April 12th | What is the ACA?
In 1997, I joined the staff at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain, NC, where I had been a camper since I was eight years old. I did almost every job imaginable during my time there, from dishwasher to lifeguard to CIT leader. I remember sitting in our dining hall during training and learning how the camp operated, how to be a good counselor, and that Rockmont was a member of the American Camp Association. At that moment, I felt connected to a greater purpose than just having fun or spending my summer in the mountains. Knowing we were part of an organization that believes camp is an integral part of emotional and social growth in young people gave me a sense of focus that summer.
Today, Ghostlight Theater Camp is also a proud member of the ACA, and we are accountable for over 150 standards of operation. These standards cover everything at camp, from administration to programming. Each year we review these standards and check our policies and procedures to ensure we are the best camp we can be.
The good news for you is that most of this happens behind the scenes. Staff and campers are meant to be the beneficiaries of these standards. However, by reading the Staff Handbook, engaging with leadership during training and throughout camp, and providing feedback on your experiences, you help us live up to the expectations we have for Ghostlight and the impact we have in our campers' lives.
Free Individual ACA Membership
Do you like Chacos?! Before you buy your next pair, join the ACA and get 40% off!
On top of that, gain access to resources, webinars, and the ACA Camping Magazine, which we hear has a great Staff Training issue this summer. (We got you a copy already.)
Use the link to join and use the code ACASpring at checkout for a free year.
Meeting the Standards
Section 1 of the current ACA Standards contains the Core Standards. These set out expectations of a camp's mission and measurable outcomes for campers. This section was significantly overhauled in 2019 to better address the growing needs of campers' mental health and their pressures at school and in their communities.
Ghostlight has a clear mission and goals for our campers. These can be found on pages 5-6 and 11-12 of the Staff Handbook. In short, our goal is to send campers home more confident, independent, and self-expressive. We work toward this mission in our classes, rehearsals, and activities by always leading with inclusivity and curiosity.
You can learn more about the many ACA Standards HERE if you like, and we ask that you take a moment to read the pages in the Staff Handbook mentioned above.
Did you miss last week's email? Just joining the Weekly Call? Check out the Staff Updates page to catch up anytime!