Getting your child a spot at a summer camp may not be so easy in May, as demand is through the roof for camps across the Garden State, but camps are still interested in getting your older children on board ... as employees.
Anyone 16 and older is eligible to work at a day camp; you need to be at least 18 years old to work at an overnight camp.
"We're looking at high school kids, we're looking at college students, we're looking at adults," said Andy Pritikin, owner and operator of Liberty Lake Day Camp in Mansfield.
Staffing is the top concern at the 60-acre camp, said Pritikin, who formerly served as the president of the American Camp Association of New York and New Jersey.
Pay at camps is getting more competitive, but at the same time, he said, they're dealing with rising costs from vendors and can't pass those costs on to families who booked a spot last fall for summer 2022.
"There really is no better place to work for a high school or college student than at a summer camp, where they're going to be disconnected from technology, they can be outside, they can be learning leadership skills that are going to be important in their lives," Pritikin said.
Check here for available jobs at camps accredited by the American Camp Association.
Demand at both day and overnight camps is high throughout the Garden State. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, they've been receiving inquiries from many families who've never utilized a camp in the past but want their kids to have more face-to-face interactions with people of the same age.
"Many camps in New Jersey have waitlists," said Alicia Skovera, executive director of ACA NY & NJ. "We know that camp is childcare for New Jersey working parents, and even parents that are still working from home want their children to get outside."
New Jersey camps, as of now, have zero COVID restrictions coming down from the state for 2022.
Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.
NJ county fairs make a comeback: Check out the schedule for 2022
UPDATED 4/10: A current list of county fairs happening across the Garden State for 2022. From rides, food, animals, and hot air balloons, each county fair has something unique to offer.
(Fairs are listed in geographical order from South NJ to North NJ)
These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey
A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.
From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.
Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.
If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.
Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.
You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.
Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.
Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.
I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions: