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. Read the full disclaimer.

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Standards at a Glance, 2019 Edition (November 2019)

Below is a list of the standards. To get a full version of the Standards at a Glance, you will need to fill out this short form.

Download the Standards at a Glance

Standards that are 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

CR.2 Goals and Outcomes

CR.3 Camper Development 

CR.4 Environmental Activities

Administration: Site/Transportation

* AD.1 Local Emergency Response 

* AD.2 Emergency Medical Transportation 

AD.3 Private Vehicle Use 

AD.4 Arrival and Departure 

AD.5 Transportation Information for Parents

AD.6 Accident Procedures

AD.7 Transportation Safety Procedures 

AD.8 Transportation Orientation

AD.9 Driver Requirements 

AD.10 Leased, Rented, or Chartered Vehicles 

Administration: Health and Wellness

AD.11 Special Health Needs

AD.12 Record Maintenance

Administration: Risk Management

AD.13 Risk Management

AD.14 Incident Reporting and Analysis

AD.15 Insurance Coverage

AD.16 Personal Property Policy

* AD.17 Non-Program Firearms Control 

AD.18 Camp Security and Active Threats 

AD.19 Safety Orientation and Emergency Plan 

AD.20 Missing Person Procedure 

AD.21 Emergency Communications 

AD.22 Campers in Public Areas 

AD.23 Camper Release/Verification 

Administration: Human Resources

AD.24 Hiring Policies 

* AD.25 New Staff Screening (year-round/seasonal staff) 

* AD.26 Subsequent Criminal Background Check Screening (year-round/returning seasonal staff) 

