COCA-I Gold Ribbon Self-Assessment Guidelines



The intent of guidelines is to educate COCA member organization staff and volunteers regarding medical and psycho-social best practice principles when planning and operating a pediatric oncology camp program.


In the development of these guidelines the COCA Gold Ribbon Committee acknowledged that member organizations operate in creative and diverse ways. Even though the common thread of COCA camps is providing care and support to children with cancer, programs include adolescent/young adult survivors, siblings and families in their community of supportive care. In addition, programs use one or a combination of delivery models to achieve their outcomes from traditional overnight resident camps, day camps, family camps, travel/excursion camp and in-hospital recreational-therapeutic experiences as well as a variety of duration.


Similarly, COCA organizations find creative locations in which to provide activities. Some programs own their facilities, some rent or lease facilities with or without program staff, while other camps use donated facilities, hotels, and resorts or utilize government owned parks and wilderness lands.


These guidelines are not intended to be a “how-to” guide for the operation of a pediatric oncology camp, but instead are intended to help guide camp organizations to educate themselves in vital areas specific to their setting, population and pediatric oncology practice and to document their policies and procedures in providing beneficial and safe medical and psychosocial experience for their camp..


It is a STRONG RECOMMENDATION of the COCA –I Gold Ribbon Committee that in addition to COCA-I Self-Assessment Guidelines process, each camp should hold accreditation from a camping industry association and meet or exceed all local, state/provincial and governmental regulations in the following areas:



Camping Industry Best Practices

      Business Operations

      Human Resources 

      Facility Operations

      Transportation Program Design & Delivery



Not For Profit Industry Best Practices


     Finance & Accounting

     Human Resources

     Volunteer Management