Start early. Prepare the materials as early as possible. June is not the time to start working on Accreditation materials. Start in the fall, and get as much done as you can.
Delegate sections of the standards out to other staff to prepare. For example, have your waterfront director prepare the Program Aquatics section (PA).
Do the mandatory standards yourself. Find out which ones apply to your camp and make sure you are going to “take a ‘yes.’” Missing just one mandatory standard will result in failure to be Accredited.
Remember, you must include EVERY specialized activity. Make sure each activity offered at your camp – gymnastics, bicycling, archery, challenge course, horseback riding, etc. — has a documented supervisor, written operating procedures, safety orientation, and so on.
Call your standards chair or your assigned Visitor with your questions now! You do not have to wait until the day of your visit.
Gather blueprints, agency policies, insurance records, etc. from your main office, and have them at camp.
Get organized! Gather your written policies, copies of certifications, etc. into ONE place. A notebook works well for many policies and procedures. Put them in order according to the standards. You do not want to run all over camp during your visit just to find individual pieces of paper.
Double check. Double check your mandatories. It is worth all the effort you put into it to be sure you have them ready! Double check your written material. Each standard marked with written documentation is required. Make sure you understand what is being asked for. Call with your questions!
Set up a Self-Assessment. While the 20 standards in the Self-Assessment are mandatory, you can have all your written documentation reviewed prior to the day of the visit. This saves time the day of the visit. If you are a newly Accredited camp it is a great resource to make sure you are on the right track before the day of the visit.
Enjoy the visit! This is your day to show off your camp. Your Visitors are camp people. They know what it is like to be in your shoes. Relax and enjoy showing them around.
Quick Links for Camps Interested in Becoming Accredited