How are my scores calculated?
The national office of the American Camp Association assembles a team to facilitate the scoring. Each standard is weighted differently and this information is kept confidential as to not impact the integrity of the program
Who sees my score reports?
Once received by the American Camp Association, Illinois staff, only those staff who work directly with the process see the scores so they can create the letters to send to your primary contact. Your primary contact is encouraged to use discretion regarding the results. Communicating that you passed is all that needs to be said. Camps should keep your scores confidential.
Do I have to do an Annual Accreditation Report this winter?
Yep. Accreditation maintenance is yearly. You maintained your accreditation for 2019 by completing your visit this summer, so to maintain your accreditation through 2020 you will need to complete the Annual Accreditation Report between Dec. 1 and Feb 1. Failure to submit the Annual Accreditation Report results in an onsite visit in summer 2020.
When will my next visit be?
Great question. It varies from camp to camp. Please reach out to American Camp Association, Illinois staff to check on your status.
How will I know what to do next?
The American Camp Association, Illinois works hard to help you stay on track. We communicate updates and timelines through emails, newsletters, phone calls, social media. We make sure that you are well informed about the process.
General Visitor & 2020 Plans FAQs
How many camps were visited this year?
This year we had 24 camps visited!
How many visitors are there?
We had 26 visitors visiting this summer but have about 40 on our visiting roster. If you would like to become a visitor we invite you to reach out! Contact Allie Boyaris at email@example.com or call 312-332-0833 x 4.
How do I become a visitor?
Being an ACA Visitor is such a great space to volunteer. We host visitor courses throughout the year so register for a course and fill out our application. All you need is to have taken the Accreditation Process Workshop to be qualified!
Any advice for someone participating in accreditation next year?
Work on accreditation all year. Preparing for accreditation is time-consuming, but most of the standards should be implemented before you even hire staff. Don’t put it off until the last minute. Tackle smaller pieces of it over the year and you will be stronger and more prepared in the end.
How do I know if I will be visited in 2020 or need to complete the Annual Accreditation Report?
Letters will be both emailed and mailed informing you of your camp's 2020 statuses. They will be sent addressed to the primary contact on your account in late October if you need to check to see who is your primary contact or make a change email Allie Boyaris at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312-332-0833 x 4. You are always able to give us a call at 312-332-0833 as well to check on the status of your Accreditation Cycle.
However, If you are not being visited in 2020, all camps will need to complete an Annual Accreditation Report by Feb 1, 2020.
I am so excited to share with you that we have a new staff member joining the American Camp Association, Illinois (ACA Illinois). We welcome Allie Boyaris as our new Membership and Program Services Specialist. Allie’s work will include helping to develop and support our Professional Development programs including the Mid States Camp Conference and the Women in Camp Summit and support the Accreditation program. Allie has already been acclimated to all things DFI Title XX Camping Services Program. We are over the moon to have Allie join this small, but mighty team!
Membership & Program Services Director
1. Understand what’s expected from top level staff at nonprofits.
Remember when you were a camp counselor and you wondered what the heck the Executive Director or CEO did all day? You didn’t really know what their actual job was or their work looked like. We’ve all been there. But before you dream of moving up, understanding some of the roles and responsibilities of nonprofit executive leadership, its best to begin filling that toolbox with knowledge and skills required. Many camp directors manage a budget, but when it comes to 990s and audits and financial statements from CPAs, its new territory, especially to directors who work at larger nonprofits.
2. Find a place at your nonprofit’s table.
Want to make actual change at your agency? Want to influence that budget? In order to really do that, you need to understand the financial picture of the entire organization. You need to be aware of the governing rules required for a 501(c)3. Knowing what’s happening around you will allow you to come to the table with solid ideas on how to make the changes you are striving for. Understanding the rules and procedures and status of an agency will give you the advantage to build on that knowledge and come to that table with a clear vision forward. CEOs and Executive Directors want new ideas, but they have to think of the bigger picture. Staff that come forward with a vision that positively impacts the entire picture are more likely to be invited back to the table than a staff member focused on their little piece.
3. Ace that interview.
Looking to advance in your career? A lot of learning happens on the job, but going into an interview knowing more about topics such as public policy, governance, fiscal management, and culture gives you an advantage over someone with less experience. This is especially true if you are going for your first job in executive level management. Going into an interview knowing the terminology, rules, and general operational knowledge will show not only that you are ready for this step, but also that you went out to learn these topics
4. Watch your camp grow.
Some folks never want to be the CEO and that is great! We need smart and capable people at all levels of the organization. As a previous mentor told me when I was 18 - everything only works when everyone is involved, therefore no one is more important than the other. The topics in the Moving Up Series apply to anyone who works with nonprofits because gaining knowledge translates to our everyday work lives - no matter our position. Understanding the larger financial situation will help you make better decisions and plan more effectively for your camp. Reflecting on how public policy is vital to the way you are able to run camp can help guide you to ensuring that policy created benefits camps.
5. Set your own table.
Sometimes we talk as if there is one table when in reality there are many, many tables. Table hopping is somewhat of a sport. Once, when I was having difficulty finding my place at a table, a mentor said to me “Colette, if they won't invite you to their table, set your own. Invite others.” It’s probably in my “top advice I’ve ever received” category. It was wise and simple and empowering. Education and knowledge strengthens your place at other folk’s table but it also helps you build your own. These sessions have been created to help you build your guest list for your own table through networking and skill development.
Colette Marquardt, Executive Director, ACA Illinois