ACA-Accreditation Talking Points for Camp Directors

Accredited camp logo

ACA encourages camps to utilize the following talking points when discussing ACA-Accreditation with the media, parents, or other groups. These key messages will enable you to explain the importance of accreditation and how the process benefits your programs, staff, and campers.

What is ACA-Accreditation?

As a camp director, accreditation provides me with education on key aspects of camp operation, program quality, and the health and safety of campers and staff.

Accreditation establishes up to 300 health and safety standards that include needed policies, procedures, and practices for which we are responsible for ongoing implementation.

Accreditation lets the public know that our camp meets industry-accepted and government-recognized standards.  

What’s the difference between state licensing and accreditation?

Accreditation is voluntary.  When we chose to become accredited, we assured families that we have made the commitment to a safe, nurturing environment for their children.

State licensing is mandatory, but varies from state to state. ACA-Accreditation standards are recognized by courts of law and government regulators as the standards of the camp industry.

ACA-Accreditation goes beyond basic requirements for health, cleanliness, and food service into specific areas of programming, emergency management plans, and health care.

Key ACA Standards:

  • Staff to camper ratios
  • Developmentally based goals for camp activities
  • Emergency transportation available at all times
  • First-aid facilities and trained staff when campers are present
  • Training requirements for camp staff
  • Aquatic (both swimming and watercraft) requirements which include a currently certified lifeguard to be present at all aquatic activities

Does ACA-Accreditation require criminal background checks?

Through ACA-Accreditation, we are required to conduct staff screenings which include an interview for new staff, verification of work history, check of references, and a criminal background check (the type allowed by your state, annually for seasonal staff and at least every five years for year-round staff).  (It is good to talk about your specific process).