Camp Live Oak is the only ACA Accredited summer camp in Broward County and one of only two ACA Accredited summer camps in Miami-Dade County. Not all camps for kids in Fort Lauderdale are accredited by the ACA. Accreditation is completely optional and includes an extensive review of a camp’s operations. There are over 300 standards that a camp must follow in order to earn accreditation. These standards include categories such as staff qualifications and training, as well as emergency management plans.
Additionally, the ACA has separate requirements for activities like horseback riding, hiking, and paddle boarding, snorkeling and so forth. All in all, these regulations are intended to keep campers safer.
Benefits To Enrolling Your Child In An ACA Accredited Camp
#1. Activities That Promote Fun Learning Experiences
Camp activities have the potential to teach your child so many things when properly presented. After all there are so many things nature and recreational activities can teach us. Every activity is a chance to learn something new and improve on some type of skill—be it mental or physical.
In order to earn ACA accreditation, a camp must provide developmentally based activities. The ACA puts great focus on providing fun learning experiences for campers so that they benefit in more ways than one from every activity they partake in.
#2. Top-Notch Role Models
Camp counselors and guides have a heavy responsibility on their shoulders. They are tasked with setting an example for many young and impressionable campers to follow. You don’t want just anyone taking this role in your child’s life. There are several ACA standards regarding the quality of staff hired as well as how to provide appropriate training. These standards help to ensure campers are exposed to caring and competent role models.
#3. Safer Campgrounds
Campgrounds must undergo a full inspection in order to meet ACA requirements. This helps target and eliminate unsafe structures or practices. In fact, there are a number of beneficial safety measures included. Plus, emergency response is an important component to accreditation, which means accredited camps are far more likely to have a safety plan practiced and in place in case an emergency occurs. Some safety standards include: access to emergency transportation and the presence of first-aid facilities and first-aid trained staff.
#4. Safer Campers
Campers must follow strict sets of rules such as wearing protective headgear for a wide variety of activities, from biking to rock climbing. Any activity that poses a risk for injury must be conducted in the safest possible manner.
Not only are campers physically safer, but also sanitation is of utmost importance to receive ACA-accreditation. There are sanitation guidelines as part of the ACA standards. These requirements include the actual campgrounds, and extend to food handling practices as well.
Your child is also less likely to be exposed to certain illnesses, like whooping cough, because ACA camp regulations ensure all campers undergo health exams and receive all mandatory vaccinations before they can enroll and attend camp. Staff health is also carefully regulated.
#5. More Guides Per Campers
When there are not enough guides per campers things can easily get out of hand. That’s why ACA standards detail the appropriate staff to camper ratios based upon age groups. There must be enough staff to ensure safety of all campers.
#6. Trained Health Care Personal On Site
There must be a trained healthcare professional, trained in CPR and First Aid, on campsite at all times in accordance with ADA regulations. This grants your child instant access to a healthcare professional if they are injured or fall ill.
#7. Up To Date Practices
The American Camp Association is affiliated with the American Red Cross, the American Academy of Pediatrics and other youth-serving agencies. They maintain these relationships in order to create camp standards that are in line with the latest research and childcare practices.
Camps that do not become certified by the ACA can use pretty much any practice they deem acceptable. It is very easy for camps to become out of date with current practices and new research, which could ultimately put your child in danger.
How Do You Know If A Camp Is ACA-Accredited?
Camp Live Oak is proud of our ACA-accreditation! You can verify any camp’s accreditation status online using the ACA website: http://www.acacamps.org/