Group Camp Operating Procedures


One person must be designated as the group leader or camp director and accept responsibility for all phases of the camping session. There must be at least one adult counselor present at all times for every 10 campers under the age of 18 to provide adequate supervision.

Recommendations for camp staff include a nurse or doctor, counselors and cooks. It is recommended that all staff have an orientation and training period before camp begins. A quality camping experience depends upon the quality and experience of the camp staff. All youth groups must have a qualified lifeguard or water safety instructor at those camps with swimming pools. A qualified lifeguard is one who holds a Senior or Instructor's Lifesaving Red Cross Certificate, or equivalent. Please consult the facility manager concerning lifeguard requirements for other types of swimming areas. 

Items Needed

Each camper must provide their own sheets, blankets, pillows, towels, bath soap, toothpaste and other personal items.

The group must provide all cleaning supplies including brooms, mops, buckets, paper towels, trash bags and non-abrasive cleaners and disinfectants. The group camp does not provide first-aid supplies, toilet paper, sports equipment, art supplies or audio-visual equipment. 

Food Service

Group camp dining halls are equipped with ovens, refrigerators, freezers, tables and seating. For the convenience of campers, dishes, silverware, glasses and cookware are provided. Groups must provide their own food and food service workers.

Park representatives maintain the right to conduct kitchen inspections as often as deemed necessary. Groups must meet the sanitation laws and regulations governing food service as set by the Missouri Department of Health. If the group fails to meet these standards, the facility may be closed. 


The group leader is responsible for making cabin assignments and ensuring proper supervision of campers. The facility manager may limit the number of cabins assigned to small groups. 


Campers are to maintain clean and orderly living, working and eating quarters during their stay. The group leader must make daily inspections of the facilities and pick up any litter from the grounds.

Park staff will perform all major maintenance duties. Please report anything that is broken or not working properly to the facility manager or park representative.


The group leader should have emergency transportation available at all times. Phone numbers for fire, ambulance and law enforcement are posted by all camp phones. The camp staff should be trained in emergency first aid procedures. 

How to Apply

Applications for organized group camps at Crowder, Cuivre River, Knob Noster, Lake of the Ozarks, Roaring River and Mark Twain state parks may be obtained by visiting the park’s organized group camp webpage (see links to the right). They can also be obtained by calling, writing or visiting the park, or by writing the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Parks, P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102. To make reservations for Babler State Park’s Jacob L. Babler Outdoor Education Center, please visit Babler's Organized Group Camp webpage and follow the registration instructions.

Any group may apply by submitting an official application to the facility manager up to 11 months in advance of their requested arrival date. Complete the entire application, providing the name of the organization and its affiliation as appropriate. Include two alternative dates. Please note that a group camp day is from 3 p.m. to 3 p.m. the next day. Rental priority will be given to nonprofit, youth organizations, and/or applications with the earliest postmark. The facility manager must approve early arrivals and late departures in advance.

All applications must be returned to the park office of the camp your group wishes to stay at no later than Oct. 16. At that time, the facility manager will look over the applications and develop a schedule. The schedule for the group camp will be set no later than Nov. 15. Any group may apply after that time, but they will only be able to apply for open dates. When the schedule is set, a confirmation will be sent to the group leader or contact person. The group must provide the required deposit fee within 15 days as noted on the confirmation form or the dates requested may be forfeited. The deposit fee will be credited to the group's total balance due upon departure.

Cancellation of reservations must be received in writing 45 days prior to the arrival date or the deposit fee is forfeited.

It is recommended that all groups carry liability insurance for personal injury in the amount of $300,000 per person and $2,000,000 per occurrence, which coincides with the present statutory limits for damages under sovereign immunity laws. 

Checking In

Upon arrival, the group leader must check in with the facility manager or other designated staff at the park office. All groups are expected to check in at the time indicated on the group camp permit. An hourly charge will be applied to groups arriving late. Written permission for early or late arrivals must be obtained in advance from the facility manager. All groups are expected to check in before 3 p.m.

The group leader will be given all necessary keys. The park representative will conduct an inventory of the camp facilities to note any damaged or missing items. Once that is completed, the campers may enter the facility. 

Checking Out

All groups are expected to check out at the time indicated on the group camp permit. Official check out time can be no later than 3 p.m. unless prior written permission is received from the facility manager. Late departure will result in the group being charged the minimum for an additional day of use. At check out time, a park representative will conduct an inventory of the camp facilities to note any damaged or missing items. The camp will also be inspected to see that all cleaning procedures have been followed thoroughly. All keys and the daily attendance sheet must be given to the park representative at this time.

It is the group's responsibility to sweep, mop and clean all restrooms and buildings. The group will be charged an hourly rate per worker for any cleaning the park staff must perform. Windows and doors must be closed and all beds and mattresses must be in the proper location. A fee will be charged for every bed and mattress that must be relocated. The group will be charged for any damages that occur during their stay.

All fees are due upon departure unless prior arrangements have been made with the facility manager.