Welcome to R.I.A.C.!
  • The Rhode Island Association of Camps (RIAC) was formed in 1995 in order to "promote the values of purposeful, high quality, professionally directed youth camping to the general public", and to establish the Principles of Operation which present criteria by which quality youth camping programs may be judged.
  • Members of the Rhode Island Association of Camps recognize that camping is primarily an outdoor pursuit that includes a developmental component that meets the physical, emotional, and mental needs of its participants. Camping fosters creativity within a structured environment.
The Benefits of Camp
Camp is a truly unique experience that can help a child develop a sense of personal responsibility, improve social skills, and build self-confidence. According to Peter Scales, Ph.D., noted author/educator and Senior Fellow at The Search Institute, "The biggest plus of camp is that camps help young people discover and explore their talents, interests, and values. Most schools don't satisfy their needs." Camp can be a fun, exciting, safe learning and growing experience. The first step is to find the right camp for you and your child.

Why Choose a R.I.A.C Camp?
A camp that belongs to the Rhode Island Association of Camps adheres to the Principles of Operations which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Is administered by a person with a bachelor's degree, 5 or more years of supervisory and administrative camp related and/or youth development experience, and who undergoes continuing professional development.
  • Offers programs in a structured environment that meets written ratios and policies established by the camp that are reflective of the camp's mission, or purpose.
  • Conducts personal or telephone interviews and requires at least two references for paid and volunteer staff members.
  • Conducts background checks of applicants in accordance with Rhode Island state law.
  • During staff training, covers topics that consist of, but are not limited to, emergency, health, and safety procedures, physical and sexual abuse of children, discipline policies, age appropriate developmental needs of children, and role and duty clarification of staff members.
  • Has a policy regarding the supervision of campers.

Selecting a Camp
After reading through a pile of camp brochures or perusing diplays at the local camp fair develop a list of key questions to ask your top-choice camps. The following list includes some important and commonly recommended questions.
  • What is the camp's philosophy?
  • Is the camp affiliated with any camp association?
  • What is the camp director's experience?
  • What is the ratio of counselors to campers?
  • What are the requirements of the staff including age, education, and experience?
  • How long is staff training and what is covered?
  • What percentage of the campers and staff return each year?
  • How are special needs handled?
  • How are behavior and discipline issues handled?
  • Are references available?
  • Is it possible to visit the camp before enrolling?
To help get you started, the RIAC website provides a series of tools:
A Letter from the President

Dear Parent,

Thank you for your interest in the Rhode Island Association of Camps (R.I.A.C.). Please allow the Rhode Island Association of Camps to introduce you to some of the many day and residential summer camps from the Rhode Island region affiliated with R. I. A. C.
Camps that are part of the association agree to adhere to fifteen principles of operation involving supervision, health and safety, administration, staffing, and risk management in order to provide safe, fun, and positive camping experiences for youth.


Peter Swain
President, Rhode Island Association of Camps

Feel free to email me at: info@ricamps.org

© 2008, Rhode Island Association of Camps
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