Testimonials on the Value of Camp Cultural Exchange Programs

Camp has always been a unique developmental environment that weaves global citizenship with other outcomes such as critical thinking skills, leadership, and character development.

Social Security for International Staff

ACA Position

American Camp Association urges camps to abide by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ruling and obtain Social Security numbers for all international staff.

Immigration Reform - Impact on Camps Utilizing Cultural Exchange Visitors

The most recent changes to Immigration Law in the US were enacted in 2013.  It is anticipated that the US Department of State will again consider J-1 Visa Cultural Exchange regulations in 2016.  Until then, consider the 2013 changes:

Understanding Cultural Differences: Tips for Working with International Staff and Campers

As the United States population becomes more diverse and camps employ more international staff, the issue of communicating and interacting effectively with people from other cultures becomes more important. Having respect for cultural differences and learning basic characteristics of other cultures can help you avoid misunderstandings and unintentionally offending others.

Effective Communication

Child Protection Improvements Act - Access to FBI Records Checks for All Youth-Serving Organizations

The American Camp Association and more than twenty other youth development partners have been working to close a gaping hole in federal law that prevents camps and other youth-serving organizations from gaining access to federal criminal background checks on employees and volunteers.

The bipartisan Child Protection Improvements Act  will be re-introduced in Congress in the fall of 2015.  Watch for a call to action to become an advocate and contact your legislators to urge their support of this critical child protection bill. 

Criminal Background Checks - Issues and Resources for Camps

ACA believes that camps should utilize multifaceted screening and hiring programs and support practices appropriate to the clientele, staffing, supervision, and program consideration of each camp.

Visas for International Staff and Campers

Annually, nearly 30,000 international students provide cultural exchange as staff at camps in the United States.  International campers also provide an important aspect of cultural exchange as they live side-by-side in US camps with American campers.  The US Department of State regulates the granting of Visas for both staff and campers.  

International Camp Staff

All international visitors to the United States travel on visas.  Generally, international camp staff travel on a J-1 cultural exchange visa.