What We Do
The Alberta Camping Association is a not-for-profit organization and a community of camp professionals, seasonal employees, volunteers, and supporters of organized summer and youth camps. We are committed to the highest standards of quality and safety, offering a Standards & Accreditation program, education and resources for member camp programs and facilities in Alberta. Businesses that offer goods and services to camps and campers form our commercial membership.
The Alberta Camping Association envisions a future in which Albertans believe camping is a high quality and essential life experience that leads to healthier communities of self-reliant, physically active individuals. Our members are active and engaged, and communicate the value of their camps; members drive us to ensure conditions are right for camps to excel.
What is a Camp?
Youth camps in Alberta could include recreational day programs, residential camps, religious camps, outdoor education centres, and specialized camps for kids with illnesses or other special needs. Summer camp and year-round programming could allow participants to experience the natural environment, community, physical activity and outdoor education while developing self confidence and leadership.
Our use of the term “camps” refers to short-term events in which four of the five following criteria are met:
o Physically active experience
o Natural environment experience
o Community experience
o Educational experience
o Peer leadership experience
Through accreditation standards, resources and professional development, the Alberta Camping Association facilitates members’ provision of trustworthy, high quality camp experiences for Albertans. Doing so enables member camps to achieve their goals of increasing campers’ self-reliance, sense of community, physical activity and exposure to the natural environment.
The Alberta Camping Association is guided in its mission and vision by three core values.
We act as leaders within the camping community, enabling communication and connecting camps to each other and to resources. A stronger camping community drives higher quality camps.
We empower camp professionals to provide a safe, high quality camp experience that inspires trust in campers and their families. We are committed to high standards and ongoing training to enhance the quality of camps in Alberta.
Our commitment to the camping community guides our long term vision and mission of enabling member camps to achieve their desired impact. To meet this commitment, we ensure our activities maintain member satisfaction, are financially sustainable and enhance the reputation of camping in Alberta.
STANDARDS & ACCREDITATION
We represent organized summer and youth camps in Alberta that voluntarily meet and maintain basic standards of good practice and safety. Each member camp goes through the Standards and Accreditation program that includes a formal accreditation visit once every three years that covers all aspects of camp operations. Our member camps all meet or exceed mandatory standards and maintain best practises for camping so we can help the general public identify safe, healthy, well-run camps.
EDUCATION & RESOURCES
The Alberta Camping Association provides education, networking opportunities, and resources for youth camps and outdoor centres in Alberta.
The ACA Annual Conference offers keynote speakers, workshops and sessions on all aspects of camp programming and operations. The ACA also organizes an annual Camps Tour, giving camp professionals the opportunity to tour other camps, learning from each other and sharing their experiences. We have also organized several Directors Round Tables, allowing camp directors from all over the province to meet and share their advice and experiences.
Our Online Resource Library offers members helpful resources on a wide range of topics including business and finance, volunteer management, research and trends in camping, site and facilities, programming and activities, food services, leadership training and many more.
A monthly newsletter is released, giving members useful information, updates and special offers. Articles on relevant camp related topics are posted regularly on the Alberta Camping Association Blog, as well as social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. We appreciate your feedback and encourage members to share their experiences and useful information.
NETWORKING & COMMUNITY
The Alberta Camping Association provides a community of camp professionals in Alberta. Camp and commercial members are a part of a supportive network of colleagues. Through ACA events and our online community we have created a network of education, support and friendship. We all have the same belief that camp is a valuable, leadership and skill development experience for children and youth.