Annually, the National Camp Accreditation Program (NCAP) requires long-term camps to submit their “Intent to Operate”. Beginning September 1st, the 2022 Intent to Operate submission process will begin! This required (see NCAP Standard AO-802) process is critical to planning for a successful camp operation. But why? We’re glad you asked! We sat down and chatted with a few camp directors to find out some of their questions about the Intent to Operate process for 2022.
Camp Directors: So, are we filling out Intent to Operate forms again this year?
Outdoor Programs Team: Yes, the 2022 Intent to Operate system will open September 1st and all camp properties and long-term camp intent to operate submissions are due by October 29th. This will give your council two months to complete this process – though you don’t have to wait till the end of October, sooner is always best!
Camp Directors: It seems like over the last few years, the Intent to Operate process has changed. What camps do we have to submit an intent to operate for – is it just needed for long-term camps, or do I have to do it for all camp types, like day camps or weekend camps?
Outdoor Programs Team: Bottom line – all camp properties and long-term camps must submit an intent to operate each year to the national council. The definition of a camp property and a long-term camp is detailed in NCAP Standard SA-001. But this year the process will be even easier – only one link to fill out your intent to operate for your council’s camp properties and long-term camp(s). Day camps and short-term camps are authorized through the local council with this form.
Camp Directors: But let us ask you this – If we are an NCAP authorized camp, why do we fill out an intent to operate too?
Outdoor Programs Team: Councils change the types and number of long-term camps they operate regularly so this ensures we know exactly what camps are available each year. Plus this is a key step to coordinating the NCAP assessment process across the country. Thousands of volunteers are organized to go out and visit each long-term camp and knowing dates of operation is absolutely essential to this part of the NCAP process.
Camp Director: That sounds good – What kind of questions are this year’s Intent to Operate?
Outdoor Program Team: First of all, you will be asked some questions about the attendance you had at your camps in 2021.
Camp Director: Wait, that sounds like the old “Camping Report” – I thought that we weren’t doing that anymore. That seemed to require a lot of information.
Outdoor Program Team Tracking annual camping attendance can be a positive marketing and PR opportunity for Scouting. The BSA is regularly contacted by news outlets to showcase the best camps and outdoor programs Scouting offers. Providing these positive camping numbers and stories helps tell Scouting’s story in our communities. Additionally, sharing with donors and other Scouting supporters how many Scouts attend camp is an exciting way to demonstrate Scouting’s impact!
At the same time, it is a great way for a council to know how they are doing. Camping attendance is a key, leading indicator of the health of our Scouting program!
Most of the camping information we are looking for is information we had already asked during the Intent to Operate process and we are just looking for overall council totals, you won’t have to provide a breakdown by district or by unit.
Camp Directors: That sounds easier than before. So then what will you want to know about 2022 camps?
Outdoor Program Team: First we ask who your NCAP leadership is, and then we ask if you have a camp property where you operate long-term camps on. You will then enter the information by camp property. If you have a property that has at least one long-term camp, then you will identify the property, and then tell us about the long-term camp(s) that you are operating. You will identify each type of long-term camp separately since the starting dates and camp information may vary. You will repeat this until you have entered all your properties with long-term camps and camp properties without long-term camps. The system will guide you through the process.
Camp Directors: It does sound like it has been made easier. Where do we find the link to enter the information?
Outdoor Programs Team: We know that it can be confusing, but the information is important, so we tried to make it easier for everyone. You will go to www.scouting.org/ncap and to the Intent to Operate section. You will be able to download a list of the question so you can be prepared before you start entering them. That way you will not be surprised during the process.
Camp Directors: Last question – is there a due date?
Outdoor Programs Team: 2022 Intent to Operates must be submitted no later than October 29, 2021.