Social Media Language on Benefits of ACA Accreditation

Key Messages:

  • While no institution—schools, youth programs, camps, or families—can absolutely guarantee a child’s safety, parents should do their research in choosing the best camp for their children. Parents can verify if the camp they are considering is accredited by the American Camp Association by visiting ACA’s website at or calling 1-800-428-CAMP. If the camp is not accredited, ask the camp why not.
  • ACA believes that all camps should become accredited. ACA accreditation verifies that a camp has complied with up to 263 standards for health, safety, and program quality. Licensing varies from state to state. ACA accreditation assures parents that the camp has had a regular, independent safety review from their peers that goes beyond state regulations.
  • ACA accreditation is voluntary and assures families that camps have made the commitment to a safe, nurturing environment for their children. Licensing requirements vary from state to state. ACA standards are recognized by courts of law and government regulators as the standards of the camp community.
  • The standards of the ACA are national in scope and designed to be appropriate and applicable for a wide variety of camps and programs across the US. Currently many states have their own licensing regulations which range from minimal to extensive. ACA continues to work with those state regulators to ensure the health and safety of all participants.
  • It is important to note, while individual states have varying levels of licensing requirements, ACA accreditation is the only standard across all 50 states and it often goes well beyond the minimal standards required by state regulation. The following link highlights how ACA accreditation differs from state regulation:
  • ACA has been advocating for CPIA the since as far back as the 1990s. This year CPIA was included in Trump’s omnibus spending package and was signed into law. It enables organizations serving vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities to conduct fast, accurate, and affordable FBI background checks on prospective volunteers and employees. Prior to this law being passed, more than one-third of states do not have access to FBI background checks. The Department of Justice has yet to implement this law.
  • International cultural exchange staff are required to complete background checks that meet the standard set by the US State Department for their particular country of origin, and most placement agencies have a rigorous interview process. Accredited camps work with their placement agency to verify the appropriate background checks in writing in order to meet the related mandatory standards for ACA accreditation. There are no exceptions for international staff.

Additional Resources in Shorter Form:

For Accredited Camps: