It’s that time of year… Summer camp time! But along with that, especially this year, comes a common struggle we’ve seen more and more this year: worker shortages.

Summer Camps

After the pandemic, camps are trying to make a comeback.  And it seems enrollments are not the issue.  Many camps are close to, or already at capacity.  But, like many industries, summer camps are also dealing with lack of employees.

For parents, summer camps are often more than just something fun for the kids to do daily.  When both parents work, summer camp is often the solution to childcare, and keeping the kids active and engaged throughout the summer.

Enrollment is Steady

According to a News Nation article, more than 26 million kids across the nation are enrolled in summer camp, with many camps having waiting lists.  And for those who waited to register, there may not be any availability, which can lead to frustration.

But with camps filling up, and employee numbers dwindling, some camps are forced to cancel or reduce hours.  This can lead to stress for parents looking for alternatives.

The Pandemic Effect

Summer camps have already seen their share of struggles over the past two years with the pandemic.  Many were closed or reduced due to health and safety regulations.  Other camps shut down completely due to financial strain of the pandemic.

And it’s not new news, the great resignation.  Many people have sought out other opportunities.  The pandemic led to many people realizing what they did or didn’t want out of a job and left to find it.  And that includes camp counselors, who may not have been making much money.

Summer Camp Worker Shortages

While some camps are increasing pay to help with the worker shortages, not every camp can afford that financial burden.  One hiring expert pointed out one camp organization that offers 50% more to camp coordinators and even including sign-on bonuses, only to receive two applicants.

And of course, for the camps needing to offer higher wages, that may reflect in camp costs.  The increase in cost could be 10 to 15 percent higher, due to higher wages, but also due to inflation.

Has your kid’s summer camp been affected by worker shortages?

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