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Amanda's Angle

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May 26

Waitlist Anyone?

Posted on May 26, 2021 at 11:52 AM by Kyle Jost

You know the feeling.  Sweaty palms, heart racing, intense focus on the clock.  You have your hand over the mouse, feverishly adding items to cart and purchasing as quickly as you can in fear it will sell out right in front of your eyes.  Last time I experienced this it was for a premium camping site over spring break on the California coast.  The time before that it was for Sturgill Simpson tickets.  But yesterday, it was for summer camp.   

TDRPD has never, ever seen demand like this for our summer camps.  Before opening registration we anticipated a large need for summer programming and expanded capacity above all previous years.  Monday morning, when our 2021 summer camps went online, these larger camps sold out within minutes.  It was crazy.  Phones were ringing off the hook, emails and text messages blowing up, families crushed because they only made it to the waitlist.  

For a little perspective, my family has been using TDRPD summer camps as a (top notch) childcare choice for our kids the past ten years.  Our son and daughter have worked their way up the TDRPD ladder from preschool to Camp Trudaca, Adventure Camp, Camp Rad and Junior Lifeguard camp every summer since 2010.  

And, until this year, I have always been able to wait weeks after registration opens to get them signed up.  

Needless to say, this summer is different.  With our camps filing so quickly so many people were forced to waitlist their kids.  Staff watched with jaw dropping disbelief as we sold out so quickly.  This sucks!  We hate this as an organization. We work to serve you, the families and community. Local families not getting served is exactly NOT the reputation we want.  While we stand by the TDRPD product (we already knew we were the best in town), we never wanted to be in a space where such high demand leaves us unable to serve all the kids! 

But don’t you worry because your Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District is here for you.  Do you know what staff did as the waitlists grew?  We brainstormed how to increase our numbers at camps even more.   And we realized that the only thing keeping us from doing so is our need for employees.       

As it turns out, the Tahoe region does not only have a childcare shortage.  It also has an employee shortage.  Have you noticed the number of help wanted signs around town?  Businesses everywhere are hurting for employees.  We are no different. 

As of yesterday, we were about 30% short of the employees needed to run our summer camps.  Today, because we decided to expand our Elementary aged care by at least 15%, we are 45% short the employees we need.  This means we are looking to hire at least 10 more summer camp counselors just to work our expanded programs.   A risky place to be, for sure.  But we just can’t stand turning our residents away!  

I solicit you, dear reader, for help.  Please send any responsible, active and fun potential employee our way.  We are accepting candidates for summer camp counselors, ages 16-99.  Have fun, receive great benefits, and help your community.   And for the rest of you with family members on that waitlist because you have to work your own job,  please show us some patience.  We are doing all we can.

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