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DCF 252.42(4)(c) (c) No person with a health history of typhoid, paratyphoid, dysentery, or other diarrheal disease may work in a camp until it is determined by appropriate tests that the person is not a carrier of the disease.
DCF 252.42 History History: Cr. Register, October, 1984, No. 346, eff. 11-1-84; CR 04-040: cr. (2) (a) 11. Register December 2004 No. 588, eff. 1-1-05; correction in (2) (a) 7. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635; CR 07-102: am. (1) (a), (c), (d), (2) (a) (intro.), 1. to 4., (b), (c) (intro.), 1., 2., (d), (3) (title), (a), (b), (d), (e) and (4) (title), r. and recr. (2) (a) 7. to 11., (3) (c) and (f), cr. (2) (a) 12., 13., (e) to (g), (3) (g) to (k), (4) (b), (c) and Table, renum. (4) to be (4) (a) and am. Register December 2008 No. 636, eff. 1-1-09; corrections in (2) (a) 2., 7., (3) (b), (f), (k), (4) (a) and Table made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register December 2008 No. 636; EmR1918: emerg. r. and recr., eff. 1-30-19; CR 19-089: r. and recr. Register March 2020 No. 771, eff. 4-1-20; CR 21-100: am. (1) (a) (intro.), 2., 3., (3) (a) 10. Register February 2023 No. 806, eff. 3-1-23.
DCF 252.425 DCF 252.425Supervision and grouping of children.
DCF 252.425(1)(1)Supervision.
DCF 252.425(1)(a)(a) Each child shall be supervised at all times to guide the child's behavior and activities, prevent harm, and ensure safety.
DCF 252.425(1)(b) (b) All children in care shall be assigned to a counselor. The camp shall implement a procedure to ensure that the number, names, and whereabouts of children in care are known to the assigned camp counselor at all times.
DCF 252.425(1)(c)1.1. Counselors who are included for meeting the required counselor-to-child ratio may not provide care to children more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period.
DCF 252.425(1)(c)2. 2. Notwithstanding subd. 1., camps that provide an occasional overnight activity for children enrolled in the camp may allow a counselor to provide care for children for more than 12 hours in the 24-hour period to permit the counselor to remain with the children during the overnight session.
DCF 252.425(1)(d) (d) No licensee, employee, volunteer, or other individual in contact with children may consume alcoholic beverages or any non-prescribed controlled substance specified in ch. 961 Stats., on the premises of the camp or be under the influence of any alcohol or non-prescribed controlled substance, during the hours of the camp's operation.
DCF 252.425(1)(e) (e) A child may not be released to any person who has not been previously authorized by the parent.
DCF 252.425(1)(f) (f) The camp shall implement a procedure to contact a parent if a child is absent from the camp without prior notification from the parent.
DCF 252.425(1)(g) (g) A child may not be in care for more than 14 hours in any 24-hour period.
DCF 252.425(1)(h) (h) The camp director shall be at the camp during the hours of operation, except if any of the following conditions are met:
DCF 252.425(1)(h)1. 1. The camp director is on a field trip with all of the children.
DCF 252.425(1)(h)2. 2. The camp director is on a field trip with some of the children and has a reliable method of communicating easily with the camp.
DCF 252.425(1)(h)3. 3. Another qualified person that is identified in the written delegation of administrative authority under s. DCF 252.41 (1) (p) is present at the camp and is authorized to make decisions for the camp.
DCF 252.425(1)(i) (i) When 9 or more children are present at the camp, there shall be at least 2 adults available at all times and at least one of the adults shall be a counselor.
DCF 252.425(2) (2)   Grouping of children.
DCF 252.425(2)(a)1.1. Except as provided in subds. 2. and 4., the ratio of counselors to children may not be less than the minimum number of counselors to children specified in Table DCF 252.425.
TABLE DCF 252.425
DCF 252.425(2)(a)2. 2. When there is a mixed-age group, the counselor-to-child ratio shall be adjusted on a pro rata basis, according to age.
