BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Summer camps across the region are looking for more counselors. Without the help, camps won’t be able to offer all the fun programs they’re used to.
“Child care is often a struggle to staff, but I have never seen a staffing crisis quite like this,” said Brenna Lupo, the Vice President of Education and Child Care Services at the YMCA of Buffalo Niagara. “Most all of our camps right now are on waitlists and we would be better able to open up those waitlists and serve more of our community if we were able to increase that staffing.”
For the YMCA’s 12 programs to be complete, 300 counselor spots are needed. They currently have just 225 people signed up.
For other summer camps, like the Boys and Girls Club of East Aurora, their camp is set up to draw campers back. Kids start off as campers, and when they are older are encouraged to come back to volunteer, and eventually become apart of the staff.
“I think it starts off with the success and the magic that Camp Ska-no-ka-san possesses,” said CEO Gary Schutrum. “Every child that goes there, or a good number of children that go, absolutely love this place. If they can spend their older years as a junior counselor, then a counselor, and then eventually a staff member it makes its a pretty special place.”
Schutrum says they haven’t experienced short staffing for their main summer camp, their other programs weren’t as easy to fill. He says summer camp wages just can’t compete.
“I think in most camp situations we can’t pay the same amount even that of a McDonald’s and some of fast food restaurants can pay,” Schutrum said. “It’s hard for us to compete when they’re able to offer $18 to $20 an hour, we’re much lower than that.”
He says the joy of working with kids and being outdoors all summer is what makes the job really feel magical.
Both organizations are accepting applications for positions this summer.
For the YCMA, anyone 16 and older can apply here.
For more information regarding the East Aurora Boys and Girls Club, head to their website here.