Youth Camps and Campgrounds
State law requires the IDPH to annually inspect and license campgrounds in Illinois. The Campground Licensing and Recreational Area Act defines campground as a recreational area where three or more tents, cabins, recreational vehicles or other permanent or non-permanent type shelters are erected and maintained for camping or where space is provided for camping, temporary parking of recreational vehicles or placing of such tents, cabins, recreational vehicles or other permanent or non-permanent type shelters of any kind for 10 or more persons for six or more camping days during a calendar year. It includes any structure, tent, vehicle, enclosure, appurtenances or recreational equipment related to or used or intended for use as a part of such campground. Campgrounds within home rule units of government are exempt. Staff inspects the water supply and sewage disposal systems, the electrical systems, general sanitation, food service and recreational facilities. IDPH also reviews construction plans for all new campgrounds and for major expansions or alterations of existing ones. Other types of recreational areas that do not provide overnight camping such as highway rest stops and picnicking areas are subject to the rules, but are not licensed or routinely inspected.
State law requires the Department to annually inspect and license youth camps. The Youth Camp Act defines a youth camp as any parcel of land having the general characteristics and features of a camp as the term is generally understood, used wholly or in part for recreational or instructional purposes and accommodating, for profit or under philanthropic or charitable auspices, five or more children under 18 years of age, apart from their parents, relatives or legal guardians for a period of three or more consecutive days or five days during the calendar year or more. This site may be equipped with temporary or permanent buildings and may be operated as a day camp or as a resident camp. IDPH staff inspects the water supply, sewage disposal system, electrical system, general sanitation, food service and water recreational facilities. IDPH also reviews camp construction plans and issues permits for new camps.