In 2014, we asked members of the American Camp Association (ACA) to visit CSM in order to judge our policies. We were pleased to learn that we received accreditation as an ACA member camp. While this accreditation is not necessary, we believe it is important to have. We believe that ACA provides a structure to help us be the best camp around.
What does this mean for you as a parent or grandparent sending your child to CSM?
ACA Accreditation means that we care enough to undergo a thorough (up to 300 standards) review of our operation — from staff qualifications and training to emergency management. American Camp Association® collaborates with experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and other youth-serving agencies to ensure that current practices at CSM reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation. CSM and ACA form a partnership that promotes summers of growth and fun in an environment committed to your child’s safety.
As an ACA accredited camp, ACA helps us provide:
- Healthy, developmentally appropriate activities and learning experiences
- Discovery through experiential education
- Caring, competent role models
- Service to the community and the environment
- Opportunities for leadership and personal growth
What’s the difference between state licensing of camps and accreditation by ACA?
Accreditation is voluntary and ACA accreditation assures families that CSM has made the commitment to a safe, nurturing environment for your children. Licensing is mandatory and requirements vary from state to state. ACA standards are recognized by courts of law and government regulators as the standards of the camp community.
How do ACA standards exceed state licensing requirements?
ACA goes beyond basic requirements for health, cleanliness, and food service into specific areas of programming, including camp staff from director through counselors, emergency management plans, health care, and management. ACA applies separate standards for activities such as waterfront, horseback riding, and adventure and travel.
What are some of the ACA standards that we at CSM rely on?
- Staff to camper ratios are appropriate for different age groups
- Goals for camp activities are developmentally based
- Emergency transportation is available at all times
- First-aid facilities and trained staff are available when campers are present
How can you verify that your child’s camp is ACA accredited?
Parents can (and should) verify the accreditation status of any camp at any time by visiting ACA’s Web site at www.ACAcamps.org or by calling 1-800-428-CAMP.