Summer Camp Grants

The Executive Office of Education in Massachusetts has set aside funding for MA-based summer camps that serve children in Massachusetts, so that they can safely operate this summer. Please read on to learn more about this funding opportunity!

The deadline for this grant has passed. Camps will be notified the week of June 14th of funding decisions.

Recent Updates:

  • Read the FAQ document here, or click on the sidebar!
  • Watch the Funding Announcement Webinar here.

Background and Context

The COVID-19  global pandemic has significantly affected youth  with both in- and out-of-school time.  In particular, numerous summer camp programs in 2020 were forced to altogether forego programming or pivot to virtual sessions, whereas those who were able to open were thrust into quickly needing to overhaul their practices to comply with safety measures for campers and staffers.   

It is vital to support camps so that they can safely carry out practices and activities for fulfilling and exciting experiences for youth during the summer months. Summer camps provide a lifeline for social and learning engagements that enable youth to thrive. Furthermore, families depend on such programs to ensure their children are participating in safe activities and environments outside of the school year.  Camp programs that can operate safely and successfully will ensure a significant backbone for communities across the Commonwealth.     

Pursuant to Chapter 124 of the Acts of 2020, the Executive Office of Education (EOE) is making funding available for operational support of summer camps that are in session June, July, and/or August 2021. 

Overview of Funding Opportunity

Through this Request for Proposals (RFP), EOE will provide a total of $2.86M for the 2021 season to summer camp programs serving youth and children residing in Massachusetts to support adequate and appropriate accommodations to enable safety protocols necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  Funds will be available for both day and overnight camp programs and can be expended for costs between April and August 2021.   EOE anticipates making awards according to the following ranges:   

Day Camps Overnight Camps 
Up to $30,000  Up to $45,000  

As funding is limited, a camp organization is eligible to apply for either a day camp grant or an overnight camp. Eligible expenses include programmatic and overall operating costs.  

Programmatic costsinclude:  

  • Staffing   
  • Indirect Costs  
  • Additional programming supports in order to accommodate social distancing requirements, including but not limited to transportation, space, and program supplies (so that each child has access to their own set of materials), etc. 

Operating costs include:  

  • Materials and supplies to support health and safety, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies and equipment 
  • Camp supplies, such as academic and learning materials   
  • Equipment to support children’s play  
  • Rent and utilities 
  • Program advertising  
  • Health care costs for camps, specifically to provide social emotional supports 
  • Training and educational supplies, specifically to support health and safety  
  • Staff training, specifically to support health and safety among campers and staff  
  • Evaluation  

Capital expenses are ineligible for this funding opportunity.    

Who Can Apply?

Summer programs including day and overnight camps, as licensed or approved by the Department of Early Education and Care, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, or a municipality, are eligible to apply.  Organizations must specifically be Massachusetts-based and serve youth and children who reside in the state.  Children served must range between ages 5 and 13 for all day and overnight camps, or up to age 16 for children with special needs.  

Camp programs that specifically seek to address learning loss and social-emotional development supports are encouraged to apply.  Additionally, the Commonwealth has identified through ongoing state initiatives 20 cities and towns that have experienced the greatest COVID-19 case burden, considering social determinants of health and the disproportionate impact on Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, and other communities of color (  These cities and towns are Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Randolph, Revere, Springfield, and Worcester. Camp programs that serve youth and children who reside in these towns are also encouraged to apply.       

How Will Applications Be Reviewed?

  • Need Among Camper Population  
    • Demonstration of serving communities that experience elevated level of exposures to COVID-19 and are hardest hit by the pandemic, as well as where academic learning loss and social-emotional development supports are more significantly needed among youth and children.  
  • Impact of Funds on Enhancing Health and Safety for Camping Experience  
    • How plans to expend funds have a direct correlation to ensuring health and safe practices. 
  • Readiness  
    • Demonstration of a clear set of activities that will enable camp programs to begin their expense of funds quickly after received their award, and throughout a three-month period from June to August 2021.    

Application Questions

Written narratives should be a maximum of three pages, not including attachments.   

  1. Applicant Camp Program/Organization Name 
  2. Federal Employer Identification Number, if applicable 
  3. Organization Contact Person (name, job title, address, phone, email) 
  4. Organization’s Leadership (name, job title, address, phone, email)
  5. Which type of camp program are you? 
    • Day Camp
    • Overnight Camp
  6. Who Are You?  Describe your camp program, including how long it has been running and the types of programming and activities you typically provide.   
  7. Who Are Your Campers?  In your most recent year of full operations, what were the demographics of your campers?  If you have not been in operation prior to this year, please describe the demographics of who you intend to serve.  Provide demographic information including: total served annually by ages, race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. Include also the top five towns and cities where campers resided.
  8.    How Does Your Program Evolve to Address COVID-19?  If you opened last summer, what policies and practices have you implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and what have you learned from last year to incorporate into 2021?  If this is your first summer operating with COVID-19, what policies and practices do you plan to implement?  
  9. What Will You Do?  What specific people, activities, supplies or other items will you support with grant funds?  What will this funding enable you to do, with a particular focus on addressing academic learning loss and providing social emotional support? 


Please upload the following attachments:    

  • Federal Employer Identification Number or 501c3 designation  
  • Licensed designation by EEC, DPH, or municipality for camp program  
  • Basic Project Budget (1-page max) using your own format demonstrating how funds will be expended over the grant period 
  • Camp Program’s Annual Operating Budget that demonstrates revenue and expenses for most recent camping season  
  • Signed Template Grant Agreement

Key Deadlines

  • Drop-in Q&A Session (optional):  Thursday, May 6, 2021 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST​
  • Questions Submitted to by COB Friday, May 7, 2021 that are generalizable will be incorporated into a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Document posted to webpage by Tuesday, May 11, 2021 ​
    • View the FAQ document here.
  • Additional questions sent to will continue to be addressed until Friday, May 14, 2021 at 12:00 PM EST.
  • Applications Due: Monday May 17th, 2021 at 12:00 PM EST
  • Funding Decisions Announced: Week of June 14th, 2021

How to Apply

Click here or on the sidebar to access the application portal.

Click here for the RFP.

Click here to access the Grant Proposal Template.

Click here for a PDF of the flyer for this opportunity.

Questions? Email for assistance!