Concerns and Obstacles to Launching and Running a Summer Program

Summer would change from a time of rest and recuperation to possibly the busiest time of the year.  What about vacation for priests and staff?  

     - This is true.  Summer will change and vacations will have to be taken at other times, but the benefits that flow from Summer Program will make that minor sacrifice worthwhile.  There's usually a window of time immediately following camp or early in the school year that provides a chance for vacation.

Negative response of school faculty    

     - This may be the immediate response, but it can change with time.  Most people resist change initially and it's an understandable response when you're asked to share your classroom.  It's important for the principal to be on board.  The faculty will then follow.  A well run camp will increase school enrollment and thereby income, and can enhance the reputation of the school.  It's also important for school staff to understand that the school belongs to the parish for the purpose of evangelization.

With schools, what about facilities maintenance and deep cleaning usually reserved for the summer?  

     - It can still be done, but not with the leisurely approach possible when you have all summer.  Time management becomes critical and that work needs to be scheduled for school breaks (Christmas and Easter) and the time right before camp starts and right after it ends.

Added cost of electricity and utilities to operate the school/facilities during the summer  

     - Air conditioning must be run at a certain level during the summer to prevent mold growth.  You will use additional electricity to further cool the facility and the cost of other utilities will increase, but those costs can be budgeted for.

Extra work for the bookkeeper and HR  

     - This also is true.  We require all staff to go direct deposit to save considerable payroll work for the bookkeeper.  Still it will require extra work, so be extra nice to whoever handles payroll and paperwork for new hires.

Risk of losing money in the first few years

     - It will take 2-3 years to gain a firm understanding of how to project your income and expenses, but we can help you reduce financial risk through what we learned in our first several years.  Under the 'Resources' section of this website, we provide fee schedules, budgets and other financial data to help you reduce your risk.  We have helped two parishes launch camps to date and they have operated in the black each of their combined six summers - no money lost.

I thought parishes weren't allowed to employ minors…

     - Minors are permitted to work in the state of Maryland at the age of 14.  If your camp is certified under the Maryland Youth Camp Act, minors are not considered employees and work permits are not required.  The Archdiocese of Washington has granted specific permission for the hiring of minors as summer camp instructors.

"The only tragedy in life is to not become a saint" - Leon Bloy