DCF 252.425 Note Note: The department's form, Counselor-to-Child Ratio Worksheet may be used to prorate the staff-to-child ratio for mixed age groups. Information on how to obtain forms is available on the department's website,
DCF 252.425(2)(a)4. 4. When 9 or more children are on a field trip, at least 2 adults shall accompany the children. The counselor-to-child ratios in Table DCF 252.425 shall be met on field trips.
DCF 252.425(2)(b) (b) Support staff, such as maintenance, clerical, housekeeping, and food service staff, may only be considered in determining counselor–to–child ratios if the support staff meet the qualifications of a camp counselor and are giving full attention to the care and supervision of children.
DCF 252.425(2)(c) (c) A camp counselor may not engage in any duties that are not related to caring for children while he or she is counted in meeting the required counselor–to–child ratios.
DCF 252.425(2)(d) (d) Children of staff who attend the camp and who are on the premises for supervision and care shall be counted in the determination of counselor-to-child ratios.
DCF 252.425 History History: EmR1918: emerg. cr., eff. 1-30-19; CR 19-089: cr. Register March 2020 No. 770, eff. 4-1-20; correction in (2) (a) 1. made under s. 35.17, Stats., Register March 2020 No. 770; CR 21-100: r. (2) (a) 3. Register February 2023 No. 806, eff. 3-1-23; correction in (2) (a) 1. made under s. 13.92 (3) (b) 7., Stats., Register February 2023 No. 806.
DCF 252.43 DCF 252.43Base camp and facilities.
DCF 252.43(1)(1)Site and building.
DCF 252.43(1)(a)(a) The licensee shall identify a base camp that provides an environment that allows the program to be oriented to the out-of-doors. The base camp shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition at all times.
DCF 252.43(1)(b) (b) The base camp shall have a building or shelter for use by the camp during inclement weather. If the shelter is not enclosed, the camp shall implement a procedure for ensuring that children are protected from the elements.
DCF 252.43(1)(c) (c) The base camp shall be located on a well-drained site not subject to flooding. The premises shall be properly graded to prevent the accumulation of storm or other waters that may create hazards to the property or to the health or safety of the occupants. No camp may be located in an area that is situated so that drainage for any source of filth, such as garbage or animal waste disposal, can be deposited on the site.
DCF 252.43 Note Note: Local authorities should be consulted to obtain any required zoning clearances or building permits. Chapter NR 115 and s. NR 116.12 (2) (b) may affect the camp's location with regard to flood plains and shore land areas.
DCF 252.43(1)(d) (d) Buildings and shelters on sites used or constructed primarily for day camp purposes shall comply with the applicable Wisconsin Commercial Building Code and applicable local ordinances. A copy of the building inspection report shall be on file with the department.
DCF 252.43 Note Note: Inspections can be obtained from a commercial building inspector certified by the Department of Safety and Professional Services in accordance with chapter SPS 305, “Licenses, Certifications, and Registration," or a Wisconsin architect registered in accordance with chapter A-E 3, Architect Registration, or a Wisconsin engineer registered in accordance with chapter A-E 4, Professional Engineer Registration. Local authorities should be consulted to obtain any required zoning clearances or building permits.
DCF 252.43(1)(e) (e) All buildings and structures used by children for day camp purposes shall have not less than 2 plainly marked exits that are free of obstruction.
DCF 252.43(1)(f) (f) The base camp premises and any structures used by children on the premises shall be free of litter, safe, well maintained, in good repair, and clean.
DCF 252.43(1)(g) (g) If the base camp includes an enclosed building used by children, the inside temperature of the building may not be less than 67 degrees Fahrenheit. If the inside temperature exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the licensee shall provide for air circulation with fans or by other means.
DCF 252.43(1)(h) (h) Painted exterior and interior surfaces accessible to children shall be free of flaking or deteriorating paint and finished with lead-free paint or other non-toxic material.
DCF 252.43(1)(i) (i) Garbage and refuse at the base camp shall be kept in rigid, watertight, and leak-proof containers with tight-fitting covers and disposed of as necessary to prevent decomposition and overflow.
