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Ask Dr. Camp CampLife Stories Parents Corner State Regulations

  

The following table summarizes the regulations and regulatory agencies of each state, collected through many communications with state and local officials (We would like to thank those individuals who helped us in this process). As you read on, you may be surprised that some states are very lax about overseeing the camps, which we believe is a poor practice since children are involved. If you are concerned about your state's regulation on camps, you should contact the officials of your state.

Though every effort has been made to ensure this information is accurate and up to date, it is quite possible that regulations and governing agencies have changed. Please report any discrepancies of the information presented to info@CampDepot.com.

State Licensing agencies and regulations
Alabama The Health Dept. of each county (Alabama has 71) inspects and licenses youth camps, but apparently only residential ones.
Alaska Dept. of Health and Social Services appears to be the responsible agency, but it has no data on camps in Alaska.
Arizona Food Safety & Environmental Services inspects all camps in Arizona. The department keeps a good record on the youth camps in the state.
Arkansas Dept. of Health Services, Environmental Health office is the overseeing agency. However, it only inspects those camps with food service or swimming pools
California The responsibility of camp regulation has been pushed to individual counties. However, the rules at each county differs considerably. Most counties inspect only residential camps, if at all. For such a large state, there appears to be no cohesive plan to regulate camps.
Colorado Dept. Human Services, Office of Child Care Services is the regulatory agency. Licenses are required and inspections are carried out either by county health departments.
Connecticut Dept. of Public Health, Community-Based Regulation office licenses and regulates youth camps in Connecticut. It keeps good, up-to-date records on the youth camps in the state.
Delaware Dept. of Health & Social Services, Health Systems Protection appears to be the regulatory agency, but it has no data on camps in Delaware.
District of Columbia Not contacted yet.
Florida Dept. of Health in each county is supposed to regulate youth camps. However, the process is very disorganized and nobody in many county offices seems to know what is going on.
Georgia Despite our repeated attempts, the state Office of Regulatory Services (under Dept. of Health & Human Services) appears to be unaware whether its own office or any other agency regulates youth camps in Georgia.
Hawaii Dept. of Health, Sanitation Branch inspects camps that have food service. It does not regulate camps in other ways.
Idaho Idaho is served by seven District Health Dept., Presumably the camps are regulated by this office, which we have yet to contact.
Illinois The Dept. of Public Health, Environmental Health Section is the agency responsible for inspection and licensing camps in Illinois. However, it does not appear to keep good track of these camps.
Indiana The Dept. of Health, Environmental Health Division regulates and licenses camps in Indiana. It does a very good job in tracking the licensed camps.
Iowa Dept. of Public Health appears to be the agency that regulates camps, but they do not keep good track of the outstanding licenses and their status.
Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment states that all regulation and licensing are done at the local level. However, local agencies are also lost. Hence, it was not clear if any agency regulates camps in Kansas.
Kentucky Dept. for Public Health, Protection & Safety office is the oversight agency for youth camps. It licenses and keeps very good track of youth camps in Kentucky.
Louisiana Office of Public Health, Sanitation Dept. says that any regulation is done at the local parish. We have yet to verify how parishes licenses youth camps.
Maine The Division of Health Eng, Eating & Lodging Program is responsible for regulating and licensing camps in Maine. It does a good job of keeping track of licensed camps in Maine.
Maryland The Division of Consumer Services is supposed to regulate and license the youth camps in Maryland. Another agency involved may be the Public Health Services Dept. However, the Consumer Services has yet to demonstrate how it regulates and tracks the licenses in Maryland.
Massachusetts The Dept. of Public Health, Community Sanitation is responsible for inspecting and licensing camps in Massachusetts. It does a very good job of tracking licensed camps in that state.
Michigan Dept. of Consumer & Industry Service oversees camps (through a dedicated camp licensing office). Michigan is one of the better (if not the best) state agencies when it comes to regulating youth camps. Not only it publish the rules and regulations on-line (check out http://www.cis.state.mi.us/brs/cwl/camps/rules.htm), it has a good tracking system.
Minnesota The Dept. of Health, Environmental Services inspects and licenses overnight camps. Day camps are regulated at the local level. They appear to do a good job at tracking the camps.
Mississippi The Dept. of Health, Office of Regulation, Child Care Facilities Licensure is responsible for youth camp licensing. It does a very good job of tracking licensed camps in Mississippi.
