Business Answers About Licensed Facilities

Youth Camps

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Do I need a license to operate a youth camp?

A Department of Health and Human Services license is needed for a youth camp if it meets the following definition:
A youth camp is a combination of program and facilities established for the primary purpose of providing an outdoor group living experience for children with social, recreational, spiritual, and educational objectives and operated and used for five or more consecutive days during one or more seasons of the year. Youth camps include day camps, residential camps and trip and travel camps.

How do I apply for a license to operate a youth camp?

You may download an application or call the Health Inspection Program's main line at 207-287-5671 for a hard copy.The application requires you to provide information about the business owner and the proposal. You must provide a copy of a water test if you use a well as a water supply, and a copy of your septic system's design if you are not on a public sewer.

How soon can I open or how soon do I get my license after an application is submitted?

Once the district health inspector has given approval for you to operate your establishment, within 30 days of receipt of a complete application, if there are no outstanding issues, the Health Inspector will inform the Licensing Clerk to issue your license. This generally is within a week once the Health Inspector informs the Licensing Clerk.

What are the age and experience requirements of a youth camp director?

The youth camp director shall be at least 25 years of age and shall have 16 weeks of administrative or supervisory experience in an organized camp. A day camp director shall be at least 21 years of age.

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What are the age and experience requirements of the aquatics director?

The aquatics director shall be at least 21 years of age and hold or have evidence of having held within the last 5 years one of the following certifications:

  • Lifeguard training from a National Recognized Board (NRCB); or
  • Swim Instructor certification from a NRCB; or
  • Instructor or Instructor Trainer rating from a NRCB; or
  • Equivalent certification

Do youth camps have to provide on-site medical facilities?

All youth camps must have a designated infirmary building equipped with at least one bed per 50 persons in camp, and an isolation area for use in the event of suspected or confirmed communicable disease.There must be an adult on-site health supervisor who is one of the following:

  • Physician,
  • Physician Assistant,
  • Registered Nurse,
  • Licensed Practical Nurse,
  • Emergency Medical Technician, or
  • Holder of a Wilderness First Responder certificate.

How much does a license to operate a youth camp cost?

Please refer to the fee table located within the application.

Are licenses transferable?

No. Health Inspection Program licenses are not transferable.

Who is my district health inspector?

You may call the Health Inspection Program main line at 207-287-5671 to find out who the inspector is for your town.

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How do I request an inspection?

Once your application has been submitted, your district health inspector will be in contact with you to set up a pre-operational inspection.If you need a routine inspection, you may contact the district health inspector directly.

How soon can I get an inspection?

This depends on the Health Inspectors schedule as inspections are prioritized. Once the Health Inspector has completed your inspection and given approval to operate, you may operate your establishment. You do not need to wait for the license as your inspection with the approval of the inspector is written on the report. You will generally receive your license within a week after approval. By statute the Health Inspection Program shall issue a license within 30 days of receipt of a complete application, if the establishment is found to comply with rules adopted by the Department.

The youth camp was recently inspected with the previous owner, does it need to be inspected again if ownership changes to me?

The Health Inspector will make that determination based on how well he or she knows the establishment, history, and if you are making renovations or changes to your menu.

Who do I speak with if I have technical questions about the requirements to operate my youth camp?

Your district health inspector can assist you with these questions. You may call the Health Inspection Program main line at 207-287-5671 to find out who the inspector is for your town.

What other regulations do I need to be aware of to operate a youth camp?

Other regulations which may affect operation of a campground include, but are not limited to, the Maine Food Code; the Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules; the Drinking Water Rules; the Life Safety Code; the Internal Plumbing Rules; and those of the Fire Marshall's Office.You should also check with your local municipal officials to see if there are local zoning issues or permits that you must obtain before operating your establishment.

Where can I find the youth camp rules?

The Rules Relating to Boys, Girls, Boys and Girls, Day Camps, and Primitive and Trip Campingcan be downloaded or we can mail you a hard copy. Download a copy of the Rules.

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