Standards and Accreditation News
My last Accreditation visit was in 2015, with the move to a 5 year cycle, when is my next site visit going to be scheduled?
This has been a very common question the past few weeks!
All camps that were scheduled for a site visit during summer 2018 have been contacted to verify the year of your next site visit. If you are due for an Accreditation Site Visit in 2018 and did not receive word as to the date of your next visit, please contact Elizabeth.
As we have been mentioning through this whole process, the move to put all camps on a 5 year accreditation cycle will take about 5 years. A little over 1/2 of the camps in New England have moved to the 5 year cycle so far. By 2020 all existing camps will be moved to the 5 year accreditation cycle.
Our camp needs to complete an AAR. When can I start that process?
The link to complete the report will go live December 1. The following are some key reminders about the report.
- The individual who completes the Annual Accreditation Report must view a brief training video before completing the report. As we will be using different technology for the 2018 report, this step is critical. PLEASE DO NOT COMPLETE THIS REPORT PRIOR TO DECEMBER 1, 2017!
- The training video and instructions will be available the week after Thanksgiving 2017.
- The Annual Accreditation Report will be available for completion online from December 1, 2017, through February 15, 2018. The report must be completed by February 15.
- The completed report will be reviewed by a trained reviewer by March 15, 2018.
- We anticipate that the report will take you approximately 1.5-2 hours to complete. The questions will focus on the structure of the camp program and how the camp complies with specific ACA standards.
- We will send you additional information by late November, including instructions for how to access the training video and complete the report.
If you received you an accreditation visit in 2017, official letters will be mailed out next week. There was a slight delay getting them to the New England office and we are working to turn them around as quickly as possible to get them to you. If you need a copy of the letter sooner (i.e. - for your board meeting) please let Elizabeth know and she can send you a copy digitally.
Are you being visited this summer? All camps are required to attend a Standards Course, or Standards Update Course. The schedule of courses for the 2017-2018 is NOW available on our Professional Calendar! More courses are being added daily.
Have you ever thought of becoming a Visitor?
This is your chance! ACA New England’s next visitor course will be held this fall. More details to be posted on the professional calendar in upcoming weeks.
Update Your Contact Information
At the Massachusetts Camping Association, we like to keep our Members informed of the latest legislative and regulatory developments impacting camps in Massachusetts. The Board of MCA would like to update our records to make sure that we have accurate contact information for each camp.
Please take a moment to fill out our survey. You can tell us the best contact person and email for your camp(s) or you can tell us if you would like to come off our mailing list.
2017 Fall Workshop
Thursday, November 2, 2017
9:30am - Welcome/Check In/Coffee Social
10:00am - 1:30pm
at Camp Cedar Hill - Great Hall
265 Beaver Street
FREE for MCA Member Camps $50 for Non-Member Camp
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY INCLUDE:
- What's New with MCA - Greetings from the MCA President, Beth Johns-Thomas
- Treasurer and Membership Updates
- MA Legislative Updates (Sick/Family Leave, Pool Regulations, Camp Regulations, Minimum Wage, J-1 Visa Update, Title 5 Regulations)
- Lunch is provided
- Round Table Discussion Groups on current camp related issues - a time for camp professionals to share
Register here today!
A dozen Vermont camps met in early September to debrief the summer and to enjoy time together after a very busy summer. We gathered at Camp Kiniya in Colchester, Vermont, in the camp's new dining hall, appropriately named after the camp's long-time food service director. The dining hall is beautifully situated on the edge of a plateau above Lake Champlain, and it was a stellar day for a gathering.
Those in attendance reported a successful season, including the usual challenges and adventures we expect each summer. Conversation included comments about the relationship between new lodging legislation that has been pending in the Vermont legislature for two summers now. Fortunately, concerns voiced by many members of the VCA resulted in adjustments to the legislation in favor of our camps.
The group's winter meeting will be hosted at the Common Ground Center. Our agenda will focus on how Vermont camps are working with diverse campers and staff.
The Maine Summer Camps 9th annual camp fair will be held on Sunday, March 18, 2018 at the East End Community School, 195 North Street, Portland, from 1 - 3:30 p.m. Overnight camps, trip camps and day camps will be included. This is a unique opportunity for families to meet with camp directors from more than 70 Maine camps. Approximately 700 people attended the fair. This is the only major camp fair that is held in Southern Maine. Once again, we will have at least one food truck (Ziggy’s) at the camp fair. Learn more.
