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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The areas around garbage and refuse containers shall be clean and dry.
Solid waste disposal sites on the premises must be licensed by the department of natural resources.
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.
Chemical and other insect, weed, and rodent control measures shall be used in accordance with label instructions.
Children shall be protected from indoor and outdoor hazards, including any recalled products.
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.
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.
Smoking is prohibited anywhere on the premises or in a vehicle used to transport children when children are in care.
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.
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:
Procedures for ensuring that the needs of children with disabilities are met.
Connecting children with their parents if the camp is required to evacuate the premises.
Each staff member shall be informed of and knowledgeable about his or her duties in the event of an emergency and appropriate evacuation routes.
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.
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.
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.
The clearing around open fires shall be free of burnable materials for a radius of 6 feet.
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.
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.
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.
Foods shall be stored at temperatures that protect against spoilage. Milk and other perishable food shall be maintained at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
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.
Raw fruits and vegetables shall be washed before being served or cooked.
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.
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.
A supply of safe drinking water shall be available to children at all times from disposable cups, covered water bottles labeled with the child's name, or angle jet type drinking fountains. Common use of drinking cups is prohibited.
DCF 252.43 Note
Note: It is recommended that single-use disposable water bottles not be reused.
When a public water system is not available, a private well may be used if it is approved by the department of natural resources. At least 2 weeks prior to the camp opening each year, water samples from an approved well shall be tested for lead and bacteria by a laboratory certified under ch. ATCP 77
. The water supply shall be bacteriologically safe. The laboratory report shall be made available to the department upon request.
If the results of the water test under subd. 1.
indicate the water is bacteriologically unsafe, the water shall be appropriately treated and re-tested until it is determined to be safe. Bottled water shall be used on a temporary basis until the water is determined to be safe.
DCF 252.43 Note
Camps using a private well that serves at least 25 of the same people over 6 months of the year are considered to have a non-transient non-community water system (NTNC) and must be in compliance with Chapter NR 809
, Safe Drinking Water Act Standards. Contact the nearest department of natural resources office from the list at https://dnr.wi.gov/Contact/SSbyCounty.html
Where running water is not available, a covered drinking water container that is easily distinguishable from other containers, constructed of a food grade material that does not permit the water to become contaminated by dirt, insects, or animals, and suitable for pouring or equipped with a faucet shall be provided. Dipping into water from the container is prohibited. The container shall be cleaned and sanitized daily. The water source shall be a public water supply or as specified in par. (b)
Handwashing and toileting facilities shall be provided and accessible to children.
Single-use disposable towels shall be provided and accessible to children.
Soap, toilet paper, and a wastepaper container shall be provided and accessible to children.
Outdoor toilets, when used, shall be constructed according to the requirements of the applicable Wisconsin commercial building codes and maintained in good repair.
Plumbing shall comply with all applicable sections of Wisconsin plumbing codes.
Liquid waste disposal shall be connected to a public sewer, if available. If not available, liquid waste disposal shall be in accordance with chs. SPS 382
, and 384
Handwashing and toilet facilities shall be in clean and sanitary condition.
DCF 252.43 History
Cr. Register, October, 1984, No. 346
, eff. 11-1-84; corrections in (1) (d) and (3) (e) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, July, 1999, No. 523
; CR 04-040
: am. (1) (d) and cr. (2) (a) 8. Register December 2004 No. 588
, eff. 1-1-05; correction in (3) (c) 1. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635
; CR 07-102
: r. and recr. (1) (a) to (c), (2) (a) 4., 5. and (3) (c) 1., am. (1) (d), (e), (2) (a) 3., 6., 7., (b) 1. to 4., (3) (a) 1., 2., 4., 5., (b) 1. to 3., (c) 2., 5., (d) 1., 2., 3., (e) 2., 4., 6. and 7., cr. (1) (f), (g), (2) (a) 9., (3) (c) 6. to 8. and (d) 2m., r. (2) (a) 2. c. and (3) (c) 3. Register December 2008 No. 636
, eff. 1-1-09; correction in (3) (d) 2. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register December 2008 No. 636
; correction in (3) (d) 2. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register August 2011 No. 668
; correction in (3) (e) 7. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register January 2012 No. 673
: emerg. r. and recr. (1) (f), cr. (1) (h) to (m), r. and recr. (2), (3), cr. (3m), (4), (5), eff. 1-30-19; CR 19-089
: r. and recr. (1) (f), cr. (1) (h) to (m), r. and recr. (2), (3), cr. (3m), (4), (5) Register March 2020 No. 771
, eff. 4-1-20; correction in (2) (title) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 2., Stats., Register 2020 No. 771
Each day camp shall have a program of activities that shall be planned according to the developmental level of each child and each group of children and intended to expose children to a variety of cultures. The needs of children with disabilities shall be considered when planning the programming and activities for enrolled children. The program of activities shall focus on the out-of-doors and the natural environment and shall reflect the camp's written policies. The program shall provide each child with experiences which will promote all of the following:
DCF 252.44 Note
Note: With parental consent and consultation, it is recommended that camps who care for children who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) coordinate programming activities with the local school district.
Protect the children from excessive fatigue and from overstimulation.
Provide daily opportunities for children to play outdoors except during inclement weather or when not advisable for health reasons.
Provide reasonable regularity in eating, resting and other routines.
Provide daily periods when a variety of experiences are concurrently available for the children to select their own activities.
Limit the amount of time that children are kept waiting in lines or assembled in large groups during routines such as toileting and eating and intervals between activities.
Each day camp shall have a written policy on guiding children's behavior which provides for positive guidance, redirection and the setting of clear-cut limits. The policy shall be designed to help each child develop self-control, self-esteem, and respect for the rights of others.
If a camp uses time-out periods to deal with unacceptable behavior, time-out periods may not exceed 3 minutes, and the procedures shall be included in the camp's child guidance policy as specified in par. (a)
. For purposes of this paragraph, a “time-out” is an interruption of unacceptable behavior by the removal of the child from the situation, not to isolate the child, but to allow the child an opportunity to pause, and with support from a counselor, reflect on behavior and gain self-control.