Environmental Health

Youth Camps: Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is a High risk activity?

A: A high risk activity is one in which a participant has an increased risk of injury simply by performing the activity.  If your campers will be playing any sport , these could constitute a high risk activity.  Factors a camp would want to consider when evaluating if an activity should be considered high risk are the age level of participants, skill level of participants and probability/ or chance that a participant would be injured due to participating in said activity. 


Q:  What is the definition of a youth camp?

A:  Activities that do not meet the definition of a youth camp are not required to license.  A youth camp is defined as:

  1. Operates for a period of  two (2) or more days within the same week

  2. Five (5) or more children under the age of 18 years



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Q: Do municipal camps have to register/license?:

A: Public entities that run camps with high risk activities should register.  The determination of a high risk activity is up to the camp operator to evaluate. 


Q: I looked at the Organized Sports Guidance Document and the activities at my camp are not listed as high risk.  Do I still need to license?

A: The Organized Sports Guidance is not a tool to be used to determine whether an activity should be licensed by the Youth Camp Safety Project.  Licensure requirements are detailed  under the Definitions Section (1.3) of N.J.A.C. 8:25 Youth Camp Standards.   The criteria outlined in the organized sports guidance was developed during the height of the pandemic in efforts during prolonged shutdowns to help participants of sports evaluate activities which were allowed to be conducted during different phases of the reopening New Jersey process.  The chart in no way is tied to the definition of high risk defined under N.J.A.C. 8:25 Youth Camp Standards.


Q:  In the past, my license was valid for an entire calendar year.  Can I operate when summer is over?

A: As a means to ensure the proper care of school aged children, camps may only operate during out of school time vacations and holidays (Ex: summer break, spring break, holidays and other school vacation/holidays not mentioned). Any camp wishing to operate outside of what has been described should contact the project lead directly at youth.camps@doh.nj.gov.  


Q: I want to add a second location to my application.  What is the difference in the CB-11 and CB-11a forms?

A: If the two separate locations are for two distinct and separate camp populations, for example camp site A is for campers aged 5-10 and campsite B is for aged 11-15 then you will need two separate license numbers.  Which means you will need to complete 2 separate applications (CB-11) for each camp site. 

If instead, your camp population is for example, campers age 5-10 and campsite A has a pool and campsite B has a ropes course then you only need one license.  You can complete the (CB-11 and CB-11a) forms in order to add the second activity location.


Q: The application form is missing form fields and I have been unable to complete the form.  I have included a picture of the form is this acceptable?


We strongly recommend using Adobe Reader to fill out your application form. If you do not use Adobe Reader, your form answers may be lost when it is opened in our office: all forms are optimized for Adobe Reader. Use the following link to download and install Adobe Reader FREE: https://get.adobe.com/reader

If you are unable to use Adobe Reader, please open your completed form and select PRINT, then select a PRINT TO PDF option or a PDF printer. This will generate a new file where your form field answers are locked in. Send us the new PDF file to ensure the information will appear the same in our office as it does on your screen.


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Q: I submitted my application before the deadline.  How can I check the status?

A: Camps can actively check the status of their license by visiting our website at NJ Youth Camps and looking for the link to  Search Active Camps.  The list can be sorted by CAMPID, county or camp name.  This dynamic list reflects in real time license processing and is immediately updated once an application is processed. 


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Q: When should LHD expect to receive the preoperational inspection list?

A: Registration applications for the youth camp season typically begins the second week of April.  Mid-late May our office has registered more than 1/2 of all licensed facilities and sends a Pre-operational inspection list via LINCS to all health officials.  The static list can be used as a resource to identify youth camps licensed to operate within your jurisdiction.  A second resource available to local health officials, is theSearch Active Campslink available on our website at NJ Youth Camps. The list can be sorted by county.  This dynamic list reflects in real time license processing and is immediately updated once an application is processed.  


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Q: Are campers required to mask?

A: Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 292, which lifts the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in addition to the statewide school and daycare mask mandate, effective on Monday, March 7.  Although youth camps within the state of New Jersey are no longer required to implement COVID-19 mitigation strategies, we encourage youth camp communities their operators and owners to remain vigilant that the virus remains among us and to take steps to minimize it's impact among your camp community.  The youth summer camp 2022 recommendation guidance tool is under development as a resource to camp operators choosing to implement a layered prevention strategy to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 


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Q: We have opened a licensed childcare center in the lower level of our building and we understand the center and the camp must be separate.  We would like to have a large tent on the grounds and the youth campers will be able to use separate bathroom facilities, which will be upstairs. On days when there is inclement weather we can house them in the upper level of the church. The other days we will take them on trips or outings to local parks.  Would this be sufficient to have a summer camp?

A: Yes, as described you are keeping the child care center and youth camp populations separate.  The arrangement sounds feasible for the purposes of the youth camp license.  You will need to check with your OOL liaison to ensure this arrangement doesn’t infringe on any of their licensing requirements.


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Q: Do written records, such as medical logs, need to be physical documents or is it allowable to maintain them electronically?

A: Documents may be maintained electronically.  Any electronically managed files should be ready and available for inspection staff upon request or provided to enforcement personnel within 48 hours.


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Q: The staff to camper ratio of 1 adult: 1 counselor: 20 campers. Is this the maximum that is permitted in each cohort? 

A:  The staff to camper ratios are identified pursuant N.J.A.C. 8:25:3.2 (o-q).  Please review the section of the regulation and email any additional questions to youth.camps@doh.nj.gov.  

Ages 5-17 require one adult (age 18+) assisted by 1 counselor (age 16+) per 20 children. Any group larger than 20 kids would then require one additional counselor per 10 campers.   

Ages 2 1/2- 4 requires one adult (age 18+) assisted by 1 counselor (age 16+) per 14 children. Any group larger than 14 kids would then require one additional counselor per 7 campers.   

Ages birth - 2 requires one adult (age 18+) assisted by 1 counselor (age 16+) per 8 children. Any group larger than 8 kids would then require one additional counselor per 4 campers. 


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Last Reviewed: 4/29/2024