Children's Camps

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Children's Camps

Topic Overview

Many children enjoy day camps and overnight camps. Day camps usually offer activities during school holidays or breaks. These activities may have a special theme, such as basketball or horseback riding. Private homes, local youth centres such as the YMCA, churches, schools, or child care centres for younger children may all offer day camp programs. Some provinces license day camps and usually include training requirements and behaviour guidelines for all staff.

Overnight camps range from one-night sleepovers to a few weeks. They usually involve a trip to a nearby destination, such as mountain cabins or the seashore. Overnight camps may be accredited. See the Other Places to Get Help section of the topic Choosing Child Care for more information.

All camps should have written health policies, specialized staff training, and health guidelines. All campers should have a recent health evaluation and immunization record on file. Camp records should include how to contact parents in case of an emergency. And camps should have written information describing their activities and programs.1

Related Information



  1. Committee on School Health, Section on School Health, American Academy of Pediatrics (2005). Health appraisal guidelines for day camps and resident camps. Pediatrics, 115(6): 1770–1773.


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Primary Medical Reviewer Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Last Revised November 22, 2010

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