By Michael Boriero – Local Journalism Initiative
With just a couple months to go before campers head over to Camp Massawippi, the bilingual special needs camp for children and adults with physical disabilities could be facing some difficult decisions, as staff recruitment woes threatens to upend a summer full of activities.
Camp Massawippi Executive Director Clea Corman told The Record that they’ve been looking for roughly 80 seasonal staff. The day camp offered in Montreal needs to add about 35 staff members, while the overnight camp in Ayer’s Cliff needs to fill an additional 31 positions.
“The issue is that we’re recruiting in all of the ways that we know how to recruit and we’re not getting very many applicants. There has been a shortage of employees I think in a lot of different industries, but it’s clear that camps are feeling that, as well,” said Corman.
The camp, which has been around in the Eastern Townships for 70 years, according to Corman, offers four programs: overnight camp, day camp, respite camp and virtual camp. They cater to campers between six and 30 years old with a variety of physical limitations.
Corman said the overnight camp, for example, welcomes about 50 kids per week starting on July 3 and ending on Aug. 19. And they always try to offer a staff to camper ratio of 1:1, 1:2 or 1:3. But that might not be the case this year, if they continue to struggle with recruitment.
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