Standards & Accreditation

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The American Camp Association (ACA) is a community of camp professionals dedicated to enriching the lives of children through the camp experience.

A cornerstone of the ACA's efforts is its Accreditation process—a way of evaluating how camps are doing. The Standards against which camps are measured ensure that each camp complies with approximately 300 distinct health, safety, and program-quality benchmarks.

The ACA collaborates with experts from The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and other youth service agencies to assure that current practices at a camp reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards in camp operation.

ACA Accreditation means that a camp cares enough to undergo regular reviews of its operation. Over 2,400 camps nationwide take part in the accreditation process. The American Camp Association is the only national organization which establishes uniform standards for reviewing camps. ACA accreditation is a parent’s best evidence of a camp’s commitment to safety and program quality.


The main purpose of the ACA-accreditation program is to educate camp owners and directors in the administration of key aspects of camp operation, particularly those related to program quality and the health and safety of campers and staff. The standards establish guidelines for needed policies, procedures, and practices. The camp, then, is responsible for ongoing implementation of these policies.

The second purpose of ACA accreditation is to assist the public in selecting camps that meet industry-accepted and government-recognized standards. Displaying the ACA Accreditation logo shows prospective camp families that a camp is being held to the highest nationally recognized standards, in many areas higher than state requirements.


Start your Accreditation process by becoming an ACA Affiliated Camp.  Click here for the Camp Membership Application. 

For additional information about the steps to becoming accredited as well as details about the areas covered by ACA standards, take a look at our Tell Me More document.