DCF 252.43(1)(j) (j) The areas around garbage and refuse containers shall be clean and dry.
DCF 252.43(1)(k) (k) Solid waste disposal sites on the premises must be licensed by the department of natural resources.
DCF 252.43(1)(L) (L) The growth of brush, weeds, grass, and plants shall be controlled in the base camp area to prevent the harborage of noxious insects, rodents, and any other animals.
DCF 252.43(1)(m) (m) Chemical and other insect, weed, and rodent control measures shall be used in accordance with label instructions.
DCF 252.43(2) (2)Emergency plans and drills and open fires.
DCF 252.43(2)(a) (a) Children shall be protected from indoor and outdoor hazards, including any recalled products.
DCF 252.43 Note Note: Lists of recalled products are available on the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection website at or by contacting the U.S. consumer products safety commission (US CPSC) at 1-800-638-2772.
DCF 252.43(2)(b) (b) Materials harmful to children, including drugs, pesticides, flammable or combustible materials, insecticides, matches, cleaning supplies, bleaches, and other hazardous, toxic, or poisonous materials shall be stored in the original, covered, and labeled container in areas not accessible to children. Power tools shall be stored so they are inaccessible to children.
DCF 252.43(2)(c) (c) A motor vehicle shall be immediately available at the camp in case of emergency if a public or private rescue or emergency vehicle cannot arrive at the camp within 10 minutes of a phone call.
DCF 252.43(2)(d) (d) Smoking is prohibited anywhere on the premises or in a vehicle used to transport children when children are in care.
DCF 252.43(2)(e) (e) The camp shall have a working telephone at the camp during the hours of operation. A list of emergency telephone numbers, including fire, law enforcement, and poison control shall be in a location known to all camp counselors. In this paragraph, “telephone” does not include a pay telephone requiring payment to reach the operator or a telephone in a locked room.
DCF 252.43(3) (3 )Emergency plans and drills.
DCF 252.43(3)(a) (a) Each camp shall have a written plan for taking appropriate action in the event of an emergency situation, including a fire, tornado, or natural disaster, extreme heat or cold, lost or missing children, a missing swimmer, an accident, an illness, allergic reactions, human-caused events, such as threats to the premises or its occupants, or other circumstances requiring immediate attention. The plan shall include specific procedures that address all of the following:
DCF 252.43(3)(a)1. 1 . Evacuation, relocation, shelter-in-place, and lockdown.
DCF 252.43(3)(a)2. 2. Procedures for ensuring that the needs of children with disabilities are met.
DCF 252.43(3)(a)3. 3. Communication with parents.
DCF 252.43(3)(a)4. 4. Connecting children with their parents if the camp is required to evacuate the premises.
DCF 252.43(3)(b) (b) Each staff member shall be informed of and knowledgeable about his or her duties in the event of an emergency and appropriate evacuation routes.
DCF 252.43(3)(c) (c) All fire protection facilities and equipment, including fire extinguishers, shall be operable and maintained in working order by a qualified person. Each fire extinguisher shall be inspected once per year by a qualified person and have a label indicating its present condition and the date of the last inspection.
DCF 252.43(3)(d) (d) Before camp opens, written notification of the camp operation shall be given to the nearest fire department or forest ranger service for protection in case of fire. The notification shall include the dates the camp will be operational and the number and ages of children in care.
DCF 252.43(3)(e) (e) Any necessary permits required for operation of incinerators or for open fires shall be secured and available for review by a licensing representative.
DCF 252.43 Note Note: The department recommends that the licensee contact the local municipality and the Department of Natural Resources prior to the camp opening to determine what permits are required.
DCF 252.43(3)(f) (f) The clearing around open fires shall be free of burnable materials for a radius of 6 feet.
DCF 252.43(3m) (3m)Food preparation, service, and storage.
