NASHVILLE, Tennessee. (WSMV) – Summer camps across the city are facing major challenges, with some even closing.
Parents tried for months to send their children to camps.
There were about 60 children in An Array of Charm Camps for Youth Development in the summer of 2022, but more than a dozen children on the waiting list and camp owners told us that the situation seemed to be getting worse.
“Brooklyn is seven years old and going into second grade,” said Alexandria Mitchell, Brooklyn’s mother.
Mitchell said she has been taking her daughter to summer camps since kindergarten.
“You want to send your child to a safe place,” Mitchell said. “You want to send them where they have business, not just sit around doing nothing.”
But now getting into these camps has become a problem.
“The camps are already full and it’s happening very fast because they take 75 or 100 students or even some that take 50, they only take up half their capacity and I don’t know why,” Alexandria Mitchell said.
“It is very difficult to find good staff. It’s so hard to find good people to work with,” camp owner Caroline Davis said in response to not being able to take on so many kids.
Davis said that for months she struggled to find people to help her run her summer camps, and like so many others, she had to stop accepting so many kids.
“Now the camps are suffering for various reasons, personnel issues, transportation, food and so on,” Davis said.
And it’s not just a shortage, people who apply ask for more money.
“There was a time when I could pay a person $10-12 for a summer job, and now I have to pay $15-17 an hour,” Davis said.
Several camps had to close, leaving parents and children to suffer the consequences.
“It’s tough, I mean some parents have to take their kids to the office and try to change their schedule. And some, fortunately, can do it, but what about those who cannot? Mitchell said.
Camp owners are asking parents to sign up as soon as possible for next year and are pleading for qualified people to join their staff.
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