Environmental Health

COVID-19 and 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: Is singing considered a high risk activity?

A: Yes, singing, speaking loudly, yelling and playing instruments  would all be considered high risk activities for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Again, the virus is transmitted via droplet spread via respiratory transmission. 


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 3 or more hours during the day for a period of  two (2) or more days within the same week

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



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

A: Public entities that run camps with high risk activities are required to 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: Until the public health emergency(PHE) is lifted youth camps may only operate during out of school time vacations and holidays such as summer break, spring break, holidays and other school vacation/holidays not mentioned. 


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?

A: A picture of the application form is an unacceptable format.  We can only accept pdf documents.  You must ensure that you have downloaded the form and are completing it using Adobe.  If you are using the web browser to complete the form you will continue to have issues and the form will not function properly. 

Please be sure to download and save the file prior to completing the form.  When the file is downloaded to your computer and it is opened in the adobe program (NOT THE WEBBROWSER as pictured below) the form fields are all visible available and ready to receive the information properly.  If you are seeing the web browser bar you have not downloaded and opened the form from the adobe program. 


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Q: What are the testing requirements for resident camps?

A:  All residential camps, despite the duration of activities (ex: 3 days; 1 week; 2 weeks) are required to have a documented negative test within 72 hours of arriving on-site for those unvaccinated staff/campers.  A subsequent post arrival test should be conducted of all unvaccinated staff and campers prior to arrival within 3-6 days.  Vaccinated staff/campers are not required to test, but documentation of their status should be verified and maintained by the camp.


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Q: I submitted my application on or after May 3, 2021.  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 for the 2021 season of youth camps has begun.  Mid-late May our office is anticipating sending the 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 the Search Active Camps link 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:  The 2021 Youth Camp COVID-19 Standards outlines both the indoor and outdoor masking requirements for campers.  Outdoors, within cohorts campers are not required to mask. Indoors campers should mask at all times. 


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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: Absolutely , documents may be maintained electronically.  Any electronically managed files should be ready and available for inspection staff at their request.


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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:  Each cohort must be staffed by 2 personnel directly overseeing the activities of the cohort.  These supervisory staff must consist of at minimum one adult over the age of 18.  The cohort size of campers and staff come to a count of 22 persons in each cohort(2 staff: 20 campers age 5-17).  The camper ratio can be less than 20 campers but not more.  Staff supervisors are grouped in two's to ensure that someone is always available to care for the entire group of campers if 1 or two need to be ushered to the restroom or health station etc.  Camps may fashion their cohorts into 2 groups of 11 (1 adult:10 campers) but these 2 groups should stay within the same general area together at all times.   Although, broken into two smaller groups, the larger 2:20 still facilitates 2 adults overseeing activities of the 20 campers.  The cohort sizes were fashioned to help with contact tracing and quarantining.  If/when illness occurs in the camp setting all close contacts of an confirmed ill person (cohorts) must quarantine and are restricted from attending camp.   The smaller the cohort the less likely illness will impact your entire camp operations including other cohorts. 


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Last Reviewed: 6/1/2021