MCA continues to work diligently on legislative issues around Title 5, camp regulations and the pool regulations. There is still much discussion to be had. MCA Fall workshop date will be determined within the next week and we will let all our members know via email when and where. Stay tuned!
Register for the NHCDA Fall Conference
2017 NHCamps Fall Conference
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
9:30 AM – 3:00 PM
At Camp Brookwoods - 34 Camp Brookwoods Road, Alton, NH 03809
Only $10 for up to 4 staff members of the same camp.
$5 for each additional staff member.
Morning refreshments and a delicious lunch is included.The NH Camps Fall Conference provides our camps with a forum for updates about state policies and issues, the exchange of experience and ideas, and networking opportunities with neighboring camps. Our 2017 conference schedule is heavy on the networking and provides plenty of time for conversation and gathering with colleagues and friends.
For easy online ticketing: https://2017nhcampsfallconference.eventbrite.com
Are you in need of First Aid / CPR training for your staff?
ACA New England can help certify your staff! We can currently offer classes for 10 people or less. Classes can be held at our office in Lexington, or a nearby location. Contact Elizabeth for details and prices.
Are you being visited this summer? All camps are required to attend a Standards Course or Standards Update Course. The schedule of courses for the 2017-2018 is NOW available on our Professional Calendar! More courses are being added daily.
Have you ever thought of becoming a Visitor?
This is your chance! ACA New England’s next visitor course will be held this fall. More details to be posted on the professional calendar in upcoming weeks..
In the fall of 2015, there was a great deal of information in regard to several key, operational changes to the ACA Accreditation Program. These changes include a change in the years between Accreditation site visit years and shifting to continual compliance with the standards through the completion of an Annual Accreditation Report in nonvisit years.
We have been working with camps each summer to incrementally move camps from a three year cycles to a 5 year cycle.
In the upcoming weeks, All camps scheduled to have a site visit in 2018 will be contacted with more information in regard to your visit. Most camps will have their site visit as scheduled, while a few randomly selected camps will have their site visit postponed one or two years.
All eligible camps will eventually move to a five-year visit cycle. The implementation will take place in phases. In New England, the implementation process of the new Accreditation Cycle will take three to five years. Camps scheduled to have their site visit in 2019 will be contacted in in the fall of 2018. Learn more regarding the operational change to ACA Accreditation.
ACA New England is on the lookout for new photos that highlight how awesome summer camp is here in New England!
We are looking for images to spread the word about summer camp through:
- Social Media
- The Annual New England Summer Camp Guide
- ACA New England's Website
- News Articles
- Email Marketing
- and More!
Any time we use a photo or video we give credit to the camp through a direct link or tag on social media. It's GREAT exposure for your camp!
Please contact Danielle, our Communications Coordinator, to submit photos. We recommend using a file transfer program such as Wetransfer or Dropbox if you have several images! Along with your media, please include a signed copy of our Media Release.
Thank you so much and we hope all of you are having a great summer!
News updates for May in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
In memory of those in camping that we have lost this past year.
March 22, 2017, the House Judiciary Committee today approved three bills to protect children from abuse and sexual exploitation. These bills ensure youth-serving organizations have access to background checks for prospective staff and volunteers, investigators have efficient access to critical evidence needed to stop child predators, and reauthorize and improve critical programs to track sex offenders.
The Committee approved the Child Protection Improvements Act of 2017 (H.R. 695), introduced by Representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Mike Bishop (R-Mich.), by voice vote. This bill ensures that youth-serving organizations have access to national background checks on prospective staff and volunteers through the FBI’s database. Currently, many youth-serving organizations only have access to state-level background check systems. ACA was a lead partner on pushing this Act forward.
“As a father of three, I know there is nothing more important than our children’s safety,” said Representative Bishop. “When they participate in camps and afterschool activities, parents deserve to have full peace of mind that their kids are in good hands." Shockingly enough, youth-serving organizations in many states currently cannot get FBI background checks for prospective staff and volunteers.
“The bipartisan Child Protection Improvements Act addresses gaps in the system to change that,” added Representative Bishop. “The FBI database is the most efficient way to crosscheck potential hires across state lines, and improving access to this gold-standard resource will significantly improve our children’s safety away from home."
ACA New England needs YOU as a visitor! Join us for our next Associate Visitor Course. This course is a blended learning course with the first portion completed online followed by a one day intensive hands on training.
Registration Deadline is March 27th, 2017.
Participants MUST complete online portion prior to the start of course (No later then April 1st).
Event Organizer/Sponsor: ACA New England
When: April 7, 2017 from 8:30am - 6:30pm (RSVP required)
Where: Camp Cedar Hill