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.

Kids around a campfire

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.

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.



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 ProductExamplesAgency with OversightPermits/Licenses that Apply


Milk, cheeseVermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Dairy Section

Phone: 802-828-2421

Frozen Dessert

Ice cream, sorbetVermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Dairy Section

Phone: 802-828-2421

Baked Goods

Pastries, bread, cake

Vermont Department of Health, Bakery Section

Phone 802-863-7221


Sliced deli meat, sausages, whole meat cutsVermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets

Phone: 802-828-2426

Processed Food

Candy, popcorn, jellies, ciders

Vermont Department of Health

Phone: 802-863-7221

Canned Goods

Fruits, meatVermont Department of Health for fruit and vegetables and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets for meat

Phone (Department of Health): 802-863-7221

Phone (VAAFM): 802-828-2426

Malt and Vinous Beverages

Wine, beer, spirits, cider, meadDepartment of liquor control enforcement and licensing division

Contact: 802-828-2345

Maple Syrup

Syrup, sugarVermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Maple section

Phone: 802-828-2430

General Produce

Tomatoes, corn, squashVermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets

Phone: 802-461-5128

  • The Vermont Produce Program can provide you with additional resources and support to ensure you are meeting all regulations and requirements.


 Vermont Statutes

Phone: 802-828-2430


 Vermont Statutes

Phone: 802-828-2430


 Vermont Statutes

Phone: 802-828-2430


 Vermont Statutes

Phone: 802-828-2430


Additional Resources