Colleen Fermon, Director
24 Green St.
Ipswich, MA 01938
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Ipswich Public Health Department Encourages Residents to Take Advantage of Summer Camps
IPSWICH — As the school year begins to wind down and residents begin to make plans for the summer, the Ipswich Public Health Department is encouraging parents and guardians to take advantage of recreational camps and other summer programs.
Each year, Recreational camps for children ranging from sports-based camps to traditional outdoor camps must be inspected and licensed by the local board of health. To be licensed, a camp must meet all the regulatory standards established by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).
These regulations are designed to ensure the safest possible conditions for children who attend these camps and include requirements for staff background checks, trained and experienced camp director and counselors, an appointed health care supervisor, and certain counselor-to-camper ratios. Programs that do not meet the legal definition of a recreational camp for children are not subject these regulatory provisions.
Residents should note that Massachusetts requirements do not affect camps held in New Hampshire and municipal recreation programs are exempt from these regulations. Additionally, there are many academically based programs that do not require licensure, and may be of interest to children.
“Parents and guardians should understand that not all summer programs are licensed recreational camps for children, so be sure ask the camp operator or local health department if a camp is licensed or not,” said Director of Public Health Colleen Fermon. “Summer recreational camps and programs are a fantastic way for children to increase their social skills and enjoy their time off in the summer, but it is still very important to understand the difference between a licensed camp and other types of summer programs.”
Children can reap numerous benefits from attending recreational camps and other programs including increased physical activity, developing creative skills, learning social skills, building their independence, improving thinking and problem solving skills, and gaining confidence.
For more information about recreational camps in Massachusetts, download the DPH’s Question and Answer Guide for Families.