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.
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.
APPLICATION DEADLINE SUMMER 2023:
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
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 email@example.com
Empty headiEmpty heaEmpty heading
How to Applyty heading
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
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.
For samples of required documents, click this link.
Medical Documentation & Policies
- Elliot Ezcurra, Public Health Nurse – 413-587-1218 – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kelly Hughes, Public Health Nurse – 413-587-1216 – email@example.com
General Operational, Physical Facility, Pools & Food Service Questions
- Jasmine Ward, Health Inspector – 413-587-1217 – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Donna Bowman, Health Inspector – 413-587-1330 – email@example.com
Definition of a camp
Empty headInformation and Resources
- Overview of permitting process (PDF)
- Questions and Answers for Parents (PDF)
- COVID-19 Protocols for Recreational Camps
- Injury and DiseaseheadiInjury and disease prevention
- Swimming pools and Virginia Graeme Baker Act
- Heat related illness
- Infectious Disease
Recreational Camp Regulations
Minimum Standards for Recreational Programs
- Programs that meet the criteria to be recreational programs for children must meet the minimum standards set by 105 CMR 430: Minimum Standards for Recreational Camps for Children (State Sanitary Code, Chapter IV)
Camp Structures and Facility Standards
- All camp structures used for sleeping or assembly purposes meet the standards set by 780 CMR: The Massachusetts State Building Code
Medical, Healthcare, Infection Control Standards
- All confirmed or suspected communicable diseases and cases of food poisoning among campers and staff must be reported in accordance with 105 CMR 300: Reportable Diseases and Isolation and Quarantine Requirements
- Medical or biological waste, including contaminated sharps, must be disposed of, stored, and transported in accordance with 105 CMR 480.000: Minimum Standards for the Management of Medical or Biological Waste
- Immunization requirements for campers and staff
Food Service Standards
- Food service must be in compliance with 105 CMR 590.000: Minimum Standards for Food Establishments
Aquatic Sports and Activities Standards
- All camps that offer swimming and aquatic activities must be in compliance with 105 CMR 432: Minimum requirements for personal flotation devices for minor children at municipal recreational programs and camps
- Pools: All swimming and wading pools used by campers and staff must be in compliance with 105 CMR 435.000: Minimum Standards for Swimming Pools (State Sanitary Code, Chapter V), including pool fence requirements in M.G.L c. 140, § 206 and 780 CMR: The Massachusetts State Building Code, and the Virginia Graeme Baker, Pools and Spa Safety Act
- Bathing Beaches: Bathing and swimming is only permitted at bathing beaches that meet requirements of 105 CMR 445.000: Minimum Standards for Bathing Beaches (State Sanitary Code: Chapter VII) and Christian's Law (M.G.L. c. 111 § 127A ½)
Challenge Courses and Climbing Walls
- All challenge courses and climbing walls must be licensed and maintained in accordance with 520 CMR 5.00: Amusement Devices