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: www.howardcountymd.gov/inclementweatherlines.
Phone: 410-313-7275 (voice/relay) (8am-4:30pm, M-f)
Mail-in: Howard County Recreation & Parks Headquarters
7120 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia, MD 21046
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
If it snows on a weekday and the snow emergency plan is in effect in Howard County, scheduled programs will be canceled. Drop-in programs at Recreation & Parks facilities may run, call the facility inclement weather number, 410-313-4452.
If it snows on a weekend and the snow emergency plan is in effect at 7am, programs held in public schools for that day will be canceled. If a snow emergency is declared after 7am, programs in schools in progress may be completed but those later in the day will be canceled.
If schools are closed or dismissed early due to inclement weather, programs in schools will not be held.
Inclement Weather/Program Status Lines
Programs (Events, Trips, Selected Sports, Adventure & Outdoor, Child Care & Therapeutic Rec): 410-313-4451
Gary J. Arthur Comm Ctr, Meadowbrook Athletic Complex, N Laurel Comm Ctr, Robinson Nature Ctr & Roger Carter Comm Ctr: 410-313-4452
Belmont Manor & Historic Park: 410-313-0200
All School Fields: 410-313-6827
Alpha Ridge, Western Regional: 410-313-4372
Cedar Lane: 410-313-4453
Cypressmede & Hollifield: 410-313-4457
Dayton Oaks Parks & Schooley Mill: 410-313-4458
Dickinson, Hammond, Hawthorn, Heritage Programs: 410-313-0421
Huntington & Martin Road 410-313-4459 East Columbia Library, Guilford Savage & N Laurel Fields: 410-313-4456
Howard County Center for the Arts, Hollifield Station, Rockburn Branch & Skills Park, Troy, Waterloo & Worthington Off-Leash: 410-313-4455
Space is limited in most activities — early registration is advised. If a program is filled when we receive your registration, we will contact you; you may then cancel your application at no charge, select an alternate program or place your name on a waiting list. There is no fee to be placed on a waiting list.
We don’t like to cancel programs, but each one must meet its minimum enrollment. Don’t be disappointed — register early and bring a friend! An activity may also be canceled due to circumstances beyond our control, such as the unavailability of an instructor or location. If a program is canceled, registrants will be contacted immediately and a full refund credited.
We recognize that you may wish to withdraw from a camp for a variety of reasons, but we encourage early decisions so as not to inconvenience other participants or affect our ability to efficiently deliver activities.
Customers requesting a refund prior to three weeks before the camp starts will be charged a 20% administrative fee, however if you request the credit to be placed on your Howard County Recreation and Parks account for future use, no administrative fee will be charged.
All refunds requested within three weeks of the camp starting date will be charged at minimum a 20% administrative fee. Additional fees may be assessed to recover costs (e.g. for shirts, supplies, tickets, equipment etc.) associated with the camp. There are no refunds given for missed camp days.
Volunteer opportunities are available in several areas including preschool and youth programs, sports, senior adult programs, natural resources, outdoor recreation and special events. If you'd like to share your time and talent, visit www.hocovolunteer.org to view opportunities and register.