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employed in the other areas visited. Following are examples of inspection violations found in several camps:

Toilets and sinks dirty in sleeping area
Swimming pool bottom dirty
Swimming pool depth markers illegible
Backwash chart not posted
Bathhouse dirty
Food utensils and equipment not properly stored.

Freezers not provided with thermometers These violations were of a minor nature and permits were issued. The camp director was notified that corrections were to be made prior to opening of camp season.

Project staff was informed that, although state regulations existed regarding swimming pool sanitation a few years ago, very little could be done to make operators adhere to regulations because of time lapses and state red tape. It was not until recent passage of a swimming pool ordinance that the sanitarians had real authority and support to force swimming pool operators to comply to sanitation laws or have their pools shut down immediately.

4. State IV: State IV is unique in that violations of camp safety regulations in the major sanitation areas is a criminal offense rather than a misdemeanor. The serious consequence of violations prompt the inspecting agency to work with the camps to correct violations rather than to take action against them. Here again certification is necessary for operation, but the request is received and certificate issued on the local rather than state level.

Areas of major concern were similar to those of the other states: sewage, water and food service. State IV's inspections also covered most other aspects of camp health and safety.

The sanitarian interviewed indicated that structure or construction violations were among the most common and most serious offenses. However, these were extremely difficult to correct because some regulations took effect after the time of construction, and compliance would necessitate costly modifications in design.

In these situations, the department representative attempts to aid the director by providing suggestions for gradual replacement or revision of facilities, with emphasis on corrections in the sewage, water and food service areas. Legal enforcement is used only as a last resort.

It should be noted that there were a small number of camps in this state and that the inspecting staff was relatively large in comparison to those of some other agencies visited.


It became apparent during discussions of the contributions made to Youth Camp Safety that most of the information published concerning training of camp directors and staff, organization and maintenance of safe camps, camp standards, and in-service and continuing education programs was not available to the general public. Much of this information is distributed to members of the publishing organization only. Limited access appears to be a fairly universal pattern, except in the case of the American National Red Cross and National Safety Council. The American National Red Cross training programs and materials are well publicized and available to the general public. The Camping Committee of the National Safety Council publishes a book entitled “Youth Camp Directors Safety Guide”, which is not as well publicized as the ANRC material, but is available to the general public.

The consultant panel felt that because of this situation, camp operators who were not associated with one of the previously mentioned organizations would not have access to the bulk of published materials. Panel members felt that a central agency should be established to disseminate such information or recommend sources.

As to the question of other possible information sources, the consultants mentioned the fact that white water canoe groups are beginning to prosper throughout the country and that these groups often provide training in safety for white water canoeing.

In addition, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary provides training programs, regulations, and enforcement of safe boating habits. The new Federal Boating

Act has provided for standardized boating regulations along with the funding of two projects. One of these projects to be undertaken by the National Safety Council is a study of why people do or do not use personal floatation devices. The other is a study of the effectiveness of boating education programs and will be administered by the American National Red Cross.

The National Safety Council, Youth Department, will be conducting a behavioral study of risk-taking and young people.

It should, of course, be recognized that some colleges and universities offer professional training courses in counselor and camp administration, supervision and leadership, child development and first aid.

After analysis and consideration of the information available on state laws, the panel agreed that existing overall state laws do not adequately deal with the safety of campers. They emphasized that:

1. Many states that have laws dealing with camps regulate only the sanitation aspects of camp operation.

2. General regulations, which are often applied to camps, do not make allowances for the nature of the camp experience. For example, certain regulations regarding eating and drinking facilities to which many camps must adhere, do not allow meals to be served family style; regulations requiring washable walls in dining areas are being enforced in a primitive camp setting.

The consultant panel generally agreed that there appeared to be a lack of consistent enforcement of regulations. They felt this stemmed, primarily, from a lack of consistent interpretation of regulations which were usually too broad or too technical.

The panel concluded that camping is a special situation which must be given separate consideration in the development of regulations. Regulations must be broad enough to cover the entire scope of child health and safety.

V. Conclusions


The American Camping Association, American National Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. and Camp Fire Girls, Inc. all sponsor in-service and continuing education programs on both the local and national level. With the exception of offerings of the American National Red Cross, courses consist of camp management and training specifically geared to members of each of the sponsoring organizations. It is possible for nonmembers to attend these courses, but the classes are designed to meet the needs and goals of the individual agencies and are based on managment principles of the agencies.

