Recreational Camps

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.


Program directors who have not attended 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 access to the Zoom links, email Amy Hutchins at

COVID-19 Protocols for Recreational Camps

Click Here for COVID-19 Protocols for Recreational Camps

Recreational Camps for Children

  • All recreational camps must be licensed by their Local Board of Health/Local Health Department
    • 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
        Empty heading

Empty heading

Empty heading

How to Apply
Empty 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.

Submit Your Application and Documents Binder:

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. 

Programs should follow the inspection checklist AND the 105 CMR 430 closely to ensure camp plans and policies are complete.

Incomplete policies will result in delays in scheduling on-site inspections, which may delay the Health Department licensure of the program.


Inspection Checklist

  • Inspection Checklist: Minimum Requirements for Recreational Camps for Children (Click to Download Form)
  • 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.

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

Samples of Required Documents

NOTE:  The following are samples of documents required for camp policies. Please check the most current recreational program regulations (105 CMR 430) and the inspection checklist to ensure that your policies also meet the most current standards set by the MA Community Sanitation Program. 


Camp Policy 

Camp Plans

Promotional Literature for Parents/Guardians

Staff Qualifications

Medical Documents and Policies

Medical Personnel

Medical Policies and Procedures

Sample Health Care Policy

Medical Records




Playgrounds and Athletic Equipment



Horseback Riding

Challenge Courses

Cabins and Structures

Sleeping Areas (Residential Programs)


Bathrooms: Toilets, Handwashing Sinks, Showers



Food Service

Maintenance of Records

Last updated: May 25, 2022

Permit Applications
Recreational Camp