State Camp Safety Advisory Council, April 24, 2013, Meeting Minutes

Roll Call

Members Present

  • Jordan Dale
  • George G. Coleman
  • Eric Bacon
  • Dawn Ewing
  • Gordon Felt
  • Meir Frischman
  • Robert Scheinfeld

Members Absent

  • Douglas Pierce

Department of Health Staff Present

  • Michael Cambridge
  • Douglas Sackett
  • Timothy Shay
  • Justin D. Pfeiffer
  • James Maurer
  • Edward D'Alessio

Call to Order

Chairperson Jordan Dale called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m., at the University of Albany, School of Public Health, George Education Center, Auditorium, Rensselaer, New York. Mr. Shay called the roll. Douglas Pierce was absent and there was one vacant position. A quorum was present.

Council Administrative Business

Mr. Shay announced that Eric Bacon's term on the Council had expired on January 1, 2013 and Rob Scheinfeld's would be expiring on July 11, 2013. The vetting process has begun for the re-appointment of Mr. Bacon to the Council and will begin in the near future for Mr. Scheinfeld. In addition, it was announced that Dr. Thomas Welch is being vetted for the position representing Children's Interests, which was vacated by Patricia Skinner. Dr. Welch was in attendance at the meeting as an observer and introduced to the Council along with a brief overview of his bio.

Department of Health staffing updates were provided to the Council for the impending retirements of Douglas Sackett, Bureau of Community Environmental Health and Food Protection (BCEHFP) Assistant Director and Robert Chinery, acting Center for Environmental Health Director; and the promotion of Mike Cambridge from the BCEHFP Director to the Division of Environmental Health Protection Director.

Mr. Dale called for the annual Council Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson elections. Mr. Coleman nominated Mr. Dale for reappointment as Chairperson and was seconded by Meir Frischman. Mr. Dale nominated Mr. Coleman for reappointment to Vice-Chairperson and was seconded by Mr. Felt. Both Mr. Dale and Mr. Coleman were unanimously re-elected to their positions.

The Council discussed a technical amendment to the Council Bylaws for the one-year term of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson. Mr. Coleman made a motion to amend the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson's terms in Article 4, section 3 of the Council's Bylaws to a two-year term. Ms. Ewing seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. Department staff will make the necessary revisions to the Bylaws.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Dale brought the October 23, 2012 SCSAC meeting minutes forward for approval. The minutes were unanimously approved.


New York State Justice Center

Mr. Shay provided an overview of the NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs (Justice Center), which was legislatively established on December 17, 2012. The Justice Center was created to strengthen and standardize the safety net for vulnerable people that receive services from New York's Human Services Agencies and programs. The legislation identifies children's camps for children with developmental disabilities to be within the oversight of the Justice Center. It also requires the Department of Health to promulgate regulations, approved by the Justice Center, pertaining to staffing requirements and incident management for campers with developmental disabilities . Mr. Shay reviewed proposed amendments to section 7-2.25 of Subpart 7-2 of the State Sanitary Code, Children's Camps regulations that were developed as a result of the Justice Center legislation and have been presented to the Public Health and Codes Council. The amendments will only apply to those camps with enrollment of 20% or more developmentally disabled campers. The amendments will be effective on or before June 30, 2013 when the Justice Center Regulation become effective.

Mr. Dale inquired if the Justice Center's database for individuals who have been found guilty of abusing or neglecting people with special needs would be available to all camps. Mr. Shay responded that at this time he does not have much information regarding the database and who would have access to it. Mr. Dale felt that it would be a valuable resource for camp operators to have access to this database and asked the Department to find out what data would be maintained and who could get access to it.

The Council discussed the Justice Center requirements and, although they did not disagree with the need for these regulations, they expressed concern that compliance for impacted camps was going to be a major challenge due to the limited time before the camp season. The Council asked if information about the Justice Center requirements and proposed amendments has been shared with camps that will be impacted. The Department responded that they had not reached out to camp operators yet. Little information has been received from the Justice Center regarding implementation of the requirements and there are many unanswered questions. The Council felt that whatever information was available should be shared with camps as soon as possible. The Council requested and the Department agreed to check with the Justice Center to see what guidance could be sent out to camps now. Since the regulations are not in place yet and camps would need to implement these requirements for this season, the Council believed that there was insufficient time for camps to comply. They felt that other safeguards were in place to address these issues for the 2013 season. The Council made and unanimously passed a motion recognizing the value and need for a smooth transition, the Council recommends that the Department requests the Legislators to defer the effective date of the Justice Center requirements for camps until 2014 to allow camps time to comply.

