LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As staffing shortages affect almost every industry, summer camps in Kentucky are no different.

What You Need To Know

  • Kentucky summer camps are dealing with staff shortages

  • Louisville Parks and Rec and Boys & Girls Club of Kentuckiana will continue hiring throughout the summer

  • Staff shortages are affecting the ability to provide summer camp options in some parts of the country

  • Local camps are getting creative to work around shortages and still maintain proper adult-to-child ratios

In Louisville, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, along with Boys & Girls Club of Kentuckiana, are both facing staffing challenges. Both aim to provide affordable options for safe, learning-filled places for families to send their children during the summer.

“Summer camps and regular operations, [we’re facing] the same struggles everybody else is having,” said Ben Johnson, Assistant Director of Recreation for Louisville Parks and Rec. “We’re really trying to get people to come out, work with us, work for us.”

Both Parks and Rec and the Boys & Girls Club will continue hiring throughout the summer season.

“The more staff that we have, the more young people we could serve,” Johnson said. “So you’ve got a college kid that decided they’re going to take the first couple of weeks off, great—we’ve got six weeks they can still work with us.”

Boys & Girls Club of Kentuckiana President and CEO Daryle Unseld said in some parts of the country, the worker shortage is so bad that some clubs within his organization had to close some of their sites.

“They simply didn’t have enough people to start up their summer programming,” Unseld said.

Thankfully, that won’t be the case in Kentucky. Unseld said the Boys & Girls Club of Kentuckiana is getting creative by having staff work in split shifts where needed to make do.

Only the Shawnee Club in Louisville has had to cut some of its summer programming.

“We do have ratio regulations, in terms of how many young people we can have versus staff,” Unseld explained.

Newburg Club Director Marvia Presley is thankful there have been no cuts at her club, where she said about 90% of children served are in foster care.

“We do a lot at Boys & Girls Club, you know, and it’s important to make this work so that they have a place, a safe, reliable place,” Presley said. “It’s a second home.”