Summer camps suffer major staffing shortages

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 6:44 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Major staffing shortages are putting parents who rely on summer camp programs for their kids in a bind.  You’re seeing it in industries across the board - from fast food to corporate America – job openings, but not enough workers to fill positions.

“There’s definitely less people than that really could be needed in this sort of field,” said Kamau Francis.

Georgia Tech student Kamau Francis is working as a camp counselor this summer, but he has plenty of friends who are holding off on finding summer employment. He said some of his friends just need a break. But that’s not the only reason.

“Pay also might be an issue, yeah. I’ve been working in the program for three years now, so my pay has steadily increased. But I can understand like college students especially – they look for jobs that can really hold them over during the summer,” said Francis.

The YMCA in Atlanta offers a variety of summer camp programs. They’re fully staffed right, but that won’t be the case when more families sign up as we head into summer.

Raymond Hill is a senior lecturer at the business school at Emory University. He said the number of people in the labor force is about 5-percent lower than before the pandemic.

Some of those workers are baby boomers who decided to retire early. But the others - Hill says could be a result of the government attempting to fix the economy.

“And then we go things like, people don’t realize, that when the federal government is handing out money when times are tough as they were during COVID, people go back to school,” said Raymond Hill, of Emory University.

As a result, summer camp programs like those at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge and Winder are forced to get creative, moving staff, and relying on alumni for help… ensuring kids receive an educational and adventurous experience - while parents get to enjoy a little break.

Atlanta Parks and Recreation is offering new programs in hopes of filling in the gaps. You can check out their website here.

Link: Camp Best Friends | Atlanta, GA (

If you’re interested in becoming a camp counselor, you can visit the YMCA’s website here.


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