Public Policy in ACA, Northern California

As an educational nonprofit association, the American Camp Association is dedicated to providing quality, reliable, and up-to-date information about the laws and regulations applicable to the camp community.  To that end, ACA partners with other organizations to advocate for quality camp experiences, and to increase the understanding of and support for the value of the camp experience for all children and families.  The ACA, Northern California Field Office partners with the ACA, Southern California/Hawaii Field Office to monitor public policy issues impacting the camp community in California.  Access our database of state laws and regulations for details. 


CAL-OSHA Alert: Wildfire Smoke Emergency Regulation

Cal-OSHA has issued an emergency rule to deal with the hazards of wildfire smoke in California and to minimize the exposure to employee of contaminated smoke in such circumstance

The wildfire smoke regulation will only affect employees working outside and/or exposed to such smoke, with exemptions for businesses whose employees work inside air conditioning-controlled atmospheres. Here are some of the requirements:

Scope. California Code of Regulations, title 8, section 5141.1 applies to most outdoor workplaces where the current Air Quality Index (current AQI) for airborne particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or smaller (PM2.5) is 151 or greater, and where employers should reasonably anticipate that employees could be exposed to wildfire smoke.


Management and Supervisors:

  • Implement a system for communicating wildfire smoke hazards to employees.
  • Check with the proper authorities regarding the air quality at the time of wildfires so you can use such information to determine best practices in those circumstances.
  • Implement engineering controls, when feasible.
  • Provide proper respiratory protection equipment, if necessary.  In this case of this regulation, that implies the use of N95 air filtering facepieces.
  • Provide effective training.


  • Follow work practices and procedures to help protect their health and safety.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and attire, and use provided protective equipment as needed.
  • Inform employer of worsening air quality; and any adverse symptoms from wildfire smoke.

Please review the regulation for applicability to your business and employee activities. Use this form to track and document the air quality on a daily and frequent basis, as may be required.


CalCode Changes may apply to California Camp Food Service Operations

California SB 1067 (Huff) Food facilities, updated CalCode in several sections. Camp directors may view a summary of changes to determine applicability to their operations. 

Additional resources include: SB 1067 Guidance Document and an Appendix


New California Concussion Law - effective Janaury 2017 may apply to camps 

The California Collaboration for Youth shares: 

In January 2017, a new law went into effect in California related to youth sports and head injuries. The law expanded already existing statue on “return to play” that had only applied to school settings.  The law, as put into the California Health and Safety code ARTICLE 2.5. Youth Sports Concussion Protocols, section 124235, defines a youth sports organization as ” an organization, business, nonprofit entity, or a local governmental agency that sponsors or conducts amateur sports competitions, training, camps, or clubs in which persons 17 years of age or younger participate in any of the following sports: basketball, baseball, boxing, bicycle motocross (BMX), competitive cheerleading, diving, equestrian activities, field hockey, football, full contact martial arts, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, parkour, rodeo, roller derby, rugby, skateboarding, skiing, soccer, softball, surfing, swimming, synchronized swimming, volleyball, water polo, and wrestling. ”

This new law requires youth organizations to develop new procedures that include greater attention to an injured athlete and more education to athletes, parents, coaches and administrators in all the following areas:

  • Any athlete, suspected of receiving a concussion should be removed from play and not allowed to return until evaluated by a licensed health care provider trained in the management of concussions and acting within scope of practice.
  • If an athlete has received a concussion, the athlete should complete a return to play protocol of no less than 7 days under health care provider supervision.
  • If a youth athlete is removed form play for a head injury, the youth sports organization must notify the parents of the time and date of the injury, the symptoms observed and any treatment provided to the athlete by the organization.
  • Every year, the youth organization must provide to the athlete and the parents a concussion and head injury information sheet that must be signed by both and returned.
  • Every year, youth sports organizations must offer concussion and head injury information to all coaches and administrators.
  • Coaches and administrators are required to successfully complete in person or online concussion and head injury training at least once.  This must be completed before they can supervise an athlete in an activity.
  • “Concussion and head injury education and educational materials” and a “concussion and head injury information sheet” shall, at a minimum, include information relating to all the following:
  1. Head injuries and their potential consequences.
  2. The signs and symptoms of a concussion.
  3. Best practices for removal of an athlete from an athletic activity after a suspected concussion.
  4. Steps for returning an athlete to school and athletic activity after a concussion or head injury.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides great resources for parents, athletes, youth coaches and heath care professionals.  Entitled, Heads Up, it offers free online training courses as well as a variety of materials such as fact sheets, posters and templates for planning.

Download this information