Omaha summer camps hopeful for uptick in staff in the upcoming months, amid shortages

Staffing has been a challenge in recent years, especially for summer camps for children.
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 6:48 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Finding enough staff to fill summer camps and programs has been an ongoing struggle all across the country.

Here in Omaha, several summer camps are still waiting for more applicants.

“We’re about 60 percent full of staff,” said Chris Haberling, manager with Omaha’s Parks Department. “We still need about 20 to 25 counselors until we’re fully staffed.”

Some organizations only have a portion of their staff ready to help this summer.

“We are really fortunate at the YMCA,” said Tera Thomas, YMCA of Greater Omaha’s executive director of fund development. “We anticipate that one-third of our camp counselors will be returning this summer, so that does mean we have a two-thirds need of new hires to come in.”

Haberling said it’s a continuous need. He has noticed a lot of people who used to apply to summer camps have moved on to other jobs.

“We’d really like to get fully staffed and be able to run things,” Haberling said.

Mia Jenkins with Lauritzen Gardens said its summer camps have seen an increase in volunteers.

“This year we’re very fortunate; we have 6 of our 7 positions already full and applications are already coming in to fill that position,” Jenkins said.

Each organization is hoping staffing reaches pre-pandemic levels as summer approaches.