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Recreational Camps

Notice to Operators of Recreational Camps - April 2018

Our public health inspectors conduct annual inspections of recreational camps to ensure they are in compliance with the Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.7 and other pertinent legislation.

To assist you in complying with the regulation and to avoid delays in opening your facility, please complete the Notice of Recreational Camp Opening form and forward it to your local public health inspector at least 14 days prior to your opening date. This notification is required under section 2. of the Recreational Camps Regulation.

Please note that the Recreational Camp Regulation under the Health Protection and Promotion Act has changed. The new Recreational Camp Regulation 503 comes into effect on July 1, 2018.

Many changes have been made to the Regulation. It is your responsibility as a recreational camp owner/operator to review the regulation in full and ensure compliance. We have highlighted some of the changes below:

Recreational camps overnight accommodation and occupancy

Recreational camps are defined as:

“Camps that offer overnight accommodation for temporary occupancy for five or more persons who are under eighteen years of age or persons who have special needs.”

Camps falling under this definition must comply with Recreational Camps, R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 503/17.  Camps that do not fall under this regulation may continue to be inspected by a public health inspector to ensure that they are in compliance with other applicable legislation.

Certified food handler required on premises

As of July 1, 2018, you will be required to have at least one food handler or supervisor who has completed food handler training on the premises during every hour of operation. Here is a full list of approved and provincially recognized food handler training programs.

Safe drinking water

If the recreational camp is on well water, it is the responsibility of the camp operator to provide copies of the water sample results and maintenance records to the public health inspector prior to opening. For further information about testing and the requirements for maintaining your well, please contact a public health inspector at 705-721-7520 or toll-free at 1-877-721-7520 ext. 8811.

Camp safety plan

The camp operator must provide an updated written report to the public health inspector prior to opening. The camp safety plan should include procedures for:

  • maintaining records on campers including their name, address and emergency contact information.
  • maintaining a record of health and safety incidents that occur in the camp including steps to prevent further incidents.
  • communicable disease control, including actions to be taken for suspected outbreaks and animal bites, including when to notify the health unit.
  • list of camp staff members who have current first aid certificate.
  • minimum ratio of camp staff to campers for a variety of age groups and ensuring that the ratio is maintained at all times while the camp is in operation.
  • fire safety and fire protection. If there have been any changes to the operation, capacity or number of buildings, the Fire Safety Plan should be updated to reflect these changes.
  • description of land-based and water based activities and identify the associated risks and a strategy to control and minimize those risks including supervision, if appropriate.
  • water front safety, including the availability of safety equipment and communication devices.

Waterfront safety

The requirement to employ a waterfront director from the previous regulation has been removed and replaced by the following:
“Every operator shall ensure that every waterfront area in the recreational camp that is used for aquatic activities is under the supervision of a lifeguard who holds a lifeguard certificate obtained within the previous two years.”

Rabies vaccination

It is the responsibility of the camp operator to ensure that no animal (e.g., cat, dog, horse, etc.) that is susceptible to rabies, is brought into the camp unless the animal has been immunized against rabies at least 30 days before it was brought into the camp. Ensure copies of the rabies vaccination certificate(s) are kept on site at the camp and are available for the public health inspector prior to opening the camp.

Infection prevention and control

The camp operator must notify the medical officer of health of an outbreak or suspected outbreak of any communicable disease in the recreational camp.

Requirement to post inspection results

In the future, you will be required to post a ‘Certificate of Inspection’ (green sign) with an inspection date that is provided to you by your public health inspector at the completion of an inspection.

If you have any questions about the regulation or its changes, call Health Connection 705-721-7520 or toll-free at 1-877-721-7520 ext. 8811 to speak with a public health inspector.



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