The American National Red Cross offers specialized training in the areas of water and first aid. These courses are open to the public and are well publicized. Most camps offer some type of pre-service education for their counselors 'before the camp opens. This usually is more like an orientation to the camp facilities, regulations and organizations.

Local agencies that sponsor camp programs many times offer a one week pre-training program for the purpose of orientation and training in camp craft skills.

All of the camp management courses reported are offered by private organizations for the benefit of their members. These training courses are not mandatory for camp directors in any of the organizations.

Besides individual camp pre-service training programs, which are usually more of an orientation program, there are no course offerings for the camp director or counselor who is not a member of the above organizations.

It should be noted that many camps offer, on an individual basis, a junior counselor training program. These programs allow a person, who is usually too young to be a counselor, to act as an aid to a counselor and gain valuable in-service training.

The lead in development of education materials, standards, and films in the area of youth camp safety is also taken by the previously mentioned organizations plus the National Easter Seal Society, Y.M.C.A., National Safety Council and the American Rifle Association. Although the latter organizations do not sponsor training programs, they do push guides, manuals, and standards to aid camp operators.

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The Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Camp Fire Girls also promote health and safety in camping through their merit badge requirements and skills listed in their respective handbooks.

A few of the local agencies that sponsor camp programs have developed their own training manuals. These are usually for the use of the counselors and are the exception rather than the rule.

The educational materials, standards and films, like the training programs, are geared specifically to members of the individual organizations. The exceptions are the National Safety Council's publication Youth Camp Director Safety Guide," the National Rifle Association's guidelines for shooting programs in camps, and the National Swimming Pool Institute's standards for public swimming pools. Although these publications are readily available, the National Rifle Association's publication was the only one that was mentioned as being used. The other two publications do not seem to be very well known.

No information was received to indicate that any state agencies were sponsoring camp training programs or developing any camp safety materials.

It can be concluded that the majority of contributions to youth camp safety are being made by private organizations as part of their direct service to their membership. There is very little information that is generally known by and available to non-members.


With very few exceptions, state laws relating to camp safety were found to be grossly inadequate. In some states they were completely nonexistent.

Laws specifically regulating resident camp safety were not inclusive enough to cover all areas of camp safety, e.g., those laws which do provide for basic health and safety considerations in the original constructfon, grounds and facilities of a resident camp, but make no provision for regulating safety programs or staff requirements.

Other state's regulations. Where generalized regulations do exist, resident camps and a variety of other operations are lumped into an all encompassing category. These regulations fall short of providing specific standards necessary for the safe execution of a resident camp experience. As an illustration, one might consider the usage of outdoor latrines rather than indoor bathrooms. Such outdoor sanitary facilities can be implemented in a safe and healthy way, but no provisions for such use are made in health and safety regulations designed to govern the operation of general food serving or resident establishments such as restaurants and rest homes. Another specialized experience might be dining family style in a rustic building constructed with rough-hewn boards or logs. As mentioned previously, a requirement restricting family style dining and requiring wash-down walls would be detrimental to the total camping experience.

It is concluded, then, that camping as a unique experience requires very specialized laws to regulate health and safety standards. In most cases regulations of this type do not exist.


It can be concluded, on the evidence of this study, that enforcement is difficult at best and often impossible to achieve.

Resident camping is normally a seasonal operation. The inspection and subsequent enforcement of regulations are usually conducted by the environmental health or some similar local office of a state authority. The major function of this inspecting agency is monitoring the operation of year-round establishments which also demand additional attention during the summer season. These inspecting agencies are frequently understaffed, so the added responsibility of regulating seasonal resident camp health and safety standards is, on occasion, given a secondary priority. These agencies may even find it impossible to conduct inspections of all the resident camps within their jurisdiction.

Once inspections take place and violations are noted, the enforcement on a local level of what are usually state laws is viewed as a long and costly process, the results of which do not justify the expenditure of time and funds. The exceptions to this general principle are those violations which would result in a definite health or safety hazard of major proportion.

VI. Recommended Considerations in Developing Camp Regulations In the development of all regulations, the setting and objectives of the camp program must be considered. Centralized camps, trail camps, primitive camps and day camps should be considered separately from resident camps. It should be noted that for resident camps, especially for sanitation, food and health, two sets of regulations should exist: one set for camping the main camp and another for more primitive camping away from the main camp.

