FAQ — National Conference Safety Requirements

 As the pandemic continues to evolve, impacting events, travel, and everyday activities, the American Camp Association (ACA) has implemented additional mitigation strategies as requirements for attending the 2022 National Conference in Portland, Oregon. ACA will continue to follow federal, state, and local health official guidance for all events and will make any adjustments as necessary. These requirements align with best practices that promote the safety of our participants and staff as our guiding principle. 

Me, Work at Camp? No Way!

During the 2021 ACA National Staffing Summit, five students were selected by their professors to serve on a panel to discuss why they did not want to work at camp. They were chosen because they would be great camp counselors but had said they were not interested. These are their stories . . . 

Winter COVID-19 Update — FAQ with Dr. Blaisdell

Over the last six weeks, ACA staff have received a great number of questions about COVID-19 and how to plan for summer 2022. In response, we sat down with ACA’s volunteer medical advisor Laura Blaisdell, MD/MPH, FAAP, to answer your questions. As you are aware, the pandemic has continued to rapidly evolve, most recently — with the arrival of the Omicron variant. Dr. Blaisdell’s responses are her best answers based on the information that is available today.

Delta, Division, and a Diversity of Guidance: Navigating Uncertainty in the Age of COVID

Back in the summer of 2020, some camps embarked on an important yet uncertain adventure: They decided to operate during the heart of the pandemic.

At the time, there was much speculation in the press and in public discussion about how this adventure would end. And yet camps did what camps do. They developed innovative, multifaceted strategies to manage and minimize the threat of infection, including, but not limited to, the following:

Developing a Certification Program as a Staff Recruitment/Retention Tool

I’ll start by being blatantly transparent: we created our certification program with a specific goal: To recruit and retain more qualified and dedicated staff. OK, honestly, just more staff in general. There. I’ve said it. It was selfish in its creation, perhaps, but it has great benefits for our staff as well as for us as a camp. Let me tell you more.

Risk Mitigation: Addressing Camp Parent Concerns

Parents want to keep their kids safe — that’s a no-brainer. As we move into the colder months of the year and the holiday season, however, parents’ concerns are reaching new heights. Sure, there are typical worries such as avoiding accidents and injuries and protecting kids from bullying and the dark corners of the internet, but now parents face the increased risk of their children becoming infected with the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Tips for Hiring Quality Staff without Spending a Dime

A common challenge for summer camp administrators in 2021 was staff recruitment and hiring. This is not surprising, since there is a labor shortage across the country. According to the Washington Post in September, “There are currently 10 million job openings, yet more than 8.4 million unemployed are still actively looking for work.” There have been several hypotheses for what is causing this shortage, from excessive government benefits to low minimum wage and even a general change in how Americans view work. 

Step Up Your Hiring Game: Attracting Interns through a Field Experience Manual

Are you worried about staffing shortages and how many international staff you can hire? Have you heard potential staff say, “Thanks for the offer, but I need an internship”? Creating a field experience manual to attract and hire interns for camp jobs is a great answer for both concerns.

Pivot, Pivot, PIVOT! Managing Risk at Camp in the Ever-Evolving COVID Landscape

[Ad] This blog post can help you assess your camp's current operations, paying special attention to areas where you have added, altered, or eliminated practices or procedures.

Staff Culture: Reclaim Your Purpose, Part 2

This blog post is the second in a two-part series about staff culture.