Hello everyone!!

We hope this message finds you well and getting ready for the upcoming camp season! We appreciate your continued support and enthusiasm for MCA’s initiatives.  

We want to update you on the rollout of our second year of Mental Health Services Grant Program. This program is funded by the federal government’s ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) and reimburses summer camps for mental health expenses used for children (under 18 years old). The funds are distributed and managed by the Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation. 

We are happy to report we were able to reimburse 29 camps for the 2023 season, totaling $237,356.67.  This simply could not have happened without the hard work and attention of our MCA Board of Directors and Tremont Strategies Group (TSG), to whom a large portion of MCA dues go to support summer camp issues on Capitol Hill and in the state of Massachusetts.

We learned a lot in the first round, and are making some changes in the application process as well as giving you more detailed information about what might qualify for reimbursement.  READ ON!!!

Mental Health Services Grant (For the 2024 season)

The Massachusetts Camping Association, Inc. (MCA) will provide grants up to $15,000 per licensed summer camp, per year, from 2024 through 2025 until funds are exhausted, executing the funding provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts per Chapter 268 of the Acts of 2022 Economic Development Bill Earmark.  Funds are for campers up to 18 years old.   Camps do not need to be members of MCA, but we strongly encourage you to get involved and engaged with the association.  

Grants may be awarded for the reimbursement of substantiated expenses at a Massachusetts licensed recreational summer camp for children, which may include: 

  • Salary / remuneration for employee/s or subcontractor/s providing mental health services for campers under 18 years old DURING YOUR SUMMER CAMP SEASON DATES, up to September 15th:
  • 100% reimbursement for staff whose entire job function goes to mental health services (certified Mental Health Professionals CSW, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, etc.) OR 1:1 Aide/Support Staff for individual camper requiring MH services 
  • Up to 30% reimbursement for staff who may provide mental health services in conjunction with other job responsibilities:   Mental Health Support/resource staff (Nurses, Unit/Division Leaders, Head Counselors, Assistant Camp Directors, Camp Directors)
  • Mental health related training expenses.  This can be for individuals, or a large group training, providing staff with mental health knowledge and training for working with their campers.
  • Facility upgrades or expansions that are specifically for the purpose of providing mental health services.
  • Technology, supplies, or other expenses that are specifically for the purposes of providing mental health services
  • Other expenses specifically for the purposes of providing mental health services
  • PLEASE DO NOT FILL THIS APPLICATION OUT UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO SUBMIT PAID EXPENSES AND RECEIPTS.  This is NOT a request for funds.  The grant will only approve expenses each camp has already committed to spending, whether they get the reimbursement or not.  Please refer to the PDF version if you would like to preview the questions and information needed.

Rolling application for 2024 Funds: Opens April 5th, ends October 31, 2024.  

The application is not a request prior to spending funds.  It is a request for reimbursement, once funds have already been spent.  

Camps will be able to ask for reimbursement for qualified expenses in 1 or 2 batch periods, as follows:

Batch 1:  Applications and receipts will be accepted between April 5 – July 15th for any qualified expenses with documentation of payment, up to July 15, 2024 that were specifically spent for the 2024 camp season.

Batch 2:  Applications and receipts will be accepted between July 16 – October 31st for any qualified expenses with documentation of payment, up to September 15th that were specifically spent for the 2024 camp season (and not previously reimbursed).

You may apply in both batches, or just one.  Please keep in mind the amount PER SEASON for each camp is up to $15,000 (not per batch submitted).

Funds will be available for disbursement once the Commonwealth of Massachusetts approves the reimbursement request and sends the funds to MCA.   

Link to application form:


PDF of Application Form (Click to Download)

We look forward to seeing you and answering any questions you may have at the Information Sessions!!!

Donna Johns-Thomas, MCA President

Emily Parker, MCA Grant Administrator