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BOXFORD — The Boxford, Middleton and Topsfield Public Health Departments are reminding residents of numerous recreational summer programs available in the tri-town area as parents and guardians begin to make summer plans for their children.
In Massachusetts, all recreational camps must be inspected and licensed by the local board of health. In order to become licensed, a camp must meet all of the regulatory standards established by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) as well as any additional local requirements.
These regulations are designed to ensure the safest possible conditions for children who attend these programs and include requirements for staff background checks, trained and experienced camp counselors, an appointed health care supervisor, and certain counselor-to-camper ratios.
"While we don't promote or sponsor any specific camps in town, we encourage parents and guardians who are able to consider enrolling their children in some kind of recreational program over the summer," said Boxford Director of Public Health Kendell Longo. "These programs are a great way to keeps kids both physically and mentally active and helps to encourage positive social skills."
There are many benefits that children can get from attending recreational programs including increased physical activity, developing creative skills, learning social skills, building their independence, improving thinking and problem-solving skills, and gaining confidence.
"Camps and activities are a great way to keep kids active when they are home from school for the summer," said Middleton Director of Public Health Derek Fullerton. "I would encourage parents to explore the options available in Middleton and surrounding communities, and make sure the program you choose has been licensed by the local board of health."
"Keeping children involved in activities when they are out of school is important, so they remain active, social and continue to learn new skills," said Topsfield Public Health Agent John Coulon. "There are numerous camps available to Topsfield residents."
Residents should note that Massachusetts requirements do not affect camps held in New Hampshire and municipal recreation programs are exempt from these regulations. For more information about recreation camps in Massachusetts, download DPH's Question and Answer Guide for Families.
Boxford Health DepartmentKendell Longo, Director of Public Health7A Spofford RoadBoxford, MA 01921
Middleton Health DepartmentDerek Fullerton, Director of Public Health195 North Main St.Middleton, MA 01949
Topsfield Health DepartmentJohn Coulon, Health Agent461 E-6 Boston St.Topsfield, MA 01983