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Children's Camps

The Environmental Health Division conducts safety inspections and enforces permit requirements for NYS regulated summer camps.

Factsheets for 2024 now available! Click here.

Looking for local camps for your kids? Search Tompkins County Youth Services Summer Camp Guide by age group and by camp and programming! Please note: EH does not provide information or recommendations regarding specific camps or programs. 

Here are a few things to consider as you review and decide on a camp or program for your child(ren):

Official Camps vs. Programs: There are differences between “camps” and programs, workshops, or classes. Official camps must be registered with the New York State Health Department and meet specific criteria. Some programs may be registered as school-aged child care programs through the Child Development Council but may still call themselves camps.  

Because of these differences, some camps are not regulated or inspected by the New York State Department of Health and are not required to obtain a Department of Health permit. These camps are not required to follow Department of Health regulations, including: checking the state sex offender registry prior to hiring staff; maintaining minimum staff-to-child ratios; hiring medical personnel; or reporting injuries or illnesses to the Department of Health. 

If you have any concerns or questions:

  • For questions about camp programming and enrollment, please contact the director of the camp or program you are interested in. Go to County Youth Services Summer Camp Guide for local camp and program listings by age group.
  • For questions about camps operated by school-aged child care programs (SACCs), contact the Child Development Council at 607-273-0259.
  • For questions regarding safety or regulations for permitted camps, contact the County's Environmental Health Division,, 607-274-6688.


Camp Codes, Safety Guide & Safety Plans

State Sanitary Codes

Statutory Authority: Public Health Law, §225
NYSDOH Bureau of Community Environmental Health and Food Protection

Sections 7-2.1 thru 7-2.25
Includes Amendments Eff. 6-22-2017

Requirements for Campers with Disabilities at Children’s Camps
Section 7-2.25 of Subpart 7-2 of the State Sanitary Code contains requirements for camps enrolling campers with physical and developmental disabilities. (DOH 01-2017)

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions (Download PDF)

Additional NYS Web site links for Part 7

Swimming Pools and Bathing Beaches

Children's Camp Safety Plans

"camp illustration"

Children’s camp operators are required to develop, review annually, update, and implement a written safety plan. This plan must be submitted to the local health department that has jurisdiction in the county or city where the camp is located for their review and approval. Camp operators may complete the applicable templates below to fulfill safety plan requirements.

Children's Camp Safety Plan Templates


Brochure: Children’s Camps in NYS
DOH 3601 (3/05). Cover pictured at left.
Information for parents about state permitting requirements, staff qualifications, health & safety expectations, rights and responsibilities of the parent or guardian, the camp operator and the local health department.
Download legal-size, 2-sided brochure for printing (PDF, 91K)


Children's Camp FORMS | Children's Camp & Bathing Facilities FACTSHEETS

TCYS Camp BannerTompkins County Youth Services’ online guide to children’s summer camps » Click Here

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