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Visa holdup creates camp staff shortage

The camp industry has been struggling as visa processing for international staff continues to be a challenge in getting those workers to camp this summer.

MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — Campers will soon flood Camp Canadensis for seven straight weeks in Monroe County. It's the first time that boys and girls will be back in quite some time because of the pandemic.

"This is what kids need. Their excitement is our excitement. We can't wait to meet them on June 26 when they touch down on Camp Canadensis soil for the first time in two years," said Brian Krug, Camp Canadensis director.

This year and as the pandemic continues, camps all across the country are running into an issue. There's a hold-up with the visa exchange program for foreign workers because embassies aren't open.

"The bigger thing is more of our support staff which is the backbone to making camp work. It's our laundry service, kitchen service, maintenance, and all the ones who are behind the show making the magic happen," said Krug.

It's why Krug is asking for the community to help by contacting government officials to act on the matter to help speed up the process.

"Right now, the American Camp Association even set up a form on their website that allows them to enter their own information based on where they are located, and it will actually send those emails out to their local representatives just like that with a click of a button," said Krug.

Even if Camp Canadensis doesn't get the staff it needs from overseas, directors tell Newswatch 16 camp will still go on as scheduled. A plan has been put into place just in case.

"We are creative. We are camp people and are still planning on opening. We will make it through even without those staff, but sure it would help if we had a lot of those people to join us in a few weeks," said Krug.

Spots for campers this summer are full, but the camp is still taking applications for staff members.