Summer’s Edge at Camp Thoreau is proud
to be accredited by the American Camp Association
Our Commitment to Excellence — and what that means to you and your child
As camp professionals, we understand that your biggest concern is for the safety of your child. We also know you have goals for your child’s development related to the powerful lessons the camp experience provides in community, character-building, skill development, and healthy living. We share those same goals, which is why we have taken the added step of becoming an Accredited Camp through the American Camp Association (ACA).
Why Is ACA Accreditation Important?
As the only recognized accrediting body for the camp experience in the United States, ACA accredits approximately 2,400+ diverse camps nationally. However, that number represents only 25% of the camps that operate in this country. ACA’s goal is to continue to grow the number of accredited camps to ensure a safe and positive camp experience for more children. ACA-Accredited® Camps meet up to 290 health and safety standards. Accreditation is a family’s best evidence that their camp is committed to the health, safety, and overall well-being of their child.
Other camps like to say they follow industry standards and best practices. Some even say they use the ACA guidelines, but the fact remains that camps that do not hold themselves up to a transparent, complete peer review of their operations are not acting in the best interests of their staff, campers, families, and the public at large. If your camp is not accredited, ask the owner or director why. ACA accreditation matters.
We Set Our Standards High
Earning and maintaining ACA accreditation takes time and commitment. We set our standards high, to provide your child with an environment where he or she is having fun and is unaware of all of the work-related to safety and learning, which has been carefully incorporated into the daily routine.
To be accredited by ACA, we had to demonstrate sound practices in every aspect of camp management and operation, including:
- Site: Fire protection, food service, sleeping quarters, utility, and maintenance systems.
- Transportation: Procedures concerning drivers, vehicles, and traffic on site.
- Health and Wellness: Staff qualifications, facilities requirements, record keeping, storage and distribution of medicines, contact information, health forms.
- Operational Management: Safety regulations, emergency communication systems, procedures for intruders, personal property regulations.
- Human Resources: Staff qualifications, screening and training, supervision ratios, and procedures.
- Program Activities: Aquatics, adventure/challenge, trips, horseback riding, and staff qualifications for special programs.
Mandatory standards also include requirements for staff screening, emergency exits, first aid, aquatic-certified personnel, storage and use of flammables and firearms, emergency transportation, obtaining appropriate health information, among others.
What are some of the ACA standards for camps?
- Staff-to-camper ratios that are appropriate for different age groups
- Goals for camp activities that are developmentally based
- Emergency transportation available at all times
- First-aid facilities and trained staff available when campers are present
For more information about ACA Accreditation, contact our camp director or visit the American Camp Association website at www.ACACamps.org.