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What is ACA Accreditation?

Marty Beck

Paradise Point Camp Executive Director

Idaho is incredibly fortunate to have so many quality summer camp programs to choose from. Whether you are looking for a residential camp, day camp, sports camp, or a mix, there is a lot to consider when it comes to choosing a summer camp and it can quickly become overwhelming. Everything ranging from safety, quality, and cost begin to play a major role in deciding what camp you should trust for your family.

Many families are not aware of The American Camp Association. For over 100 years, the ACA has been leading the movement of professional camping and shares the same belief that Paradise Point does: enriching the lives of children, youth, and adults through the camp experience. The American Camp Association is a complete resource for families looking for a quality camp program in their area and also provides a wide range of resources to help plan for the camp experience, addressing everything from gauging your child’s readiness to what to pack. Check out the ACA website to learn more about what they offer!

Paradise Point takes advantage of many of the services the American Camp Association offers; most important is participating in the Accreditation Program. The main purpose of an ACA Accreditation is to educate camp owners and directors in key aspects of camp operations, particularly those related to program quality and the health and safety of campers and staff. These standards establish guidelines for needed policies, procedures, and best practices in all areas of camp: Health and Wellness, Human Resources, Site and Food Service, Transportation, Program Design, Aquatics, and Operational Management.

There is no requirement for a camp to become accredited with the ACA. Currently, the only regulating body for the state of Idaho, with regards to overnight youth camping, is the Health Department – which only ensures that the food service facility complies with the Health and Sanitation Code. This is a stark contrast to the requirements of every child care facility in Idaho and is a topic that has raised concerns throughout the camp professional community.

Paradise Point and a few other camps in Idaho have voluntarily chosen to be a part of the ACA Accreditation program. Earning and maintaining ACA accreditation takes time and commitment, and is an outward symbol of the obligation to safeguard the campers, the staff, and the facility. You can rest easy knowing that if a camp has earned the ACA Accreditation it has invested significantly in your camper and your family. Paradise Point Camp is proud to have been ACA Accredited since 2011, learning and growing with a group of dedicated camp professionals each year.

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