Note: There is no license needed to operate a day camp in Vermont. For more information on this, you can visit the American Camp Association’s regulations for VT.
Getting Started: Operating a Summer Camp
Thinking about opening your farm up to kids for overnight summer programs? Use these checklists to get you started when considering the licensing, regulations and permits.
Land Use Regulations
- Read through the zoning regulations for your municipality and familiarize yourself with Act 143. To determine if your agritourism addition meets the specifications of Act 143, you can use the guide above.
- Obtain a zoning permit, if necessary.
- Determine if your municipality requires a site plan review.
- Submit an application and site plan review to your municipality, if necessary.
- Overnight summer camp requires following certain regulations and requirements because it qualifies as an overnight farmstay. These regulations and requirements can be found under “Licenses” below.
- Read through Act 31.
- Post signs at agritourism activities that meet the specifications of Act 31.
- Include the warning notice language in every written contract between an agritourism host and a participant.
- Check with your insurance agent to make sure this type of event is covered in your policy.
- Meet with a regional permit specialist.
- If proposing construction/renovations for a commercial purpose or otherwise, contact a Natural Resources Board (NRB) district coordinator to determine whether an Act 250 land use permit application is required .
- If doing construction/renovations, obtain a public building permit.
- If you are adding bathrooms or additional space which increases your septic load, obtain a wastewater permit.
- Apply for an overnight summer camp license.
- If serving food, you will need a license. See the guidelines below for help picking the best one for the situation.
- Guide to learn about health regulations for food establishments in Vermont.
- Checklist to learn about food establishment facility requirements to help you get ready for an inspection.
The following table can help you navigate the regulations and licenses required for various types of foods and products that you may be selling or serving.
- If you are selling wholesale, follow regulations listed below.
- If you are producing and serving food regularly, then you may need licensing from the agency for food processing, as well as separate licensing for food service from the Department of Health.
- If you are using products from your farm to make any of these products (for example, jams) then you should follow any regulations listed below for those products.
|Food Product||Examples||Agency with Oversight||Permits/Licenses that Apply|
|Milk, cheese||Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Dairy Section|
|Ice cream, sorbet||Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Dairy Section|
|Pastries, bread, cake|
Vermont Department of Health, Bakery Section
|Sliced deli meat, sausages, whole meat cuts||Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets|
|Candy, popcorn, jellies, ciders|
Vermont Department of Health
|Fruits, meat||Vermont Department of Health for fruit and vegetables and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets for meat|
Phone (Department of Health): 802-863-7221Phone (VAAFM): 802-828-2426
Malt and Vinous Beverages
|Wine, beer, spirits, cider, mead||Department of liquor control enforcement and licensing division|
|Syrup, sugar||Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Maple section|
|Tomatoes, corn, squash||Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets|
View this guide on hosting a summer camp.