Overall I found the ACA's standards to be very comprehensive with regard to camp transportation operations. The ACA standards not only ensure current vehicle maintenance, but they extend into specific camp needs such as the need for pre-arranged non-emergency medical transportation, for example. These standards could be easily synthesized into a checklist of sorts to create the optimum safety for camp transportation. I've identified three different common forms of transportation to and from camp: personal cars, church vans, and chartered busses. Because the standards vary for each of these categories I wanted to make sure I include these three scenarios.
Personal vehicles (non-chartered and not owned by camp) are used when parents individually bring kids to camp, and can pertain to TR.1, TR.2, TR.3, TR. 4, and TR. 5 (Accreditation Standards, 2012, p. 54-57) Granted, there is a factor of overlap and redundancy in the standards. In summary these five standards require some communication between parents to inform them of arrival and departure times and designated parking areas, and in addition the require some policies on the use of private vehicles for camp functions and rules on the use of private vehicles on camp property.
With regard to using personal vehicles for transportation I thought a simple vehicle checklist would be helpful. The camp may find it necessary at times to transport campers whether it be to an off-site recreation area or for non-emergency medical transport. A sample checklist was found at: http://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/videoresource/cklvehicle.pdf. This is a simple vehicle safety checklist that covers twenty-two points of safety from simple mechanical factors to staff training. Parents might appreciate having a tool to check their vehicles before the long drive to camp. Parents of campers who carpool can be reassured that the vehicle going to camp has been looked over. If a designated private vehicle is awaiting use by camp staff, it would be helpful but not required for a simple maintenance inspection to have been completed recently according to TR.3, and that could be accomplished by this simple checklist.
Probably the most common way to get to camp is in a church 15-passenger van. Many camps also use vans to transport campers to off-site activities. Studies have shown that vans are statistically safer than passenger vehicles (Transporting Children in Vans, 1998). However, a vast amount of articles also focus on the perils of using 15-passenger vans. Online I found a fairly comprehensive guide called Best Practices for the Operation of 15-Passenger Vans. This guide can be found at: http://plan.abag.ca.gov/rmm/rmm/vebp/Vehicles%20-%20Best%20Practices%20for%20Operation%20of%20Passenger%20Vans.pdf. This guide was researched and written to comply with California law. Several shocking recommendations are made in this article to the best practices of these vehicles: First, 15 passenger vans should be...