Archive for July, 2011

What is ACA Accreditation?

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

The American Camp Association (ACA) is the parent organization of American Summer Camps.  The most reputable American summer camps voluntarily adhere to standards set by the ACA and, in search of accreditation, undergo a thorough evaluation process every three years during which their processes, facilities, emergency plans, staff training, and operations are very carefully scrutinized and then scored.  Based on their scores, summer camps either receive accreditation from the ACA or are told what they must improve in order to be accredited.

The ACA accreditation is no small feat and receiving it requires a tremendous amount of meticulous effort on behalf of summer camps.  However, it’s worth the reward.  ACA accreditation elevates a camp’s reputation and credibility to other camps.  However, more importantly, parents thinking of sending their children to camp should be concerned about ACA accreditation.  ACA accreditation provides that extra peace of mind that the summer camp you’ve chosen for your child goes that extra mile to insure that everything they do—and how they do it—is nothing short of top notch.

For all four of America’s Finest Summer Camps, merely meeting the minimum guidelines for accreditation is unacceptable.  We strive to meet and exceed all expectations of the parents who choose to send their children to one of our camps.  For us, “premier” isn’t merely a title given to a great camp, it’s a state of mind.  We are proud to be the best and offer the best.  As such, we never stop preparing for standards.  We do not simply breathe a sigh of relief and spend the next couple of years resting after the ACA pays its bi-annual visit.  We’re constantly updating policies, improving and maintaining our facilities, re-evaluating our current procedures for best practices, and working to be nothing short of excellent.

Got Communication?

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Parents: Camp is in full swing.  So we figure it is the perfect time to talk about the importance of maintaining good communication with your Camp Directors throughout the summer.

Camp is a big deal for your children and for you.  Whether you’ve planned a quiet summer at home or have an awesome vacation planned, we know that your top priority is to know that your children are having an amazing summer.  You can help, simply by being informative.

We’re first and foremost concerned for your child’s safety and well being.  Some of you probably wonder why we ask for photos of your children prior to camp.  It’s so that we can show them to your children’s counselors when we discuss your children’s activity preferences with them so that they can greet campers by name from the moment they step off the bus and have full knowledge of how to make their summer successful.

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of communicating medical issues.  Whether it’s an allergy to certain foods or insects, perhaps a dietary restriction, asthma, a vitamin deficiency, or wetting the bed, your camp directors need to know so that these matters can be handled appropriately as situations relating to them may occur throughout the summer.

We also want to know what your children’s interests are.  If we know your child can’t get enough soccer, for instance, we can make sure that he/she gets maximum exposure to soccer during the summer.  Knowing what your children like only helps us guarantee they have the summer of a lifetime.

Personal family matters are never easy, but if there is something happening at home—a divorce, illness in the family, academic issues, etc. it helps us to know.  Perhaps it’s a positive development.  Your child has landed a new role in a film, has made a particularly competitive athletic team, has earned a special honor at school.  Whatever IS your children’s lives at the moment they come to camp, we want to be able to channel it into an amazing summer for them.  And we’re confident we can.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t ask.  As your child’s “summer family”, we want to know how we can help them be at their best.

If anything comes up between the time you put your child on the bus or plane to come to camp and the time we put them back on the bus or plane to come home that might affect his or her summer, please call us.  We want to know what’s happening.  We want to understand how we can make your child’s stay at our camp effortless and memorable.  Even if it’s minor, if you have any reason for pause, please call us.  We want to be proactive in making your child’s experience memorable.

Crazy Days and Whacky Nights

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Parents, do you ever log onto your computer to check out the camp photos for the day, see your child painted in blue from head to toe or maybe wearing a crazy wig and big nerdy glasses and wonder, ‘What in the world?’  The answer probably has something to do with your summer camp’s special events and evening activities.  For fifty plus nights (and some days) summer camps entertain your children with some of the zaniest games and wackiest contests that they can come up with.  Why?  Because it’s fun to be painted in blue from head to toe…seriously.  Or at least it is when your bunk is performing a dance to the Smurfs theme in front of the entire camp and you’re Papa Smurf—or Smurfette.  And seeing images of your children and their counselors slipping, sliding, and splashing around in what appears to be multi-colored goo…it’s a camp thing…a really fun camp thing.  Eye patches are always fun.  So is spending a day pretending to be pirates and searching for buried treasure.   Becoming a secret agent and collecting clues to decode a message or pretending to be wild animals is also a great way to spend that occasional non-program day.  From trivia contests to talent contests and everything in between, some of the greatest moments of summer camp happen during the crazy days and wacky nights!