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Recreational Camps

Camp Opening Checklist

This checklist is provided as a guide to assist recreational camp operators in preparing for the seasonal opening of camps.


Notify the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit each year, 14 days prior to the seasonal opening of your camp.

☐ Health Unit has been notified 14 days prior to the opening of camp.

Camp Safety Plan

Every year before opening or operating a recreational camp, the operator of the camp shall develop and submit a camp safety plan, in writing to the medical officer of health or public health inspector. Please refer to the included Camp Safety Plan Requirements for a complete list of items to include in the camp safety plan.

☐ Camp safety plan has been submitted to the Health Unit 14 days prior to the opening of camp.


Adequate medical staff must be provided on-site. Ensure one of the following is provided by your camp:

☐ A physician (if the physician is not is residence the services of a physician must be able to be obtained immediately in case of a medical emergency.)

☐ Registered nurse

☐ A person (who is 18 years or older) who has a current first aid certificate.

Water Safety

Every camp that has a waterfront that is used for aquatic activities must be under the supervision of a lifeguard who is at least 16 years of age and who holds a lifeguard certificate obtained within the previous two years.

The required number of lifeguards must be provided in accordance with the following:

Adequate lifeguards must be provided depending on number of campers in water:

  • two lifeguards for one to 25 bathers
  • three lifeguards for 26 to 100 bathers
  • If more than 100 campers are in the water, one additional lifeguard is required for each additional group of 25 or less.

☐ A copy of the above lifeguard certificate(s) is on-site and available for inspection

Water Safety Equipment

The operator must ensure that the following equipment is easily accessible and in good condition during waterfront activities:

The following equipment is on-site and is in good condition:

☐ One or more buoyant rescue aids attached to a shoulder loop with a six millimetre line at least 1.60 metres in length

☐ One or more reaching poles of three metres or greater in length

☐ One or more buoyant throwing aids attached to a six millimetre line at least eight metres in length

☐ A spine board

☐ A paddle board or boat, when any part of the swimming area is more than 50 metres from shore

☐ First aid kit equipped with the following supplies in sufficient quantities:

  • A current copy of a standard first aid manual,
  • Safety pins,
  • Individually wrapped adhesive dressings,
  • Sterile gauze pads (50mm by 50mm,75mm square, and 100mm by 100mm)
  • Individually wrapped sterile surgical pads suitable for pressure dressings,
  • Triangular bandages
  • Rolls of splint padding,
  • Roll-up splints,
  • Scissors,
  • Non-permeable gloves,
  • A resuscitation pocket mask,
  • Tweezers,
  • Instant ice packs,
  • Incident report forms,
  • Antiseptic solution,
  • Water-resistant, sterile bandages,
  • Waterproof adhesive tape, and
  • A blanket and pillow.


Dogs, cats, horses,and any other animal susceptible to rabies must have current rabies certificate and the last rabies immunization was given at least 30 days prior to entering the camp

☐ Rabies vaccination certificates for all animals are on-site and available for inspection

Note: All animal bites and bats found indoors must be reported to the health unit immediately. Visit our animal bite reporting page for more information.


☐ Windows in sleeping areas area can be opened to provide air flow

☐ Windows are provided with screens and screens are in good repair to prevent the entry of insects and vermin.

Pest Control

The operator must ensure the camp buildings are kept free from pests and conditions that would harbour pests.

☐ Written documentation of pest control measures are available on-site and ready for inspection.


Minimum lighting intensity for specified rooms/buildings:

☐ Lighting is adequate

Note: A flash light is not considered as minimum lighting in a sleeping area. Fixed lighting is required.

Drinking Water Supply

☐ Drinking water system complies with the requirements of applicable legislation:

Ontario Regulation 170/03 (Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change)

Ontario Regulation 319/08 (Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care).

Water sample(s) has been submitted and results are on-site and ready for inspection.

Sanitary Facilities

☐ Sanitary facilities are clean, sanitary and well maintained and equipped with necessary supplies.

Food Preparation

Food preparation areas must be in compliance with Parts III, IV and VI of the Food Premises Regulation 493/17.

☐ Certified food handler certificates available on-site and ready for inspection

To ensure that your camp is in compliance we recommend that all operators of recreational camps review Ontario Regulation 503/17 (Recreational Camps).

Should you have any questions regarding the operation of your recreational camp call Health Connection to speak with a public health inspector at 705-721-7520 or toll-free 1-877-721-7520.

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If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

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