DCF 252.43(3m)(a) (a) When meals are prepared or heated on the premises, the kitchen area shall be equipped with a microwave or stove, a refrigerator, a sink, and utensils that are necessary to prepare and serve meals. The sink shall be used exclusively for food preparation and dishwashing.
DCF 252.43(3m)(b) (b) Camps preparing or serving only snacks are not required to have a sink unless dishes or utensils requiring dishwashing are used. Camps preparing or serving only snacks are not required to have a microwave or stove unless the snacks require heating.
DCF 252.43(3m)(c) (c) All equipment and utensils used for preparing, serving, or storing food shall have smooth hard surfaces, be easily cleanable, in good repair, durable, non-toxic, and free of cracks, seams, chips, and roughened areas, and be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.
DCF 252.43(3m)(d) (d) Single-service utensils and food containers may not be reused.
DCF 252.43(3m)(e) (e) Foods shall be stored at temperatures that protect against spoilage. Milk and other perishable food shall be maintained at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
DCF 252.43(3m)(f) (f) Food shall be protected from potential contamination and adulteration, including dirt, insects, rodents, or animals. Dry foods, such as cereals, crackers, and pasta shall be stored in bags with zip-type closures or metal, glass, or food-grade plastic containers with tight-fitting covers and shall be labeled and dated. In this paragraph, “food-grade plastic” means any plastic material used in the manufacture of dishes or utensils which has been found not harmful to human health by the national sanitation foundation.
DCF 252.43(3m)(fm) (fm) Food shall be clean, wholesome, free from spoilage, free from adulteration or misbranding, and safe for human consumption. Meat, poultry, fish, molluscan shellfish, eggs, and dairy products shall be from an inspected source.
DCF 252.43(3m)(g) (g) Raw fruits and vegetables shall be washed before being served or cooked.
DCF 252.43(3m)(h) (h) Meals shall be prepared at the base camp in a central kitchen operated by the camp or in another location that has been inspected by a representative of a state agency. Food delivery vehicles shall be equipped with clean containers or cabinets to store food while in transit. Containers for cold food shall be capable of maintaining the temperature at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and containers for hot food shall be capable of maintaining the temperature at or above 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
DCF 252.43 Note Note: The rules for retail food establishments are in ch. ATCP 75.
DCF 252.43(3m)(i) (i) Extra food that was prepared but not served shall be dated, refrigerated promptly, and used within 36 hours, or frozen immediately for use within 6 months.
DCF 252.43(4) (4)Water.
DCF 252.43(4)(a) (a) A safe supply of drinking water shall be available to children and staff at all times from a drinking fountain of the angle jet type or by use of a disposable or reusable cup or water bottle. Common use of drinkware is prohibited.
DCF 252.43(4)(b) (b) If a camp gets its water from a private well, the camp shall comply with all of the following:
DCF 252.43(4)(b)1.a.a. At least 2 weeks prior to the camp opening each year, the camp shall have water samples from the well tested for total coliform and Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria using a laboratory certified by the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection as specified in ch. ATCP 77. The laboratory report shall be available to the department upon request.
DCF 252.43(4)(b)1.b. b. If the water test results indicate the presence of total coliform or E. coli bacteria, the water system shall be appropriately disinfected or treated and retested until it is determined to be free of bacteria. An alternative source of water shall be used for drinking and preparing food until the well is free from bacteria.
DCF 252.43 Note Note: A list of laboratories certified to test for bacteria can be found on the Department of Natural Resources website:
DCF 252.43 Note Note: Alternative sources of drinking water can include bottled water and water from a public water system that meets drinking water standards.
DCF 252.43(4)(b)2.a.a. At least 2 weeks prior to the camp opening each year, the camp shall have water samples from the well tested for nitrate using a laboratory certified under ch. NR 149. The laboratory report shall be available to the department upon request.
DCF 252.43(4)(b)2.b. b. If water test results indicate nitrate levels are above 10 mg/L, an alternative source of water shall be used for drinking and preparing food until nitrate levels are below 10 mg/L.
DCF 252.43 Note Note: A list of laboratories certified to test for nitrate can be found on DNR's website:
Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.