How would you describe the essential elements of a summer camp? Do the adventures of spending days with peers, learning new skills, trying new activities, bonfires and skits, great counselors—all the fun of the whole experience—first come to mind? These are definitely important elements of summer camp from a camper’s perspective, but there are a lot of other elements that have to be in place for a camp to be successful year after year. Have you ever wondered about what it takes to set the scene and create spaces where good times can take place?
The camp experience is part of the heritage and culture of the United States, and for generations American families have sent their children to camp—about 10 million children last year alone! As you can guess, each camp has it’s own story and distinct cultural and physical environment, so each camp experience is unique.
The ACA is the professional organization that educates camp owners and directors in the administration of key aspects of camp operation, program quality, and the health and safety of campers and staff. The ACA also establishes guidelines for policies, procedures, and practices when running a camp. Each year, camp professionals gather for a national conference to discuss their work. Last year’s conference title alone, 20/20 Toolbox: Tomorrow’s Camps, Today’s Realities illustrates how camps are focused on creating the best camps for today and the future. As camper’s needs and tastes change over the years, camp staff are dedicated to making each year as special as the last–and while traditions are an important part of camp life, there is lots of room for fresh programs too. When your child arrives at camp, they step into an experience that has been especially prepared for them, one detail at a time.
All year round, staff at ACA accredited camps, like America’s Finest Summer Camps, work to make sure that facilities are maintained and prepared for when camp is in session.There are so many details to take care of—from making sure that buildings are cared for, to improving camp facilities, adding or updating equipment and ensuring that health and safety codes are met. Camp owners and managers also have to keep up with changing demographics and expectations from their clientele—so long before campers arrive, camp staff are learning about new practices, meeting up to date regulations, putting current ideas into practice and working towards providing the best of the best. There are activities and events to plan, qualified counselors to recruit, ideas for even more fun than last year to implement and new campers to meet around the country.
What questions do you have about camp facilities? What details would you like to ask about?