The consultant panel made the following recommendations concerning the categories which should be considered in developing camp regulations in order to assure the broadest possible coverage of health and safety factors.


1. Annual inspection
2. Permits, licensing and registration of all camps
3. Enforcement of regulations (source and penalty clause)
4. Sanitation and public health

Toilet facilities (ratio and construction)
Sewage disposal
Solid waste disposal
Bathing and handwashing facilities
Insect, weed and rodent control
Animal regulations
General cleanliness of campgrounds and facilities

Water supply 5. Food

Food source
Food protection and food handling
Meal planning (trained dietition consulted) (nutritional requirements)
Food storage and refrigeration
Sanitation of dishes and utensils
Milk supply (serving method secondary to supply)

Food service employees 6. Site and facilities

Site selection (location, participant density, social and health hazards,

drainage, ground cover, sources of water, access, environmental

conditions) Site layout and development (master plan) Site management (appropriate ecological principles in line with program

needs) Facility design, utilities and services (food services, toilets, showers,

medical services, maintenance, waste disposal, liquid fuels, swimming pools, laundry, etc.) Shelters for living and sleeping (ventilation in cabins and/or tents,

camper capacity and cubic air space requirements, adequate and individual

sleeping areas—bed, bunk, air mattress, lighting and heating) Facility design and program (health and safety factors in design, equip

ment and management of programs requiring specific and specialized facilities, e.g., riflery, archery, aquatics—boating, swimming, canoeing, scuba, etc., horsemanship, use of wood tools-knife, axe, saw, moun

taineering, trip camping and cave exploratory) 7. Personnel

Every camp should have a defined purpose—a statement of objectives and goals which serve as a framework for the camper's experience. These goals and the methods used to achieve them may vary from camp to camp. They will influence the selection of camp staff and the competencies required.

Due to the diversity of objectives, philosophies, and goals under which camps operate it is virtually impossible to make recommendations to cover every staffing consideration. For example, camps with large enrollments have different personnel needs than those with small enrollments. Likewise, those camps offering specialized programs have different personnel needs than those offering a broad program.

However, within this wide diversity of needs and programs, there are some common factors that can be considered in selecting staff:

Age of employee
Experience and training of employee (references)
Ratio of campers to staff (in relation to type of camp, type and age of

campers, age of supervisor)
8. Program safety

Camp staff should be thoroughly familiar and comply with all local and state safety laws and regulations. Safety training for safety consciousness should be an integral part of all camp programs. Qualified staff should attend to the following items and should identify additional concerns :

Supervision of activities
Incorporation of all safety education for staff and campers in all program

activities, skills practice and care of equipment
Recognition and minimization of hazards (within and near site)
Conduct of regular drills for handling emergencies (fire, flood, wind and

other disasters) Maintenance of an efficient communication system (within camp and with

outside world) Posting of fire regulations and instructions for proper use of equipment

handling and storage of flammable liquids, poisons, tools, etc. Execution of special program activities in a manner consistent with gener

ally recognized standards (such as, but not limited to, those of American
Red Cross, National Rifle Association, American Archery Association,
Under Water Society of America and American Water Skiing

Special consideration of precautions to be taken for out-of-camp trips

(transportation, supervision, food, sanitation, medical supplies, first aid

training and site)
9. Personal health, first aid, medical services for resident camp

Doctor on call
Standing orders for infirmary supplies, practices, treatment
Arrangements with hospital for emergency care
Qualified health supervisor on staff
Physical examination for both campers and staff or written waiver
Health history and statement of immunization record
Permission for emergency medical care and hospitalization or written

waiver from parents or guardians
First aid training for staff and campers
Camp infirmary and plan for isolation of campers
First aid supplies at infirmary and program centers
Medical treatment record/log
Health/accident insurance for staff and campers
System of health supervision when groups are in primitive units and/or

out of camp
Emergency transportation must be available
Emergency evacuation procedures

Procedures for handling and disbursement of medication
10. Transportation

Vehicles and equipment (type, maintenance, operation, capacity, passenger

use) Drivers and leadership (leadership pertains to supervision of children

especially when there is a large groupage and experience should be

considered for both)
Standards for vehicular traffic on camp site


Day Camping is defined as a sustained daytime experience which provides creative recreational and educational opportunities in group living in natural out-of-doors surroundings. Standards for residential camping apply for day camping where appropriate.

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