Wisconsin Updates Rules for Camp Challenge Courses


The state of Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection is implementing new regulations for challenge courses (low and high) and climbing structures installed at recreational and educational camps, effective Sept. 24. The changes to ATCP 78, the governing regulation, relate to, but are not limited to, summer camps. The rules impact camp operation, licensing and vendor inspection services, training services, and installation of new courses among the many changes.

The state defines a recreational and educational camp as one with “temporary and permanent structures, that is operated as an​ overnight living quarters where both food and lodging, or facilities for food and lodging are provided for children or adults, or both children and adults for a planned program of recreation or education, and that is offered free of charge or for payment of a fee by a person, or by the state, or a local unit of government.”

While the regulations take effect in a matter of days, most of the new rules won’t affect summer camps until the 2024 season. The state has begun holding public meetings to inform operators of the changes. API will report on these in more depth in coming issues of Park Beat.

In the meantime, more information is available at: https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/RecEdCamp.aspx.


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