when it is necessary to include a minimum of 2 staff (one of whom should be an adult). For extended trip/travel, there must be at least one staff member in addition to the leader.

ST.42 Aquatic Activity Supervision Ratios (all aquatic activities) — The camp should specify ratios of aquatic-certified persons and lookouts on duty at each aquatic area, with a minimum of two staff members, at least one of whom is an adult.

Program Design and Activities: Program General

PD.1 Program Progression — The camp should offer activities that allow campers to experience progression, challenge, and success.

PD.2 Program Equipment Maintenance and Safety Checks — All equipment used should be appropriate to the size and ability of users and stored to safeguard effectiveness. Equipment should be safety-checked regularly, and prior to each use for specialized activities and trips. Adventure/challenge equipment should have written inspection and maintenance records.

PD.3 Program Safety — Campers and staff must be trained in use and care of camp stoves, obtaining and treating drinking water, safe food preparation and storage, cleaning food utensils, and minimizing environmental impact.

PD.4 Documentation and Emergency Information for All Trips — All out-of-camp trip leaders should have ready access to emergency information for each group member, including health forms and permission-to-treat forms, in addition to documents that fully identify the group, its leadership, insurance, and a home-base contact.

Program Design and Activities: Program, Specialized Activities (Including Challenge/Adventure and Horseback Riding)

PD.5 Safety Orientation for Specialized Activities — Participants in specialized activities should have a safety orientation before participating.

PD.6 Spotters and Belayers — Spotters and belayers should be trained, supervised, and located in positions where they can continuously observe and quickly assist any participant.

PD.7 Safety and Emergency Procedures — The camp should specify safety rules and emergency/rescue procedures for each specialized activity offered.

PD.8 Archery Safety — The archery range must include arrow stops and a supplemental backstop or specific safety zones behind targets, clearly delineated rear and side safety buffers, and clearly defined shooting lines. Archery activity leaders must use clear safety signals and range commands. Bows and arrows must be locked when not in use.

PD.9 Rifle, Pellet Gun, and Air Gun Safety — The camp must require redundant storage of all firearms and ammunition, including requiring locations or access systems. The shooting range must include bullet traps or a supplemental backstop and specific safety zones behind targets, clearly delineated rear and side safety buffers, and a clearly defined firing line. Activity leaders must use clear safety signals and range commands to control activity at the firing line and during the retrieval of targets.

PD.10 Go-Kart Safety — Go-karts should be equipped with rollover protection and/or restraint devices when applicable to the type of vehicle being used and recommended by the manufacturers.

PD.11 ATV Safety — ATVs must have size and speed restrictions for drivers under 16. No passengers should be allowed on ATVs, and ATVs should not be operated on paved or public roads.

PD.12 Protective Headgear — Protective headgear must be worn by all campers and staff participating in bicycling or motorized vehicle or activities, rock climbing, rappelling, spelunking, high ropes, vertical climbing walls/tower, and activities involving boarding, in-line skating, snow skiing, and hockey.

PD.13 Safety Apparel — The camp should require campers and staff to wear safety apparel appropriate to the specialized activity.

PD.14 Annual Inspection of Adventure/Challenge Course Elements — The camp should have qualified personnel annually inspect all adventure/challenge course elements.

Program Design and Activities: Program Horse/Livestock

PD.15 Protective Headgear for Horseback Riding — Protective headgear must be worn by all campers and staff under the age of 18. For staff and campers age 18 and over, an acknowledgement-of-risk form must be signed if they choose not to wear a helmet.

PD.16 Pony Rides — Camps should have procedures for pony rides that require the use of sound horses/ponies and an adequate number of qualified people assisting riders as necessary.

PD.17 Riding and Livestock Facilities — Stables, corrals, paddocks, rings, and other livestock areas should be located away from camp living areas, and be clean and supplied with fresh water.

PD.18 Horse and Livestock Medication — The camp should require that horse and livestock medications be handled only by trained or experienced people, secured away from camper access, and locked up when not in use.

PD.19 Safety Apparel for Horseback Riding — The camp should require campers and staff to wear safety apparel (including pants and boots) appropriate to the specialized activity.

PD.20 Classifying Horses — Riding staff should classify horses for various rider skill levels before use by participants.

PD.21 Horse Soundness — Riding staff should check all horses daily for physical soundness and remove any unsound horses from the riding program.

PD.22 Rider Classification — Riding staff should evaluate and classify participants’ riding abilities and assign participants to appropriate horses, equipment, and activities.

Program Design and Activities: Program Extended Trip/Travel (Three Nights or More)

PD.23 Trip Procedure — The camp must specify safety regulations, provide appropriate protective or rescue equipment, prepare participants for foreseeable risks, and specify emergency and rescue procedures for each trip/travel program.

PD.24 Trip Orientation — All campers and staff must be oriented to safety regulations and emergency procedures; first aid, health, and sanitation practices; practices to protect the environment; off-limits areas; rendezvous times and places; and how to obtain medical and emergency assistance.

Program Aquatics: General and Swimming

PA.1 Lookouts — Lookouts should be oriented to their responsibilities. PA.2 Aquatic Safety Regulations: The camp should orient participants in aquatic activities to the written safety rules and regulations.

PA.3 Emergency Procedures — Aquatic staff should rehearse emergency procedures for aquatic activities.

PA.4 Safety of Persons with Impaired Mobility (Permanent and Temporary) —  The camp should have a method by which to prevent accidental access to bodies of water.

PA.5 Safety Systems — The camp should have a system in place to quickly account for all participants in each aquatic activity.

PA.6 Participant Classifications — The camp should evaluate and classify participants’ swimming abilities and assign them to appropriate swimming areas, equipment, facilities, and activities.

PA.7 Swimming Pool — Pools on camp property should have a fence or physical barrier to control access, clearly marked water depths, routine maintenance procedures for sanitation and safety, posted rules, and available rescue equipment. 

PA.8 Natural Body of Water Use for Aquatic Activities — Natural bodies of water used for camp aquatic activities should have controlled access, posted rules, and designated activity areas. Known hazards should be eliminated or activities near them controlled. Equipment should be regularly checked and maintained, and rescue equipment should be available.

PA.9 Aquatic Sites — Camp staff should orient participants to rules and boundaries, assess conditions, and limit camper access. Facility and equipment should appear in good repair, and rescue equipment should be available. All staff should be trained on their supervisory roles and responsibilities.

* PA.10 Staff Swimming — The camp must require certified lifeguards to be present during staff swimming times.

Program Aquatics: Watercraft Activities

* PA.11 Watercraft Safety for Staff and All-Adult Groups — The camp must require that participants wear personal flotation devices, follow safety regulations, and use a check-out system if certified personnel are not supervising.

* PA.12 Personal Flotation Device (PFDs) — PFDs must be worn by campers and staff for all watercraft activities offered by the camp or a vendor.

PA.13 Personal Watercraft  — The camp should prohibit personal watercraft use by anyone under age 16, whether the program is offered by the camp or by a vendor.

PA.14 Watercraft Activity Orientation — Prior to using watercraft provided by the camp or a vendor, all participants should be trained in boarding, debarking, trimming, movement in the craft, PFD use, and self-rescue in case of capsizing or flooding.

PA.15 Watercraft Instruction — Watercraft instructors should be appropriately certified or have documented experience specific to the watercraft activities conducted.

PA.16 Watercraft Maintenance — The camp should have written evidence of regular maintenance and safety checks for all watercraft.