Recreational Camps

All recreational camps must be licensed by their Local Board of Health/Local Health Department. The Northampton Health Department issues permits and inspects recreational camps for children. View the Massachusetts Standards for Recreational Camps for Children (PDF) for complete information. 
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Camp Permitting & Documentation

As an operator of a recreational camp for children in the City of Northampton you are expected to be in compliance with 105 CMR 430.000: Minimum Standards for Recreational Camps for Children prior to operation of your camp. The state guidelines underwent a revision in March of 2018. The following checklists and application procedure attached are to to facilitate the process for all involved, and to help ensure your camp meets all requirements for safe operation for children.


Applications must be submitted to the Health Department FIVE WEEKS before the start date of your camp. Late applications may lead to a delayed start for your camp.

CAMP MEMO 2023 - See this document for 2023 info
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Program directors who have not attended the permitting presentation in prior years are required to attend a virtual session with the Health Department to learn more information about requirements for recreational programs for children. For more info, email Amy Hutchins at
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Permit Application and Materials

Use the inspection checklist as a guide to what documentation needs to be submitted in your plan review binder. All items that are highlighted in yellow must be included in your binder that you submit to us, in advance of scheduling inspection. 

This checklist is used by the Health Department for camp plan reviews and onsite inspections. Please use the checklist as a guide to prepare your camp policies, protocols, and site. Make sure to thoroughly review 105 CMR 430 and other relevant codes to ensure full compliance prior to application and onsite inspection.
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Applications and plan review binders are due FIVE WEEKS in advance of the first day of your program. Applications and binders must be submitted to the Health Department. Please submit a well-organized binder with dividers that separate camp policies and documents into clearly labeled, tabbed sections. For ease of use and timely review, the binder should be organized to follow the inspection checklist. 

Overview of permitting process (PDF)

For samples of required documents, click this link.


Medical Documentation & Policies 

  • Elliot Ezcurra, Public Health Nurse – 413-587-1218 – 
  • Kelly Hughes, Public Health Nurse – 413-587-1216 –

General Operational, Physical Facility, Pools & Food Service Questions 

  • Jasmine Ward, Health Inspector – 413-587-1217 – 
  • Donna Bowman, Health Inspector – 413-587-1330 – 

Definition of a camp

  • Recreational Camp for Children:
    • Any day, primitive or outpost, residential, sports, travel or trip camp conducted wholly or in part for recreation or recreational instruction which:
      • Operates for profit or philanthropic or charitable purposes, whether or not a fee is charged;
      • Serves five or more children who are not members of the family or personal guests of the operator; and
      • Operates for any period of time between June 1st and September 30th of any year, or fewer than 15 business days during any other time of year
  • Residential Camp:
    • Meets the definition of recreational camp for children;
    • Operates on a permanent site for three or more consecutive overnights; and
    • Operates for at least four days during a 14-consecutive calendar day period in a city or town

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Empty headInformation and Resources

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Recreational Camp Regulations

Minimum Standards for Recreational Programs

Camp Structures and Facility Standards

Medical, Healthcare, Infection Control Standards

Food Service Standards

Aquatic Sports and Activities Standards

Challenge Courses and Climbing Walls

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