* AD.27 Annual Screening for All Staff 

AD.28 Job Description/Information 

AD.29 Personnel Policies 

AD.30 Staff Time Off 

Administration: Program

AD.31 Camp Experience Evaluation 

AD.32 Program Eligibility for Camp Programs 

AD.33 Activity Information and Permission 

Administration: Trip or Extended Trip/Travel Standards

AD.34 Emergency Assistance 

AD.35 Trip Itinerary/Details and Designated Person 

AD.36 Extended Trip/Travel Procedures 

Administration: For Camps That Serve Rental Groups

AD.37 Rental Group Agreement 

AD.38 Rental Group Responsibilities 

AD.39 Rental Group Food Handling Procedures 

AD.40 Rental Group Appropriate Dishwashing Procedures 

AD.41 Rental Group - Conditions 

* AD.42 Emergency Care Personnel 

AD.43 Healthcare Planning 

* AD.44 Health Information

Administration: For Vendor Provided Specialized and Aquatic Programs

AD.45 Vendor Provided Specialized Activities 

* AD.46 Vendor Provided Swimming 

* AD.47 Vendor Provided Watercraft Activities 

Facilities: Site and Food Service

* FA.1 Emergency Exits 

* FA.2 Care of Hazardous Materials 

FA.3 Utility Systems 

FA.4 Water Testing 

FA.5 Electrical Evaluation 

FA.6 Fire and Safety Equipment Evaluation 

FA.7 Power Tools 

FA.8 Playgrounds 

FA.9 Permanent Sleeping Quarters 

FA.10 Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors 

FA.11 Bunk Guardrails 

FA.12 Healthcare Center 

FA.13 Access of Specialized Activity Areas 

FA.14 Handwashing Facilities 

FA.15 Food Service Area 

FA.16 Refrigeration 

FA.17 Food Temperature 

FA.18 Sanitized Utensils and Surfaces 

FA.19 Dish Washing 

FA.20 Dish Drying and Storage 

Facilities: Transportation

FA.21 Nonpassenger Vehicles 

FA.22 Emergency Equipment 

FA.23 Mechanical Evaluations 

FA.24 Safety Checks 

HW.1 Camper Health History 

HW.2 Permission to Treat 

HW.3 Contact Information 

HW.4 Health Information for Short-term and Family Camp Participants 

HW.5 Health Exam 

HW.6 Health Screening for Resident Camps 

HW.7 Health Information Review and Screening for Day Camp and Short-Term Camp 

HW.8 Parent Notification 

HW.9 Healthcare Policies and Treatment Procedures 

HW.10 Inform Staff of Specific Needs 

HW.11 Healthcare Equipment, Supplies, and Emergency Assistance 

HW.12 Availability of an AED 

HW.13 Medication Storage and Administration 

HW.14 Recordkeeping 

HW.15 Staff Health History 

HW.16 Contact Information for Staff Members Who Are Minors 

HW.17 Health Screening for Resident Camp Staff 

HW.18 First-Aid Kits 

Staff and Supervision: Staff Qualifications

ST.1 Food Service Supervisor 

ST.2 Healthcare Provider 

ST.3 First-Aid and Emergency Care Personnel 

ST.4 Healthcare Away from Main Camp 

ST.5 Director Qualifications

ST.6 Special Needs Staff Requirements

ST.7 First Aid, CPR/AED for Specialized Activities and Aquatics 

ST.8 Supervisor Qualification, Specialized Activities 

ST.9 Adventure/Challenge Activities Supervisor Qualifications 

ST.10 Horseback Activities Supervisor Qualifications 

ST.11 Aquatics Supervisor Qualifications 

ST.12 Swim Lifeguard Certification and Skills Verification 

ST.13 SCUBA Diving Activities 

ST.14 Instructional Swimming Activities 

ST.15 Watercraft Guard Certification and Skills Verification 

ST.16 Extended Trip/Travel Leader Qualifications 

ST.17 Extended Trip/Travel Aquatic Supervisor Qualifications 

Staff and Supervision: Staff Training

ST.18 Vehicle Nondriver Training 

ST.19 Training for Drivers 

ST.20 Motorized Watercraft Training 

ST.21 Staff Training for Role in Healthcare 

ST.22 Camp Security Training and Rehearsal 

ST.23 Emergency Plan Training and Rehearsal 

ST.24 Missing Person Training and Rehearsal 

ST.25 Precamp Staff Training 

ST.26 Job Training Specific to Role 

ST.27 Supervisor Training 

ST.28 Camp Staff Supervision for General Camp Activities 

ST.29 Staff–Camper Interaction Training 

ST.30 Behavior Management and Discipline Training 

ST.31 Sensitive Issue Policy 

ST.32 Extended Trip/Travel Staff Training 

Staff Skill Verification and Observation

ST.33 Staff Skill Verification 

ST.34 Staff Observation 

Camper Supervision and Ratios

ST.35 General Camp Activities Supervision Ratios and Staff Age 

ST.36 Training on 1:1 Camper-to-Staff Interactions 

ST.37 Health Center Supervision 

ST.38 Camper Supervision Away from Camp or At Vendor-Provided Programs 

ST.39 Transportation Supervision 

ST.40 Supervision Ratios for Specialized Program Activities 

ST.41 Supervision Ratios for Trips of Any Length 

ST.42 Aquatic Activity Supervision Ratios (all aquatic activities) 

Program Design and Activities: Program General

PD.1 Program Progression 

PD.2 Program Equipment Maintenance and Safety Checks 

PD.3 Program Safety 

PD.4 Documentation and Emergency Information for All Trips 

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

PD.5 Safety Orientation for Specialized Activities 

PD.6 Spotters and Belayers 

PD.7 Safety and Emergency Procedures 

PD.8 Archery Safety 

PD.9 Rifle, Pellet Gun, and Air Gun Safety 

PD.10 Go-Kart Safety 

PD.11 ATV Safety 

PD.12 Protective Headgear 

PD.13 Safety Apparel 

PD.14 Annual Inspection of Adventure/Challenge Course Elements 

Program Design and Activities: Program Horse/Livestock

PD.15 Protective Headgear for Horseback Riding 

PD.16 Pony Rides

PD.17 Riding and Livestock Facilities 

PD.18 Horse and Livestock Medication 

PD.19 Safety Apparel for Horseback Riding 

PD.20 Classifying Horses 

PD.21 Horse Soundness 

PD.22 Rider Classification 

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

PD.23 Trip Procedure 

PD.24 Trip Orientation 

Program Aquatics: General and Swimming

PA.1 Lookouts 

PA.3 Emergency Procedures 

PA.4 Safety of Persons with Impaired Mobility (Permanent and Temporary) 

PA.5 Safety Systems 

PA.6 Participant Classifications 

PA.7 Swimming Pool 

PA.8 Natural Body of Water Use for Aquatic Activities 

PA.9 Aquatic Sites 

* PA.10 Staff Swimming 

Program Aquatics: Watercraft Activities

* PA.11 Watercraft Safety for Staff and All-Adult Groups 

* PA.12 Personal Flotation Device (PFDs) 

PA.13 Personal Watercraft  

PA.14 Watercraft Activity Orientation 

PA.15 Watercraft Instruction 

PA.16 Watercraft Maintenance