Old Business

Epinephrine Auto-Injectors Guidance

Mr. Shay reported that based on the Council's previous recommendation, the Epinephrine Auto-Injector Use Fact Sheet was revised to include a statement strongly encouraging camps to establish an Epinephrine Auto-Injector Program.

Mr. Coleman made a motion for a continuing recommendation to the Department to require epinephrine auto-injectors at children's camps. The motion was seconded and unanimously passed.

Updated Fact Sheets and Guidance

Mr. Shay noted updates to the following documents:

  • The NYS Sex Offender Registry Search Procedures for Children's Camps was revised to remove the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) search procedures and replace them with a link to the procedures on the DCJS's website. The revision was necessary due to outdated DCJS mail and email addresses along with other minor deviations from DCJS current procedures.
  • The brochure, "How to Obtain a Permit to Operate a Children's Camp" was updated to be consistent with the 2011 code amendments.
  • 2013 Staff Certification Fact Sheets were updated and distributed in January. Subsequently additional updates were made to the CPR and Camp Aquatics Director Fact Sheets.

Green Cleaning Products and Pesticides Update

Mr. Shay reviewed the Council's motion from the last meeting for the Department to do what it could to have pesticides laws for schools extended to camps. The Department looked into the matter and provided the Council an update via e-mail that Department sponsored legislation is limited and this issue was not selected at this time. Mr. Shay stated that information on green cleaning and safe pesticide use was sent out to camps last season and would be sent out again this year.

Mr. Scheinfeld noted that since the last Council meeting Bill A4841 was introduced to limit the use of pesticides at camps. He noted that a letter to him from Mr. Chinery, the acting Director of the Center for Environmental Health, indicated that the Department is supportive of reducing children's exposure to pesticides. After some discussion, Mr. Scheinfeld made a motion that the Council recommend the Department express its support to the Legislature for Bill A4841 that is currently pending. The motion passed unanimously.

2012 Camp Season's Preliminary Overview

Mr. Shay reported that during the 2012 children's camp season there were no camper related fatalities reported. The Department is currently reviewing and assessing incident data from 2012, but a preliminary review showed that with the exception of gastrointestinal outbreaks, which increased, the number and type of incidents were generally consistent with past years. Initial analysis of the outbreaks found that inadequate isolation and control procedures were implemented by some camps and likely contributed to the extended duration of the outbreaks. A draft of the Department's final report on the 2011 camp incidents has been completed, but not been finalized yet. The number and types of incidents were consistent with previous years. The Council discussed and agreed that they would like to continue to have a yearly report on the number and types of incidents at camps.

Boating Activities Oversight

Ms. Ewing reviewed discussions of the Boating Activities Oversight Committee and Council regarding the minimum age to oversee boating activities and if an 18-year-old was adequate. Ms. Ewing concluded that it was thought that the best place to address the oversight of the boating activity and staff credentials was in the camps safety plan. Mr. Scheinfeld questioned if an 18-year-old was mature enough to oversee boating. The Council discussed the issue further and asked the Department to survey camps to determine what protocols are being implemented. The Department agreed to do so.

AEDs at Camps

Mr. Shay reported that at this time there has not been any change in the Department's position to not require AEDs at children's camps. As previously stated the requirement for AEDs is legislatively set and not a regulatory issue.

The Council requested the Department to ask the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services for a list of camps that participate in the Public Access to Defibrillation (PAD) program, which allows camps to voluntarily have an AED on-site. The Department agreed to do so.

Amusement Devices at Children's Camps

Mr. Shay reported that the Department of Health and the Department of Labor are finalizing a Memorandum of Understanding to eliminate overlapping oversight of certain amusement devices used at camps.

New Technology

Mr. Dale reported on a new technology from Wahooo swim monitoring system, which can detect if a swimmer has submerged for a predetermined amount of time. Mr. Dale said that this type of technology may have a future in camp safety and asked if the Council would like him to see if a company representative would come and provide an informational presentation to the Council. The Council agreed it would be good to learn about the new technology. The topic will be held for a future agenda item.

Next Meeting/Adjournment

Proposed Topics

No new items were proposed as agenda topics for the next Council meeting .


The Council adjourned at 12:53 p.m. after tentatively scheduling the next Council meeting for Wednesday, October 30 , 2013.