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Standards Keep Summer Camp Safe and Fun!

Every summer, millions of kids across the country travel to more than 10,000 camps with a wide variety of focuses, activities, and events. These camps are continuing a longtime tradition, providing their campers with opportunities to commune with nature, pick up new hobbies and skills, and boost their self-confidence and social skills. And whether your child is attending an arts-and-crafts-themed day camp or a sports-focused sleepaway camp, voluntary consensus standards will be there to help make the experience possible.

While some campers spend their nights in a wooden cabin or other permanent structure, many still sleep soundly under that most traditional of summer camp sleeping quarters: the tent. ISO 10966:2011, Sports and recreational equipment - Fabrics for awnings - Specification, provides specifications for the material characteristics for woven fabrics used for tent awnings, and covers issues related to tent usage, durability expectations, and climatic conditions. This International Standard was developed by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 83, Sports and other recreational facilities and equipment, Working Group (WG) 2, Camping tents. ASTM International, an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member and audited designator, currently serves as the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator to ISO TC 83.

For many camps, the use of a central dining hall or cafeteria makes it possible to provide hundreds of campers with three square meals a day in a safe and efficient manner. To support food preparation in camp cafeterias and many other commercial kitchens, NSF International, an ANSI member and audited designator, has developed a relevant American National Standard (ANS). NSF/ANSI 170-2008, Glossary of Food Equipment Terminology, provides information on terms and definitions related to food equipment, including those related to cafeteria counters, cooking stations, and mobile buffet counters.

While at summer camp, many kids take the opportunity to participate in athletic activities and pick up sports - like archery - that can be difficult to learn in a non-camp setting. ASTM F1363-07(2011), Standard Guide for Reduction of Risk of Injury for Archery Overdraws, provides information intended to minimize the health and safety risks associated with archers' overdraws. The standard was developed by ASTM International.

For those campers who'd rather not spend their days running around in the hot summer sun, arts and crafts are a popular pastime. In addition to jewelry-making and ceramics, some older campers can - with proper adult supervision - use hot glue guns to decorate picture frames with shells, assemble paper lanterns, or add fun accents to a favorite pair of sunglasses. CSA C22.2 No. 122-M1989 (R2009), Hand-Held Electrically Heated Tools¸ provides guidance related to glue guns and other type of electrically-heated tools, including heat blowers and sealing irons. The standard was developed by CSA Group, an ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer.

No matter how your child spends their time at summer camp, standards will be there to help make the experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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