2018 Public Policy Update: J-1 Visas, CPIA, Camps on Federal Lands

J-1 Visas — Camp Counselor and Summer Work Travel Programs

  • In March, ACA’s volunteer leadership traveled to Washington for discussions with top State Department staff about the necessity of J-1 Visa participants for America’s camps. The quality cultural exchange experiences for camps and the J-1 Visa participants are always a top priority for State Department officials.

Child Protection Improvements Act Becomes Law

On Friday, March 23, President Trump signed the omnibus spending package, which included provisions for the Child Protection Improvements Act (CPIA). The new law 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.

Camp Builds Powerful Advocacy

Last month, twelve camp directors gathered with staff from the YMCA, American Camp Association (ACA), and the Foundation for Jewish Camp in Washington, D.C. to advocate for the Child Protection Improvements Act (CPIA) of 2017, international cultural exchange through camp experiences, equitable access to forest lands, preservation of tax deductibility of charitable gifts, and expansion of the child care tax credit to residential camp tuition.

Pool and Spa Safety - Federal Laws Applicable to Camps

Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (VGB) promotes the safe use of pools, spas and hot tubs. The act imposes mandatory federal requirements for suction entrapment avoidance, and it establishes a voluntary grant program for states with laws that meet certain minimum requirements as outlined in the Act. The VGB is being administered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Community Parks Revitalization Act

Overview

The Community Parks Revitalization Act will provide matching federal grants for much needed parks and recreation infrastructure. Specifically, the bill would authorize the Department of Housing and Urban Development to: