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Summer Days: Standards Keep Campers Safe all Summer

>S'mores, swimming, and sing-a-longs are three of the top "S"es of summer camp for kids from coast to coast. But it should come as no surprise that the fourth "S" - and maybe the most important one - is standards.

Standards play a critical role in keeping both sleepover and daytime summer camps safe. Daytime campers climb aboard a big yellow bus every morning as they make their way to the camp site. SAE J 887-2011, School Bus Warning Lamps, is one standard that assures the safety of this precious cargo. Developed by SAE International, a member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), this document provides design guidelines, test procedures, and performance requirements for the "stop" warning lights on school buses.

Overnight campers, meanwhile, can unroll their sleeping bags and relax safely thanks to ASTM F1955-99 (2005), Standard Test Method for Flammability of Sleeping Bags. This standard was developed by ASTM International, an ANSI member and audited designator.

On a hot summer day, campers love nothing more than taking a dip - or a cannonball! - into a lake. The quality of lake water can be tested and assured thanks to ISO 5667-4:1987, Water quality -- Sampling -- Part 4: Guidance on sampling from lakes, natural and man-made. Developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 147, Water quality, Subcommittee (SC) 6, Sampling (general methods), this standard addresses the principles of gathering and handling water samples used to measure quality. The ANSI-accredited technical advisory group (TAG) administrator to ISO TC 147 is ASTM International.

When the sun goes down, campers love to gather around for a bone-chilling ghost story. While a campfire may set the mood, a safer illumination with the same effect is a portable gas lamp. These are addressed in an American National Standard (ANS) developed by CSA America, an ANSI member and accredited standards developer. ANSI Z21.73-2000/CSA 11.1-M00, Portable Type Gas Lamps, details requirements for portable camp lanterns that use propane gas.

Summer camp is a place where crafts, friends, and memories are made. With standards in place, children can continue to have fun and stay safe all summer long.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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