Parks And Rec Camps Less Popular This Year

Nine Sessions Canceled Due To Underenrollment

Posted: August 31, 2013

SHENANDOAH COUNTY - Competition with private camps and scheduling issues led to cancellations of more than a quarter of Shenandoah County Parks and Recreation’s camps this summer.

Parks and Rec Director Pam Sheets said nine of the county’s 32 summer camp sessions had to be canceled because there weren’t enough kids enrolled. New private camps and increased local interest in specialized or out-of-state camps are suspected to be part of the decline, Sheets said.
Most soccer camps in particular did not perform well and had to be canceled because there weren’t enough participants to form scrimmage teams. This year, they ran on a different afternoon and early evening schedule instead of running in the daytime, and Sheets said that will be evaluated for next year.

“We’ll look at all the camps that performed well this year and just take a look at those and see if the instructors are happy with the schedules,” she said.

Parks and Rec also will take location and price into consideration. Summer camp planning will take place during the winter and spring so the schedule can be set by May, Sheets said.

Despite decreased summer camp enrollment — participants receive a 100 percent refund if sessions don’t run — the department expects to have $20,000 in hand when its budget analysis for the fiscal year is complete.
Some trips performed even better than expected, such as a murder mystery train, and there was some last-minute revenue that had not yet been calculated. That’s standard for the department, Sheets said.
“Overall, some of our larger programs carried the loss of that summer camp revenue,” she said. “So we were OK.”

Several upcoming trips are expected to sell out or come close, including a trip to see ventriloquist Jeff Dunham in November in Roanoke.

The department also is starting to take reservations for the 2014 “Glaciers and Geyers: National Park Trip-of-a-Lifetime,” which will fly adventurers to Montana and bus them to and from Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore National Park.

Contact Kassondra Cloos at 574-6290 or

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