The Final Countdown – How “The Declaration of Readiness” Ensures We are Ready for Long-Term Camp

One of the key steps in the annual NCAP cycle is the submission of the “Declaration of Readiness”. This document helps ensure that each long-term camp is 100% ready for a fantastic camping season. We sat down with the national NCAP team and asked them to help articulate why the Declaration of Readiness process is so important to submit on time each year.

So what exactly is the “Declaration of Readiness”?

The declaration of readiness is a statement (via document – access it here) by the council that their long-term camp(s) is ready to open and will comply with all the standards. Councils are strongly encouraged to attach much of the paperwork required for demonstrating compliance with the standards to the Declaration of Readiness to save time during the assessment. This submission helps make time on site during the actual assessment to observe program and talk to staff.

Councils should also include in their Declaration of Readiness submission(s) their prior-year annual camp improvement program goals, metrics, success criteria, whether the camp achieved the goals, and if not, the lessons learned.

The Declaration of Readiness will also present the initial annual camp improvement program goals, metrics, and success criteria for the current year, which collectively address at least four of the continuous camp improvement categories.

So the Declaration of Readiness serves several key purposes! You might consider thinking about it as the “Checklist of Excellence.”

Does my long-term camp’s Declaration of Readiness have to be turned in by a specific date?

The Declaration of Readiness for long-term camps is due by May 15 or 30 days in advance if the event is not held in the summer. Reminder, only long-term camps must file a Declaration of Readiness.

Who is responsible for filling it out? Does it get submitted to someone?

Your camp’s Declaration of Readiness will likely be filled out by several people working to open your camp, but typically it is submitted by the camp director. It must be signed by the council Scout executive and the council’s camping committee chairman.

Your Declaration of Readiness must be submitted to your area assessment team leader. If you aren’t sure who that person is, reach out to NCAP@scouting.org to find out!

What if I can’t meet the submission deadline?

First, don’t stay quiet. Reach out to your area assessment team leader. They are an excellent resource to help you walk through the process and can assist you wherever needed. You can also submit what you have ready and then continue to add to your submission if needed.

Is submitting the Declaration of Readiness a best practice or an actual NCAP standard requirement?

Good question! Like many NCAP standards, it is both! The Declaration of Readiness as a best practice helps you walk through the standards in advance and make sure you have the right trained staff to run your camp programs. By submitting it on time, it allows both you and your area assessment team leader time to review and see if there are any concerns. It is a great way to prevent problems during the onsite assessment.

But submitting your Declaration of Readiness is also a NCAP standard. Check out AO-802.E and AO-810.D which highlights this submission requirement.

Summary

Well there you have it! The annual Declaration of Readiness submission process is a helpful tool that ensures we are ready for a great camping season! Need more questions answered? Reach out anytime to NCAP@Scouting.org.