The main purpose of the Ontario Camps Association’s (OCA) Accreditation Program is to help camps maintain a safe and healthy experience for the children and staff in their care. Using the Year-round Standards, camps can examine their entire operation and determine if and where improvements should be made.
The Year-round Standards Program began in 1965. At that time, a document was created that outlined the best camps practices as determined by the membership of the OCA, entitled A Study of Camps Practices, listed. Simultaneously, Standards Visitations began and camps had to meet the Year-round Standards in order to become Accredited. The OCA Year-round Standards has gone through several revisions since its inception and continues to be revised and updated as required.
Membership in the OCA and a commitment to follow the Year-round standards are not required by law to operate a camp in Ontario; rather it is a voluntary process. Therefore, camps who do belong to the OCA recognize the importance and value of adhering to high standards. Annually, OCA Camps sign a Membership Renewal Agreement re-committing to uphold Year-round Standards. Although camps can be very different, there are commonalities regarding health, safety, and best camp practices; therefore, one binder of Year-round Standards is used for all camps.
The OCA is not a licensing body and following the OCA Year-round Standards is not a government regulation; however, most of the Year-round Standards duplicate government regulations, while the lesser number of Year-round Standards are still important as they are best practices developed by the Membership.
To learn more about the Accreditation or Re-Accreditation Process, click here
THE OCA CODE OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS
COMMUNICATION We shall be professional and accurate in all communication to staff, campers and families/guardians, to maintain confidentiality, to eliminate misunderstanding, and to prevent recruitment of another camp’s staff. Camps must also refrain from using another camp’s name in their literature and marketing materials without written consent.
ADVERTISING We shall ensure that all programs, facilities and services are accurately advertised. All accredited member camps agree to use either the approved Association logo or the statement “Accredited Member of the Ontario Camps Association” in all advertising.
MONEY We shall conduct all financial dealings according to legal and fair business practices.
PRIVACY We shall protect the confidentiality of campers, parents and staff.
EMPLOYMENT We shall ask all applicants if they have been employed by another camp. If so, the Director will, after obtaining consent, contact the previous Director for reference and good character.
REQUESTS We shall request approval of the camp owner and or director for the use of files, lists, equipment and supplies of another camp, in operation or not.