Special Report: Camp Inspections
"We inspect all the camps that are regulated in the City of Boston. Basically it covers all aspects of health and safety for the campers," said Health Inspector Susan Ahern
Out of 65 summer camp inspection reports we reviewed, more than half failed a safety inspection.
"I'm surprised. I'm shocked," said Robin Vellere, a parent.
Violations include everything from missing building permits, to uncredentialed lifeguards, to incomplete employee files, which could mean the staff may not have passed background checks.
"Highly concerning. Highly concerning," said Jodi Piazza, a parent.
City inspectors tell us when a camp fails a safety check, it must immediately correct the violations. But the records show camps repeatedly failing inspections were not closed down by the city.
"It's relatively hard. They would really have to be way out of compliance, have many serious violations. It's been several years since a camp has been closed," said Ahern.
Another shocking statistic: about three out of four of the camps that we found failed an inspection this summer, also failed one last summer!
"It just makes me worry as a parent," said Genny Barrientos, a parent.
So what is the best way to keep your kids safe at camp? Ask questions. Before you send them off, call the Board of Health and check the camp's inspection records. It's public information.
"These are kids, and you gotta make sure everything is done right. And better than right sometimes," said Bob Rull, a concerned uncle.
Inspectors said, so far this year, all of the camps that failed, did eventually fix their violations.
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