You have a lot of concerns when sending your child off to a summer camp. What qualifications do the directors have? How experienced is the staff? What kind of medical care do they have? And more. There are organizations that monitor and rate sleep away summer camps and when you see they seal or recommendation on the site, it gives you a feeling of security, but just who are they and what are their qualifications? Exactly what standards do they hold a sleep away camp to in order to be accredited or recognized. Here is a detailed look at some of the organizations so you can determine how much weight to give to their recommendations.
National Camp Association
The National Camp Association has been evaluating sleep away camps since 1983. They have a free service for the public called Camp Advisory Service where they will match your child to one of the camps that they have evaluated. The camps they have on their list are world wide and cover all types, traditional and specialized camps such as weight loss, riding, wilderness and riding. If a camper is referred by them, they get a fee from the camp.
American Camp Association
The American Camp Association is the biggest and most well known of the organizations evaluating sleep away camps . They have been evaluating sleep away camps for over 100 years and to get the ACA seal of approval, a camp has to meet over 300 different qualifications. You can read them here. They cover the following Site: fire protection, food service, sleeping quarters, bathing and toilet facilities.
Transportation: procedures concerning drivers, vehicles, and traffic on site. Health and Wellness: staff qualifications, facilities requirements, record keeping, storage distribution of medicines, contact information, health forms.
Operational Management: Safety regulations, emergency communication systems, procedures for intruders, personal property regulations. Human Resources: staff qualifications, training, supervision ratios, and procedures. This includes background checks including checking for criminal background Program Activities: aquatics,
adventure/challenge, trips, horseback riding, staff qualifications for special programs. They do not only make one visit. A camp needs to be re certified at regular intervals.
They have regional offices all across the county, Puerto Rico, Alaska and Hawaii.
Christian Camp and Conference Association
The Christian Camp and Conference Association is a not for profit group. Their purpose is to help Christian organizations through training courses, seminars and networking with each other. They have an on line data base of over 1000 camps and organizations.
You also have several local options for checking out a camp. Check with the licensing bureau in their area, for instance in New York City, camps are licensed by the Department of Health. Check with the local Better Business Bureau in their area and with the Attorney General’s office in their state to see if there are any complaints. By doing your research and homework before making your decision, you will greatly increase the chance for your child to have the best camping experience possible.