Crisis Response - Tips for Camps

Top Tips for Camps

  1. Create a crisis response plan. Prior to your camp season, develop your plan. With the proper resources and planning, you can minimize many of the emotional and physical traumas that may occur during a crisis.

Concussion Awareness and Risk Management: More than a Headache

The long-term health implications from concussion among players in the National Football League (NFL) were a concern for nearly 20 years. The NFL studied, debated, and finally acknowledged the issue. The individual stories of debilitating illness and suicide among NFL players has raised our nation's awareness and galvanized action to manage concussion risk in professional as well as amateur and youth sports.

Camper Medical Risks and Trends

Recent trends indicate camp directors are buying less camper accident and sickness medical insurance and relying more on a parent’s insurance to pay for the occasional camper injury or illness. As a result, camper families are paying more expenses out of their own pockets if they have the means, and more families are seeking reimbursement from the camp when they feel the camp contributed to the injury. Some families are hiring lawyers to help them obtain reimbursement.

ACA Communications Toolkit

As a benefit to members, ACA provides free downloadable resources designed to guide camp professionals at all levels in media relations activities, both proactive public relations and crisis communications. As a service to the entire camp community, ACA provides the Crisis Communication Toolkit as a free downloadable resource.

  • Media Relations 101
  • Crisis Communications
  • Generating Stories
  • Key Messages by Topic
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Download Crisis Communication Toolkit (8 pages)

Download Full Communications Toolkit (login required - 27 pages)

Severe Weather Season Is Now Year-Round - Preparing Your Camp

Severe weather can occur during any time of the year. Hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, wild fires, floods, etc. are in the news throughout the year.  In preparation, the American Camp Association reminds camps of the excellent resources available to assist in developing severe weather response plans:

Camps as Evacuation or Temporary Housing Centers

Camps may be called upon by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) — or another government agency or community organization — to serve as evacuation centers. The Department of Homeland Security may also contact camps about serving as housing for children and/or adults who are temporarily under their care.  In any of these cases, camps need to consider all of the implications of agreeing to be a host site.  In recent years, a number of camps have partnered with FEMA and others to take on these responsibilities.  They learned some important lessons when they were asked to help.

Wildfire Evacuations

The safety of your campers and staff and anyone who may be on your property are your primary responsibility. Review your risk management plan for camp evacuation and coordinate with appropriate local authorities. Many of the suggestions below may already be in your risk management plan. Some may or may not apply to your particular situation.

Standards at a Glance

The Standards-at-a-Glance is only a basic reference and represents a general overview of the ACA standards.  Not included in this document are the specific details, contextual education, to whom the standards apply, and compliance demonstrations for each standard.  Do not utilize this document for accreditation preparation or maintenance – only the Accreditation Process Guide (APG), 2019 Edition, should be used.