The purpose of certification is to protect the health and safety of children attending Maryland youth camps. The regulations governing youth camps establish minimum standards to ensure camp operators conduct criminal history record checks for employees, provide for the health of campers, maintain appropriate supervision ratios, implement health and safety procedures, report incidents, conduct high risk recreational activities safely and maintain the camp facility in good working order.
Not sure if your facility needs to be licensed as a youth camp? Please review the regulations for youth camps (COMAR 10.16.06), including the sections on scope and definitions. If you have additional questions, please contact us.
Complete the Pre-Application for Youth Camp. MDH will review the information you submit and send you an email with instructions to create your password for the MDH Youth Camp Portal.
Log into the MDH Youth Camp Portal to:
- Complete your current application to operate a youth camp.
Before a Certificate, Letter of Compliance or Acceptance Letter is issued, MDH must determine substantial compliance with the regulations.
- Upload the required compliance documentation, including:
- Building documentation
- Water source documentation
- Sewerage disposal documentation
- Written health program
- Written emergency procedures
- Written child abuse prevention and reporting procedures
Background check and CPS clearance for Personnel Administrator
- Pay the application fee.
- New camps pay the lowest applicable fee ($190 for Day Camps, $500 for Residential Camps) at time of application, then pay any fee balance owed at the end of camp.
- Fees may be paid with a credit card or ACH in the MDH Youth Camp Portal; checks or money orders payable to the Maryland Department of Health can be mailed (please include Invoice Number on checks).
If you operate multiple camps at separate physical locations, complete and submit a separate Pre-Application, current application, fee and compliance documentation for each camp.
Key Links, Forms, Regulations, and Other Resources
At this time, youth camps are not required to implement any additional precautions or procedures for COVID-19. However, youth camps are strongly encouraged to review the guidelines from the CDC, have a plan for a suspected COVID-19 outbreak, and clearly communicate COVID-19 policies and procedures with parents and campers.
Youth Camp Safety Advisory Council
The Youth Camp Safety Advisory Council assists and advises the Maryland Department of Health on the development and review of regulations for certifying youth camps. These regulations include standards for personnel screening procedures, medical services and safety procedures. The Council also prepares an annual report to the Secretary on current issues affecting youth camps and children attending youth camps.
The Council meets 4 times a year, the first Thursday of February, April, October, and December from 10:00am to 12:00pm. Meetings are virtual and open to the public. Click here for more information.
Emergency Use Auto-Injectable Epinephrine Program
This Program was created by the Maryland legislature to authorize certain individuals to obtain and administer life-saving treatment to individuals who are suffering from anaphylaxis when physician services or emergency medical services are not immediately available. While individuals can be prescribed auto-injectable epinephrine for personal use by their doctors, this program is intended for staff of youth camps, food service facilities, and institutions of higher education. The Program requires an individual to go through an approved training program before a certificate is issued by the Department, which can be used to obtain auto-injectable epinephrine from a pharmacy.
Click here for more information.