Fun And Safety — ACA Camps Set the Standard

ACA Accreditation means that Camp Scully cares enough to undergo a thorough (up to 300 standards) review of its operation — from staff qualifications and training to emergency management. American Camp Association® collaborates with experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and other youth-serving agencies to assure that current practices at the camp reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation. Camps and ACA form a partnership that promotes summers of growth and fun in an environment committed to safety.

ACA helps Camp Scully provide:

  • Healthy, developmentally-appropriate activities and learning experiences
  • Discovery through experiential education
  • Caring, competent role models
  • Service to the community and the environment
  • Opportunities for leadership and personal growth

Here are common question asked by parents.

What’s the difference between state licensing of camps and accreditation by ACA?
Accreditation is voluntary and ACA accreditation assures families that Camp Scully has made the commitment to a safe, nurturing environment for their children. Licensing is mandatory and requirements vary from state to state. ACA standards are recognized by courts of law and government regulators as the standards of the camp community.

How do ACA standards exceed state licensing requirements?
ACA goes beyond basic requirements for health, cleanliness, and food service into specific areas of programming, including camp staff from director through counselors, emergency management plans, health care, and management. ACA applies separate standards for activities such as waterfront, horseback riding, and adventure and travel.

What are some of the ACA standards that camps rely on?

  • Staff to camper ratios are appropriate for different age groups
  • Goals for camp activities are developmentally based
  • Emergency transportation available at all times
  • First-aid facilities and trained staff available when campers are present

How can I verify that my child's camp is ACA accredited?
Parents can (and should) verify the accreditation status of any camp at any time by visiting ACA's Web site at www.ACAcamps.org or by calling 1-800-428-CAMP.

If your child's camp isn't ACA accredited, ask WHY NOT?
Keep in Mind — Informed parents are best prepared to select a camp that meets their standards for staff, programs, safety, and facilities and strives to promote the welfare of every child. Read more . . .

Visit CampParents.org for more specialized talking points for marketing the value of ACA accreditation, ACA's outcomes research, and camp to parents. 

Renovating the Bath House

Our current bath house was built in 1982, and since then nothing much has changed! Well. apart from the annual avalanche of leaks each spring after the thaw! We've been steadily improving Camp over the last 4 years; new or renovated buildings and activities include:

  • Dining Hall (that one is hard to miss, right?)
  • Nature Den
  • Sand Volleyball Court
  • LIT cabin reconstruction
  • 2nd Archery Range
  • Lookout Lodge
  • Director's Palace (erm...I mean cabin)
  • New roofs on Cabins 8, 9 and LIT
  • Day Camp Center and Krazy Kitchen

Next in our cross-hairs is the bath house. It's an ambitious project with new showers (I hear the cheers of all my staff), new sinks, new floors and lot more lights.

Bazza painting Wendy from Peter Pan

Bazza painting Wendy from Peter Pan

The outside has received a lot of love over the last few years with new murals from ex-counselor, ex-lead counselor Bazza Adams. (on a side not he just recently married our former Program Director LeAnne Lawrence.)  Congratulations to them both.

So far we've raised $26,000 and we hope you enjoy the changes come the summertime.

Colin

Unplugging at Camp by Dan Weir

The following is an excerpt from Dan's article. The full essay can be found in the articles section of this site.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has been conducting  a 10 year study following children  aged 8 to 18 pertaining to media in their lives. The foundation surveyed over 2000 children over 3 time periods.  They found that children’s use of technology has gone up to 7 ½ hours a day.  The amount of time, which seemed impossible  to increase six years ago, has gone up because now children are multitasking – watching a movie on their computer while they use Facebook on their iPhone.

 This study, while noting the sharp increase in technology use, showed that both grades and the amount of friendships children made stayed relatively the same. Technology can even help children keep made friendships.  It was noted, “there are more than 10,000 neighborhood groups in Yahoo!’s group directories, one of many sites that offer neighbors the means to connect” (Baym 93). There are other studies that show children are still being social despite being online and connected constantly.  Children are still making friends, they are simply making those friendships in a different way.

In a study on media by The Kaiser Family Foundation, children were asked about their time outdoors. Children were asked, “Thinking just about yesterday, how much time did you spend being physically active or exercising, (such as playing sports, working out, dancing, running, or another activity)?”, 89% answered that they did spend time outside yesterday and that they spent an average of 1 hour 42 minutes outdoors.  This number confirms suspicions that children want to spend time outdoors.  A focus of most summer camps is to reconnect children with nature. In the study “Camps and Nature” 95% of summer camps give children  a chance to reconnect with the natural environment (James).  Children want to be outdoors and summer camp gives children that opportunity through intentional programming.

When a child arrives at summer camp, they are often in a group,  also known as cabin with other campers they haven’t met before.   This cabin of roughly 8 campers, varying from camp to camp, is often accompanied by two young adults known as counselors.  These counselors have been trained in how to facilitate building friendships and incorporate teambuilding between the campers.  The counselors help children connect with each other through communication and positive encouragement. Because of this, deep and life-long friendships are often made at camp. Summer camp isn’t a one dimensional  environment either. One study states, “emerging evidence suggests that camp-based groups for children and adolescents with chronic illnesses offer promise in multiple dimensions including coping, social support, education, empowerment, normalization, and coping” (MacLusky 212).  Children are able to work through impacting issues such as asthma or dialysis while at a summer  camp.  It is this idea that often remains hidden when people outside of the summer camp industry think of a child’s camping experience.

“Well-run camps have the character of providing affordances where young people are exposed to and can experiment with different points of view – exploring possibilities by challenging others’ ideas and having their own ideas challenged in return without the risk of simultaneously challenging their relationships with each other” (Dahl 232).  It’s this experimentation that provides an ideal opportunity  for children to take the social skills they learned online and perfect them in a safe environment.  The summer camp environment allows for experimentation with social skills through opportunities for communication between aged campers and counselors.  It has been noted that a traditional resident camp helps children, “to become independent and experiencing all the wonderful thing that happen in growing up” (Orecklin)In a summer camp environment, compared to being online, children are able to connect with others that have similar interests to their own.   The difference is that online, there is no camp counselor to provide positive encouragement. The lack of compassion and positive encouragement has lead to increasing amounts of online bullying and alienation.