What is OCA Accreditation & Why Does It Matter?

Camp Cherith is a member of the Ontario Camps Association and has been for over 50 years. The OCA is the standards organization of Ontario summer camps. The essence of the OCA is to bring camps together to continuously improve camping in Ontario. Use of the OCA logo demonstrates the stamp of a great camp. The association provides health and safety standards, educational conferences and workshops, resources and information to increase the capacity of understanding the value of the camp experience at large and for the industry, campers, staff and the public at large.

The most reputable Ontario summer camps voluntarily adhere to standards set by the OCA and, in search of accreditation, undergo a thorough evaluation process every four years during which our processes, facilities, emergency plans, staff training, and operations are very carefully inspected closely and then scored. These visits are conducted by our peer camp directors who understand what it is to run a summer camp as well as the importance of keeping our campers and staff safe. Based on their scores, summer camps either receive accreditation from the OCA or are told what they must improve in order to be (re)accredited.

The OCA accreditation is no small feat and receiving it requires a tremendous amount of meticulous effort on behalf of summer camps. The list of regulations totals 236 pages of information and questions and include some mandatory standards and some are recommended ones. However, it’s worth the reward. OCA accreditation elevates a camp’s reputation and credibility to other camps. However, more importantly, parents thinking of sending their children to camp should be concerned about OCA accreditation. OCA accreditation provides that extra peace of mind that the summer camp you’ve chosen for your child goes that extra mile to insure that everything they do—and how they do it—is nothing short of top notch. The goal is never to just squeak by.

We strive to meet and exceed all expectations of the parents who choose to send their children to Camp Cherith. We never stop preparing for standards. We do not simply breathe a sigh of relief and spend the next few years resting after the OCA pays its visit every four years. We’re constantly updating policies, improving and maintaining our facilities, re-evaluating our current procedures for best practices, and working to be nothing short of excellent.

For more information about the OCA, check out www.ontariocampsassociation.ca.