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Still...a tent on a crate with institutional food. That cannot be worth the difference between the options available to most scouts.


At $7.25/hour on a 40 hour week, kids can earn nearly $290/week working a 40 hour week or $2600 over 9 weeks (before taxes). Compare that with earning $75/week for 6 weeks or so at camp you earn roughly $500 before taxes. When you add in these kids at camp work well more than a 40 hour week, this is REALLY low...and a very good reason NOT to staff a council camp unless you 1) really have to because you have few options, or 2) really like council camps, food, accommodations, etc.


I have staffed council and national camps in my youth. The wages were better then and more competitive than staying home and working. Seems the gaps has gotten wider, which means the best staffers are working at Cinemark rather than Camp [insert name here].

Maybe it's the BSA's subtle way of introducing scouts to the BSA's template for adult volunteer leadership:   work numerous hours, no pay, and forget about reimbursement for legit expenses!

Edited by desertrat77
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Been down this road years ago, both my boys and a number of our troop eagles at about 16-18 years of age looked seriously into this at a camp in Colorado not far from us. Several were accepted after a long list of hoops to jump, delays and communications problems.


Every single one walked away from the offer citing......


Pay similar to what is described above, meals and tent wasn't enough to make it worth it


Had to buy 2 sets of dark green uniform and a footlocker which came out of their pocket and reduced the yield of the pay after taxes


Were not allowed to stay on Sunday. There was a home in the area that would try and accommodate kids but camp and council tried to kill that with notarized acceptance of parents having their kids picked up and staying with other adults, youth protection and more red tape made a simple fix tot he problem the camp made, too much brain damage to bother with.  


I know communication, accuracy of messages, delays and lack of decision making through the process was a red flag to everyone of how it might be to work the camp.


Our troop summer camped here for several years, one year where setting up staffing seemed particularly ugly, the kids in our troop found summer camp that year particularly bad, most all rooted in either staffing or food service problems.

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In my area alternative seasonal jobs are actually not that easy to find.  The service and retail sectors hire adults who a generation or two back would have worked in factories, and if a student wants a job the employer wants a commitment that they'll work through the school year.  In addition, companies that used to hire summer interns now offer the internships only as unpaid work.  When I was a teen companies would hire kids for the summer in order to cover vacations --- those jobs are exceedingly rare.  There are a few truly seasonal employers like pools and ice cream stands, but they just don't add up to a lot in absolute numbers.


I suspect that many if not most of the kids working summer camp come from strong scouting families, and so the family is essentially subsidizing the staffer and the camp by allowing the staffer to accept a lower wage in return for the positive experience.  A very similar phenomenon is occurring with the unpaid summer internships I mentioned.  Families are accepting that their kids will work for nothing in the hope that the resume building aspect of the internship will pay off in the long run.

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