Reasonable Supervision and the "Safe" Environment: What Are the Issues?

Message From the American Camp Association

Kids want action! Excitement! Cool activities! New stuff! Parents want safety.
They want kids to have fun, but they also expect you to deliver EVERYTHING in the camp brochure. Directors (and boards and owners) also want camp to be a safe experience.

Developmental psychologists and youth development specialists would tell us that risk and challenge are important developmental dimensions — important to the positive growth and development of youth.

Standards — Friend or Foe?

A standard, according to Merriam-Webster, is "something set up and established by authority as a rule for the measure of quantity, weight, extent, value or quality." (Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.)

Following the American Camp Association's (ACA) recent revision of standards contained in the ACA Accreditation Standards for Camp Programs and Services (1998), we discuss here the broad definition of "standards" and their value and risks to camps and other recreation providers.

What Is a Standard?