County Health Department rejects summer camp bill

CHENANGO COUNTY – The Chenango County Department of Health is advocating for the blockage of legislation that would add a layer of red tape to day camp operations in the county.

The bill, which has yet to pass the state Senate or Assembly, would subject single purpose day camps, such as dance camp, basketball camp, or even fire camp, to the same regulations associated with summer camps that have multiple recreations like hiking, swimming, and other potentially dangerous recreations.

The state currently defines children’s camps as operating with multiple activities and 10 or more children under the age of 16 for more than 5 days within a two-week period.

“What this legislation will do is add another definition to camp laws,” explained Isaiah Sutton, Director of Chenango County Environmental Health. “Effectively, it will add single purpose day camps, including those engaging in potentially dangerous non passive recreational activities.”

While the legislation may benefit areas downstate, where large camp organizations use loopholes to escape regulations applicable to multi recreation camps, it could be detrimental to camps in upstate communities, according to Sutton.

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