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Parents scramble for options as summer camps scale back or cancel programs

Summer camps suffer staffing shortages nationwide
Posted at 8:39 AM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 08:39:11-04

BALTIMORE — Kids looking forward to returning to their favorite summer camp this year might find it closed.

A worker shortage is forcing some summer camps across the country to either cut down their programming or cancel camp completely.

Many kids and their parents are thinking about what they're going to do this summer as the school year comes to a close.

However, some of the summer camps parents counted on to keep their children busy are not an option this year.

Just like many other businesses are having a difficult time finding workers, it's the same for summer camps.

From private to public-run programs, some are being scaled back, cutting overnight stays, or completely cancelling the 2022 summer season because of a staffing shortage.

Without enough workers, many programs won't have the proper counselor-to-camper ratio to meet state regulations to operate.

It's leaving many kids disappointed and their parents wondering who's going to keep a watchful eye on their children.

The staffing issues started happening once the demand for camp returned after the pandemic.

About 26 million children nationwide are expected to be enrolled in one of more than 15,000 summer camp programs around the country.

The worker shortage has camp administrators raising wages and hiring international workers to try to meet the demand.

Camp IHC director and owner Lauren Rutkowski said ”you know, we have seen the cost of staffing go up 30-50%. so that's really tricky when in 2020, most of us did not open at all."

Baltimore city has more than two dozen day camp locations and programs listed on its website.

Baltimore-area parent's still looking for overnight programs might find they're out of luck.