Summer camps seeing staffing shortages this year

COEUR D’ALENE, ID. — COVID-19 and staffing shortages are causing issues for families making summer plans.

Many summer camps across the Inland Northwest are changing schedules or canceling camps altogether. Camp Bonaparte in Okanogan County shut things down due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Another camp near Coeur d’Alene, Camp Lutherhaven, had to postpone its camp for some campers due to a staffing shortage.

Summer camp is something kids look forward to every year. However, this week, some of the campers will miss out on some of their favorite activities.

“So for us just that Sunday morning, we had to call parents and say ‘hey I can’t have you come, let’s push it off,” Interim Executive Director of Camp Lutherhaven Rebecca Smith said.

Like other camps, Smith says Camp Lutherhaven is not immune to having staff shortages.

“Well, I had campers that they have bags packed and get ready to come,” Smith said. “Overnight, [we] kind of staffing shortage that we had to call and say ‘I can’t safely welcome your kids.'”

Smith hopes to find more people to add to the staff as soon as possible.

“We are working through so many injuries and primarily people that love what we do,” Smith said.

Smith wants people to know that the shortage is not related to COVID-19. Volunteers can apply for jobs online or contact the camp office directly.

COVID-19 vaccines are not required for volunteers or others that are staying overnight with children.