Missouri Missouri's Bureau of Environmental Public Health, in the Division of Environmental Health and Communicable Disease Prevention should be the overseeing agency, but is not. The state also has a Health Standards and Licensure Division, but that only licenses child care. The inspection may be done at the local level, but we were unable to ascertain it.
Montana Dept. of Public Health and Human Services regulates and keep good track of camps in the state of Montana.
Nebraska Health and Human Services System, Dept. of Services indicated that licensing and inspection is done at the county level. However, it was not clear how county offices inspects or licenses youth camps.
Nevada We cannot figure out what agency oversees camps in Nevada. We are not sure if they know either.
New Hampshire The Dept. of Environmental Services is responsible for regulating mostly residential camps in New Hampshire. They keep a reasonable track of the camps in New Hampshire.
New Jersey The Dept. of Health & Senior Services, Environmental Health Hazards is the regulatory agency. It does a good job in inspecting and tracking licensed camps in New Jersey.
New Mexico The State's Environment Dept. deals with regulation and licensing of youth camps. The effort is distributed among several field offices, which seem to keep good track of the camps in New Mexico.
New York The State Bureau of Community Sanitation & Food Protection licenses and regulates camps. They also keeps track of all camps in New York, except in New York City (see below).
New York City The NYC Dept. of Health requires that all camps in the five boroughs of the NYC to be licensed yearly. They do a very good job in inspecting and tracking all camps in NYC.
North Carolina Division of Facilities Services, part of Dept. of Health, appears to handle youth camps. However, they do not seem to keep a good record and licensing regulations are not clear.
North Dakota The Dept. of Health, Food & Lodging Division, told us that North Dakota does not regulate or license youth camps. We hope this information is not correct and that someone is looking over the camps in North Dakota.
Ohio Ohio Dept. of Health, Bureau of Local Services informed us that youth camps are regulated by local agencies (there are 144 counties in Ohio). We have yet to verify how county offices oversee camps.
Oklahoma It appears that the licensing may be done at the local Health Dept, since the State Health Dept. does not do it. Camps may also be the jurisdiction of Human Services and Child Care. However, we were not able to ascertain it.
Oregon County-level Environmental Health Offices license and regulate camps. Some counties do a better job than others.
Pennsylvania The Dept. of Health, Bureau of Community Health Systems regulates camps in the Keystone State. It appears to keep good track of the licensed camps.
Rhode Island The Health Dept., Food Protection, apparently oversees the camps that serve food. However, it appears to not have a good licensing and tracking system in place.
South Carolina Division of Environmental Health licenses and regulates camps (not all of them) in South Carolina. They also maintain a very good record of camps.
South Dakota The South Dakota Dept. of Health does not regulate camps on the state level. It is possible that local agencies license camps.
Tennessee The Dept. of Health regulates and licenses camps in Tennessee. They also keep a good track of the camps in this state.
Texas The Dept. of Health, General Sanitation Division is responsible for inspecting youth camps. They provide a good web page about their regulations ( http://www.tdh.state.tx.us/beh/youthcamp/youth.htm) However. they do not track these camps very well.
Utah The Dept. of Health, Bureau of Licensing requires licenses for all child facilities. It was not clear whether camps fall under this category, nor which agency actually does the inspection.
Vermont Dept. of Food & Lodging is responsible for licensing camps in Vermont. They keep a good record of which camps are licensed, which have to be renewed annually.
Virginia Virginia's Dept. of Health appears to be very good about camp regulations. It even publishes its guidelines on the Internet (see http://www.vdh.state.va.us/oehs/food/regs/sumcamp.htm) However, state agency does not actually do the inspections. Leaving them to local counties to ensure camps are up to the standard.
Washington The Washington State Board of Health (an office associated with Dept. of Health) has set regulation for all resident camps (under Washington Administrative Codes or WAC 246-376-001). Camps are inspected at least annually by the county health department's camp inspector. A permit is issued to all resident camps operating in the state. Day camps are regulated by the Child Care laws of the state.
West Virginia According to the Dept. of Health, Office of Environmental Health Services, the regulation and licensing of camps are done at the county level. We have yet to ascertain how well counties carry out this task.
Wisconsin The Division of Public Health oversees the camps in Wisconsin. They do a very good job in regulating and tracking the licensed camps.
Wyoming The Dept. of Health of Wyoming indicated that youth camps may fall under the Dept. of Family Services. Of course, that department only regulates child care. Hence, no one seems to know whether camps are regulated.
   
Canada In Canada, any regulation and licensing are done at local levels (except for Manitoba). Most of the times, the rules are not clear and nobody seems to know whether camps are regulated and by what agency.