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Recreational Camps

​Notice of Intent to Operate or Relocate a Business

Anyone planning to open or move a recreational camp must complete the Notice of Intent to Operate or Relocate a Recreational Camp form and submit it to the Northwestern Health Unit. The NWHU can provide a new camp with a package of information to assist them in meeting the Regulations​ and notification requirements, or you can download the documents below. Contact the Northwestern Health Unit and speak to a public health inspector if you have questions regarding the application process.

Additional permits and licenses may be required from other provincial and municipal departments and agencies.

Download the Intent to Operate a Recreational Camp Form​

This checklist is intended as a guide to assist recreational camp operators in preparing for their seasonal camp opening. The Northwestern Health Unit must be notified 14 days prior to opening of your camp each year.

Click here to download the Recreational Camp Opening Checklist​

Creating Camp​ Safety Plans

​Not only are camp safety plans an important part of keeping your staff and campers safe, they are also part of the law. Section 10 of the O. Reg. 503/17 requires the operators of a camp to develop and submit a camp safety plan to the medical officer of health or a public health inspector every year before opening.

Minimum requirements for camp safety plans include:

  • procedures for maintaining records regarding campers, including their name, address and emergency contact;
  • procedures for maintaining a record of health and safety incidents that occur in the camp.
  • communicable disease control;
  • fire safety;
  • a description of land-based and water-based activities at the camp, an identification of the risks of those activities and a strategy to control and minimize those risks, including supervision procedures if appropriate;
  • waterfront safety, including, if applicable, the availability of safety equipment and communication devices and procedures;
  • a list of all camp staff members who have a current first aid certificate;
  • the minimum ratio or ratios of camp staff members to campers

You can download a template to help you design your camp safety plan, or create one yourself.

Click here to download a Camp Safety Plan Template

Public Health Inspection​s and Disclosure

​The Northwestern Health Unit is implementing an evidence-based, on-site disclosure system for operators of recreational camps, recreational water facilities, food premises, and personal service settings. Previously, the results of health inspections were posted online and available through a Freedom of Information request. Now, in addition to online disclosure, establishments must publicly display signs that indicate how well they adhere to the laws that protect consumers from infections and food-borne illnesses.

To a poster that includes images of the pass and closed water postersA picture of the pass water poster 

To a picture of the closed water poster 

​Recreational camps will display either a green “Pass” or red “Closure” sign depending on the results of their public health inspections. Note that this is different from the signage for food premises and personal service settings, as recreational camps will not show yellow signs.

For further explanation of the program, download this fact sheet: Recreational Camps and Water Facilities On-Site Disclosure Operator’s Fact Sheet

​To view online inspection results, visit ChooseWise​.

​SunAware Camp Certification

The Melanoma Network of Canada runs the Screen Me™ Sun Aware™ Camp Certification program. The purpose of the program is to support camp owners, directors and staff to implement best practices in sun safety.

Screen Me™ provides a free training program that helps refine camp sun safety policies, provides staff with a training module, and provides educational materials and sunscreen. It applies to residential, municipality camps and day and overnight camps. Certified camps are listed on the website and published in parenting magazines and blogs.

​UV radiation is the leading cause of skin cancer and is especially dangerous for children. Although not mandatory, it is highly recommended that camps become certified.

More information can be found by clicking here.


Regulations and Set Fin​es

Public health inspectors will pursue enforcement actions with powers delegated to them under the Health Protection and Promotion Act: O. Reg. 503 Recreation Camps.

To view a list of set fines, visit Schedule 41.3 of the Provincial Offences Act (Recreation Camps)​.