Department of Public Health
Thomas Carbone, Director of Public Health
36 Bartlet St.
Andover, MA 01810
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Andover Health Division Encourages Residents to Take Advantage of Local Summer Programs
ANDOVER — As summer draws closer and residents begin to make plans for warm weather activities, the Andover Health Division is encouraging parents and guardians to be aware of the many recreational summer programs available in town and the surrounding communities.
Each year, the Andover Health Division licenses anywhere between 12 and 18 recreational camps for children ranging from sports-based camps to traditional outdoor camps. In Massachusetts, recreational camps must be inspected and licensed by the local board of health. To be licensed, a camp must meet all of the regulatory standards established by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) as well as any additional local requirements.
These regulations are designed to ensure the safest possible conditions for children who attend these programs and include requirements for staff background checks, trained and experienced camp counselors, an appointed health care supervisor, and certain counselor-to-camper ratios.
“We want parents and guardians to have faith in the licensing system, but to always be sure and ask camp operators or the local health department if a camp is licensed before signing up,” said Andover Director of Public Health Thomas Carbone. “Summer recreational camps are great opportunities for children to have fun, meet new people and also improve on many different skills. I would encourage residents to take advantage of our local programs.”
Children can reap numerous benefits from attending recreational programs including increased physical activity, developing creative skills, learning social skills, building their independence, improving thinking and problem solving skills, and gaining confidence.
Residents should note that Massachusetts requirements do not affect camps held in New Hampshire and municipal recreation programs are exempt from these regulations. For more information about recreational camps in Massachusetts, download the DPH’s Question and Answer Guide for Families.
The Andover Recreation Department offers its own programs that residents can learn more about on the website. Additionally, there are many academically based programs that do not require licensure, and may be of interest to children.