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Camps de visits this summer.

Accreditation is a strenuous process that takes time, effort, and energy. However, camps pursuing or continuing accreditation demonstrate their understanding that campers are worth the effort! As you prepare for the upcoming visit, remember the educational value of the process--reviewing systems and practices to be sure they reflect accepted best practices. We commend you for that commitment to the health and safety of the lives you enrich with the camp experience.

If you have not yet been contacted by standards personnel in your section to make arrangements for the visit, contact your ACA section office.

New Camps

Camps new to ACA who are preparing for accreditation visits this summer can visit ACA's Web site (www.ACAcamps.org/accreditation) for helpful resources--including the Top Ten Ways to Make Your First ACA Visit a Success. If you don't have access to the Internet, give us a call and we'll be glad to mail the list. Most importantly, call your local ACA section office, standards chair, or the ACA national office with any questions--clear up any confusion now, before the visit!

Camps Being Revisited

In 2003, previously accredited camps will be visited for the second time on our current set of standards. Preparation should be easier as directors and administrators update policies and procedures and make sure they have documentation on current staff. Visit ACA's Web site to find helpful resources and tools to take full advantage of accreditation: www.ACAcamps.org/accreditation. If you don't have access to the Internet, be sure to contact your local ACA section office, standards chair, or the ACA national office with any questions--to clear up any questions or confusion BEFORE the visit!

Requests for Extension

To maintain accreditation, camps must be visited at least once every three years. ACA is a national accrediting body and the public relies on our system for accreditation. Therefore, consistent policies and practices are expected, and exceptions are rare.

Occasionally, camps due a visit in their three-year cycle may contact the section and request that their visit be postponed for a year. Sections have the authority to extend the accreditation of a currently-accredited camp for one year--but only for an unusual and unforeseen circumstance not related to the camp's normal compliance with best practices (e.g., serious illness or death, earthquake, flood, major fire, etc.). Generally, construction on site is foreseen--if the camp can operate, it can be visited. Change of director or administrative personnel is rarely a reason to grant extension such a change may, in fact, be a reason to require the visit to be sure the new director knows and is following standards.

Any extension of accreditation must have Section Board approval since it will affect the overall percent of camps visited for the year (visiting 90 percent of camps due a visit is a section charter requirement). Any requests for extension should be made in writing to the local ACA section, preferably prior to the camp season, and should include the rationale for the request.

Currently-accredited camps should already have most of the documentation available, having signed annual Statements of Compliance which indicate they are continuing to comply with the requirements of the standards. Preparing for a visit may be challenging, but the integrity of the camp's reputation to their constituency and of our national accrediting program relies on uniform implementation of that system.
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Title Annotation:Honor our past, assure our future: Campaign '07; camp accreditation
Publication:Camping Magazine
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2003
Words:557
Previous Article:CAMPaign '07 pledges & contributions.
Next Article:Volunteers needed!
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