First Visits in New Standards

Results from nearly 750 summer accreditation visits are in, and despite some anxiety about moving to the new system, ACA camps, visitors, and sections did a fine job with the first visits in the new standards! Preliminary statistics and feedback show:

  • The number of camps whose initial scores did not meet minimum accreditation criteria was no higher than usual — about 6 percent of those visited. ACA camps were well-prepared!

  • The number of calls made to visitors to resolve score form questions was slightly higher than the last few years, but lower than the number necessary the last time standards were revised. ACA visitors were well-prepared!

  • The total number of camps visited was slightly lower than the last few years, but camps needed only one visit to evaluate their year-round program this year.

At their September meeting, the National Standards Board evaluated feedback from sections as well as preliminary statistical data from visits. They found:

  • Visits to camps who had documentation reviewed prior to the on-site visit were shorter and resulted in fewer problems on the day of the visit — and higher scores. Contact between visitors and directors prior to the visit has always helped camps succeed!

  • Most sections felt the visits went well — much smoother than originally anticipated.

  • Lack of documentation, again, is the primary reason for No scores on visits. For example, camps evaluated the skills of specialized staff, but failed to document that verification.

  • The new standards support products were well-received and helpful to many.

Originally published in the 1999 Fall issue of The CampLine.