What does it mean to be an American Camp Association accredited summer camp special needs program?
Camp Lee Mar is proud to be accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA), the country’s leading professional accreditation organization for camps. This means that we have passed a detailed review, consisting of over 300 standards checks!
To be an ACA Accredited Camp, Lee Mar takes part in a thorough review of our day-to-day operations every three to five years. This review includes everything from our staff qualifications, our fun and educational camp program, to the health and safety of campers and staff. ACA standards establish guidelines for policies, procedures, and practices at camp. The American Camp Association collaborates with experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Red Cross to assure all accredited camps reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operations. Camp Lee Mar is proud to be an ACA accredited camp and participate in their yearly conference.
It is extremely important to us to be recognized by the ACA. We share their vision of “enriching the lives of children, youth, and adults through the camp experience”.
ACA guides us in our programming at Camp Lee Mar assuring we provide:
- Healthy, developmentally appropriate activities and learning experiences for our campers. At Camp Lee Mar this includes our unique academic program, social skills training, speech therapy, job training skills, alongside our traditional camp activities.
- Discovery through experiential education and play.
- Caring, competent staff who have had thorough background checks done and understand our campers with special needs.
- Opportunities for leadership and personal growth for both our campers and staff.
ACA Standards and guidelines also assist us in maintaining the grounds and daily operations of camp to the highest standards. The ACA accreditation means that Camp Lee Mar upholds regulations and benchmarks in specific areas. The following are just a few of the operational standards that are observed, documented and required during an ACA accreditation inspection:
- ACA checks to make sure the overall condition of the camp is clean, safe, and structurally sound. Emergency exits, water testing, electrical/utility systems, and more are checked regularly to uphold the highest standards of safety.
- Any vehicles that may transport campers must undergo regular checks to verify that they meet the safety standards of the ACA camps. The drivers also receive additional training to aid them in safety protocols for the best transportation practices for the whole camp.
- Camper and staff health protocols. Campers and staff have to undergo a health exam by an accredited physician in order to attend Camp Lee Mar. This requirement ensures that each camper and staff member is healthy and able to participate in the camp program. In addition, there is a registered nurse and Health Center Team on site during our residential program.
- The food at Camp Lee Mar is delicious! We have an amazing chef and kitchen staff who assure all dietary restrictions are accommodated and our campers enjoy a healthy balanced menu. Our staff and campers LOVE the food at Camp Lee Mar. Our ACA accreditation assures that we uphold the highest standards of food safety in our kitchen and dining rooms from hand washing facilities, proper refrigeration, and the presence of a food service supervisor/chef.
- We have high staff expectations of both our counseling and our support staff. The camp staff is prepared to act if an emergency happens, but their training also allows them to confidently lead the campers in various activities while keeping them safe. The expectations of the ACA staff are always being updated for the most recent knowledge and research on camp safety as well as campers’ health.
During our summer camp special needs program at Camp Lee Mar we work very hard to provide the highest quality of care for our campers and our staff. We are proud to be accredited by the American Camp Association, meeting and exceeding camp standards during our outstanding summer program.
Written by Lynsey Trohoske
My name is Lynsey Trohoske, I am the assistant director at Camp Lee Mar. I have three amazing children, my middle child happens to be on the autism spectrum and is a camper at Lee Mar. I joined camp as a counselor in 1998 and loved the campers and their families so much that Camp Lee Mar became my second home!