In order to ensure minimum housing, health, safety, and sanitary protection of children in the care of recreational camps, the Health Department enforces State Sanitary Code Chapter IV.

Recreational Camp for Children is defined as any day, primitive or outpost, residential, sports, travel, or trip camp conducted wholly or in part for recreation or recreational instruction which:

  1. operates for profit or philanthropic or charitable purposes, whether or not a fee is charged;
  2. serves five or more children who are not members of the family or personal guests of the operator; and
  3. operates for any period of time between June 1 and September 30 of any year or not more than 14 consecutive days during any other time of the year.
  4. Recreational Camp for Children shall also mean any program which promotes or advertises itself as a camp, even if it does not meet the criteria listed above.  Provided that it is not promoted or advertised as a camp, none of the following shall be deemed to be a recreational camp for children:
  • a child care program licensed by the Office of Child Care Services in accordance with M.G.L. c. 28A § 10;
  • single purpose classes, workshops, clinics or programs sponsored by municipal recreation departments, or neighborhood playgrounds designed to serve primary play interests and needs of children, as well as affording limited recreation opportunities for all people of a residential neighborhood, whether supervised or unsupervised, located on municipal on non-municipal property, whether registration is required or participation is on a drop-in basis as provided in M.G.L. c. 111, § 127A;
  • a program operated solely on a drop-in basis;
  • a classroom based instructional program provided that no specialized or high risk activities (See 105 CMR 430.103) are conducted as part of the program;
  • a summer school program accredited by a recognized educational accreditation agency, where the accreditation includes standards for specialized and high risk activities, if the program involves such activities (See 105 CMR 430.130), and the summer program meets those accreditation standards.

If you wish to apply for a recreational camp permit, please complete and submit the application form and all supporting documents.

To file a complaint against a recreational camp for children, please complete this form.