It may be cool and rainy out here in early April, but summer camps across New England report they are filling up fast.
"There seems to be quite an interest in camps this summer," Julie Bernson of the Trustees of Reservations said Wednesday.
The Trustees run nine camps, including the Chestnut Hill Farm in Southborough. Already, staff there is gearing up for what promises to be a very busy summer.
"I think there is tremendous demand," said D.A. Hayden, who runs the Chestnut Hill Farm.
In Westwood, Hale Education also says it is seeing increased demand. It currently has three different waitlists with more than 100 families on each.
"We have been really surprised with the demand," said Jaclyn Ross, Director of Camp and Youth Programs for Hale.
Ross says Hale is also working to ramp up staffing to meet the demand, including offering increased pay this summer.
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"We are still searching for staff members to fill camp counselor roles, some leadership roles as well as lifeguards and swim instructors," Ross said.
Matt Scholl, with the Massachusetts Camping Association, says all its member camps are seeing the same thing, thanks in part to a return to a more traditional camp setting this year with improved public health data.
"Frankly, I think families are excited, camps are ready, if there are families out there still deciding about camp, I would really encourage folks to apply," he said.
Scholl said MCA's members are also having issues finding enough staff.
"Hiring is something we are all still continuing to work on," Scholl said. "There is a still big push for that."
Back in Westwood, Ross says Hale is excited to welcome camps in a few short weeks, as it keeps an eye on a very tight labor market.
"There are so many families, counting, waiting, wishing to get into your program, and you are struggling to find staff to come and support them is definitely a big stresser on us," Ross said.