Senate passes Tikoian bill establishing safety procedures and requirements for licensing of youth camps


STATE HOUSE — The Senate today passed legislation introduced by Sen. David P. Tikoian (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, Lincoln, North Providence) that would establish the procedures and requirements for the licensing of youth camps.

Among the requirements for licensing, the bill (2024-S 2174A) calls for adequate potable water; dwelling units to be maintained in good condition; and competent staff, including activities specialists, counselors and maintenance personnel, all of whom would be required to undergo a background check. It would also require staff to be trained in the administration of first aid.

“This is an incredibly important piece of legislation,” said Senator Tikoian, who introduced the bill on behalf of the YMCA. “First and foremost, we want to ensure that the state’s youth camps are places where our children can be safe from abuse or negligence. But also, the federal government has begun withholding funding from unlicensed camps, which means thousands of Rhode Island children who rely on grant money to go to camp would be denied this extremely important experience, which is an integral part of childhood growth and development.”

The legislation also calls for an inspection of camp facilities by the Department of Human Services before a license is granted.

The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, where similar legislation (2024-H 7174) has been introduced by Rep. Robert E. Craven (D-Dist. 32, North Kingstown).                                



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