Staffing shortages could cause limited spots at summer camps

Published: Apr. 10, 2022 at 7:38 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – As warmer weather approaches, it might have you thinking about summer plans. But, if you’re thinking about summer camp, your options might be limited.

“I don’t know where everyone is,” Good Earth Village Executive Director Diana Parks said.

Parks said Good Earth Village, a summer camp near Spring Valley, is in desperate need of 18 more counselors for the upcoming summer. If they can’t make those hires, the could be short hundreds of campers.

“My estimation is that we would be short about 500 kids,” Parks said. “Whatever staff we have hired, we’re gonna cap the capacity. Which just limits the number of kids we can welcome.”

According to Parks, most their counselors are colleges students. Hiring this year has been even more difficult, as they’ve had to put a halt to their on campus recruiting events because of the pandemic.

“There’s been an interruption in that pipeline,” she said. “Someone who’s already been here, and then the friends they recruit from their schools.”

Other staff blame the staffing crisis on a higher cost of living. Counselors at Good Earth are paid $450/week. Room and board is free, but some say it’s not enough.

“I think the other part is that a lot of other college students who don’t live on campus, who do rent an apartment during the summer, are still on the hook for that kind of rent,” Good Earth Village Program Director Erik Dahl said.

Parks said when it comes to finding staff, Good Earth isn’t the only camp in need ahead of this summer.

“All of my collogues across the country are finding it equally difficult,” she said.

If you’re interested in applying to become a counselor, click here.

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