Please check our main Recreation & Parks webpage for all updates. 
Please call our inclement weather lines about the status of camps, programs, events, facilities, and parks:


2021 Camp Guide Coming Soon!
General Information


5 Easy Ways to Register 


Phone: 410-313-7275 (voice/relay) (8am-4:30pm, M-f)

Fax: 410-313-4658
Registration Form

Mail-in: Howard County Recreation & Parks Headquarters
7120 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia, MD 21046
Registration Form

Howard County Recreation & Parks Headquarters
7120 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia (8am-4:30pm, M-F)

Gary J. Arthur Community Center
2400 Rte. 97, Cooksville (7am-8:30pm, M-Sa; 9am-5:30pm, Su)

North Laurel Community Center
9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, Laurel (8am-8pm, M-Sa; 9am-5pm, Su)

Robinson Nature Center
6692 Cedar Lane, Columbia (9am-5pm, W-Sa; Noon-5pm, Su)

Roger Carter Community Center
3000 Milltowne Drive, Ellicott City (6am-10pm, M-F; 7am-10pm, Sa; 7am-9pm, Su)


Program fees are established by determining the cost of supplies; fees for instructors, rentals, registrations and program administration; and the price of marketing in order to deliver high quality programs at an affordable price.

We reserve the right to cancel or postpone any program or activity due to inclement weather or low enrollment. A service fee will be imposed for all returned checks and could result in refusal of future participation. A service fee will be applied to all refunds and withdrawals with the exception of those due to program cancellation or medical/illness. There are no refunds for missed sessions. At a minimum, a 20% administrative fee applies to refund requests; additional fees may be deducted. At least two weeks advance notice is required to avoid additional charges. Summer Camps have a different refund policy and can be found in the current year brochure. 

Camp Standards

The Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks is dedicated to providing outstanding summer camps. To achieve this goal we place value on children by offering exciting camp experiences with an emphasis on safety, convenience and affordability. The Department is committed to providing a superior level of service while maintaining the highest level of safety standards possible. All Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks Camps abide by our camp standards. 

The standards include the following: 

 • No peanut or nut products are allowed in camp.  

 • All staff hired have been through a criminal background check. 

 • At least one camp staff member must be certified in CPR and First Aid. 

 • Staff are knowledgeable and well-trained. 

 • All passenger van drivers have taken a van driving training course. 

 • All camp directors are over 20 years old.  

 • Weekly fire and emergency drills are conducted.  

 • Camps maintain the established staffing ratios appropriate for each camp. 

 • Safety procedures are followed through a daily check-in and check-out of participants.  

 • Exceptional customer service is provided. 

 • Parent, guardian or authorized person must sign campers in & out each day and must show a government or school-issued photo identification. Written authorization must be provided if a camper leaves early. Signatures are required (initials not accepted) by a parent, guardian, or authorized family friend picking up a child early. 

Our Federal Tax ID number is 52-6000965. 

Financial Assistance

The Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks can provide limited financial assistance to Howard County residents who qualify. In addition to a completed application, you must provide one of the following:

  • Verification of qualifying household income with your 2019 Federal Tax Transcript and

  • Any proof of assistance from the Department of Social Services.

Funds are limited and a deposit of 25% of the program fee is required at least one month prior to start date with the application/registration form. Call 410-313-4659 for additional information and guidelines.


Only individuals who are registered may participate. Where age or grade restrictions apply, “age” usually refers to the age of the participant at the start of the program and “grade” to current grade. If any other standards apply, they will be noted in the Guide. We reserve the right to question grade or age and may request a birth certificate or other proof of eligibility. 

For many programs, registrants or parents/legal guardians of minor registrants will be required to provide a signed Participant Information form at the first meeting. The purpose of this form is to ensure that participants willingly share responsibility for their own safety. All activities contain certain inherent risks that each participant assumes. Due to the strenuous nature of some activities, each participant is urged to consult his or her physician concerning his or her fitness to participate. Please note that many programs will require confirmation that immunizations are current.

A parent or legal guardian must accompany a child each day for both checkin and pick-up. It is your responsibility to sign your child in at the beginning of the program and sign your child out immediately following the program. Staff is not responsible for your child before or after scheduled activities. A fee may be assessed if your child is not picked up at the close of the program.

Children must remain with the program for the full period scheduled. To leave before a day’s program is complete, a child must have written parental consent or the parent/legal guardian must pick the child up after notifying the program director. No refunds will be issued for time missed for this or from dismissals resulting from disciplinary action. In determining whether child is ready to participate in these activities, please be aware that our staff does not change diapers.

Accommodations for People with Disabilities

The Department of Recreation & Parks is a recognized leader in opportunities for individuals with disabilities and is pleased to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to register for general recreation programs. With your registration, please include information regarding your disability and any accommodations needed.

We will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations on an individual basis. Interpretive services are available for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities. These and other accommodations can be provided to Howard County residents at no additional cost. To ensure the best experience for all participants, we need your accommodation request along with your registration a minimum of two weeks in advance of the first program date.

For transportation, contact HT Ride Paratransit Certification at 1-800-270-9553. For more information, contact Therapeutic Recreation Manager Susan Potts at 410-313-4628 or

Rules of Conduct

The following rules must be observed while participating in Recreation and Parks programs. Specific rules may be added for individual programs and needs.

• All tobacco products are prohibited in buildings, school property or County parks

• No food or beverages in unauthorized areas; glass containers are prohibited.

• No soliciting or loitering

• No interference with employee or volunteer duties

• No harassment, bullying, or inappropriate or indecent conduct, language, or clothing

• No unauthorized use of alcohol, drugs, intoxicants or weapons

• No parking in unauthorized areas or driving/parking on field areas

• No alteration or installation of equipment (such as basketball hoops, fences or lining)

• No defacing of property (indoors or outdoors)

• No conduct that may jeopardize the safety of others.

Snack Policy

Many of our children’s activities request that you supply a snack or lunch. Due to health concerns, nut products are not served or permitted.

Inclement Weather & Program Status Information

Check with your instructor about exceptions to the following circumstances and make-up dates for canceled sessions.

  • If it rains, only some outdoor classes will be canceled.

  • When it appears that lightning is a potential threat to participants, scheduled outdoor activities or activities in progress may be canceled.