In contrast to more than 450 other youth camps in Connecticut, the summer programs run in West Hartford by Daniel Doyle Jr., such as Camp Renaissance and Doyle's basketball skills clinics, were never licensed by the state Department of Public Health.
State law requires youth camps to be licensed by the department. State statutes define a youth camp as any regularly scheduled program or organized group activity advertised as a camp or operated only during school vacations or on weekends for recreational purposes. To be considered a youth camp, there must be five or more children at least 3 years old and under 16.
Licensed camps must adhere to regulations regarding emergency care and first aid, as well as rules regarding the condition of camp facilities.
"The Department of Public Health does not have a record of Dan's camps being licensed as a youth camp," said William Gerrish, the department's spokesman.
Gerrish said the department will contact Doyle's camps to "advise them that licensure may be required for them to operate" and to tell them that they should contact the health department's youth camp program for specific information.
Doyle, a West Hartford resident, is executive director of the embattled Institute for International Sport, a nonprofit group based in Rhode Island. For more than 20 years, Doyle has also organized a variety of summer programs in West Hartford through a separate, for-profit business.
The camps were usually held at Kingswood Oxford School, but Doyle announced last month that programs this summer will be held at the American School for the Deaf.
"In the past, when Dan Doyle's summer programs were held at Kingswood Oxford School, the school received signed contracts stating that the camps would abide by all federal, state and local statutes, rules, regulations, codes, ordinances and policies," Sonya Adams, a spokeswoman for Kingswood Oxford, said Friday.
Adams said last year's contract was signed by Doyle's wife, Katherine.
Doyle declined to comment Friday through Advocacy Solutions, a Rhode Island public relations firm.
Doyle's Institute for International Sport, which runs programs for teenagers, has been dealing with debt, failed real estate ventures and a government audit over its use of a $575,000 grant. Rhode Island State Police are investigating its finances.
Since the institute's problems became public, several people listed as members of the institute's board of directors on government documents have said they never served in that role, including Alan Hassenfeld, former CEO of Hasbro Inc. Hassenfeld has said he never signed the institute's 2009 annual report despite the fact that his signature is on the document.
The institute organized last summer's World Scholar-Athlete Games and World Youth Peace Summit held at the University of Hartford.
Gerrish said the state Department of Public Health has no record that the world games and peace summit were licensed as youth camps.
Doyle's for-profit camps are not registered with either the Connecticut secretary of the state's office or the West Hartford town clerk's office.
Camp Renaissance, a program that focuses on sports and cultural activities, cost $560 per child for a two-week session and $1,000 for a four-week session.
Doyle also runs basketball skills clinics for two age groups. The cost for the program for 5- to 14-year-olds ranges from $280 to $675, depending on whether children enroll for one, two or three weeks. A clinic for children 15 to 18 years old is $275.
Gerrish said the public health department conducts annual and follow-up inspections of licensed youth camps. It also conducts preliminary inspections for initial licensure and investigates complaints concerning unlicensed youth camps and licensed youth camps not following state law and regulations.
If the department determines that a youth camp is operating without the required license, it first requires the camp to cease operation, Gerrish said. It may also impose a civil penalty.