The Government Affairs Advocacy Program of NJ Camps working in partnership with ACA NY/NJ has gained many critical accomplishments for our member camps. Each year member camps identify priority issues impacting camp operations directing a clearly focused government advocacy program.
• NJ Camps got New Jersey camps open for the 2020 and 2021 Seasons during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency’s state shutdown! We worked with Governor Murphy’s office and the Commissioner of Health to ensure that camps were able to open and allowed to operate under the practical Youth Camp and Public Recreational Bathing guidance (working in collaboration with the NJ Department of Health’s Youth Camp Safety Project).
• NJ Camps successfully lobbied a Democratic Legislature and Governor for a delayed implementation of the $15/minimum wage for camps. There is now a seasonal path to $15/minimum wage in New Jersey. NJ Camps led the charge on this effort that benefitted many other seasonal businesses, as well!
• The NJ Department of Health and Senior Services adopted regulations to exempt ACA accredited camps from pre-operational and operational health inspections by local, county and state health officers as it relates to the enforcement of the NJ Youth Camp Safety Act.
• The NJ Department of Community Affairs through its Carnival and Amusement Ride Safety Board has exempted all youth camps from amusement regulation and inspection related to (1) any rider or gravity propelled ride, including but not limited to, playground equipment, soft play equipment, water slides under 15 feet or water based recreation equipment and (2) any manmade or natural rock walls and other challenge activities identified in the Adventure/Challenge section of the ACA Accreditation Standards.
• Member camps have hosted state legislators for visits to their camp through our Summer Visit Program. Legislators had the opportunity to learn about the camp industry, ACA accreditation, and the impact camps located in their legislative district have on the constituents and communities they represent.
• NJ Camps is a valuable key stakeholder with the NJ Department of Health’s Youth Camp Safety Project working with the Department on regulatory oversight of youth camps and work with them on regulation of youth camps, as well as evolving issues, including COVID-19 and the 2020 Camp Season.