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Parents struggle to find summer camps due to staffing shortage


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Summer camps throughout the city have been facing major issues, some even closing down.

Parents have been spending months trying to get their children into camps. 

During the summer of 2022, the An Array of Charm Camps for Youth Development building had about 60 children inside, but more than a dozen of those kids on the wait list and camp owners told us that the situation seems to be getting worse.

“Brooklyn is seven years old and she’s going to the second grade” Alexandria Mitchell, Brooklyn’s mother said.

Since kindergarten, Mitchell said she’s been taking her daughter to summer camps.

“You want to send your child somewhere safe,” Mitchell said. “You want to send them somewhere they have things to do not just sitting around doing nothing.”

But, now getting into those camps has become an issue.

“Camps are full already and it’s been happening really quickly because they would take 75 or 100 students or even some that would take 50 they are only taking half their capacity and I don’t know why,” Alexandria Mitchell said.

“It is so hard to find good staff. It’s so hard to find good people to work,” Camp Owner Caroline Davis said in response to not being able to take on as many kids.

Davis said for months she has struggled to find people to help her run her summer camps and like many others she has had to stop taking in as many kids.

“Right now camps are suffering for various reasons, staffing, transportation, food, you name it,” Davis said.

And it’s not just a shortage, people who are applying are asking for more money.

“There was a time were I could pay a person to work in the summer for $10-12 dollars and now I’m having to pay $15-17 dollars an hour,” Davis said.

Several camps have had to close down leaving parents and children to suffer the consequences.

“It’s rough, I mean some parents are having to take their kids into the office with them and trying to alter their schedule. And some thankfully are able to do that, but those that can’t, what do you do?” Mitchell said.

Camp owners have been telling parents to sign up as soon as they can for next year and are begging qualified people to join their staff.

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