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Online Registration for Summer Fun Program Overwhelms Demand, Additional Staff Needed

The registration process for the highly sought-after Summer Fun Program has shifted online this week, allowing for payments for the first time.

However, the program is already facing an overwhelming demand that surpasses its supply.

If the city fails to secure additional staff, the waitlist for the program is expected to grow exponentially.

The surge in demand has taken many parents by surprise, with waitlists already reaching significant numbers.

Booth and Koko Head sites have around 100 children on their waitlists, while Manoa has nearly 250.

The online registration system, coupled with the intense demand for the Summer Fun Program, has created a situation comparable to trying to secure tickets for a Bruno Mars concert.

Nate Serota from the Honolulu Department of Parks & Recreation noted that within the first 10 to 15 minutes, or perhaps 20 minutes, the majority of spots were already booked.

This indicates that a large number of people were able to successfully register their children for the program.

However, as the available spots fill up quickly, there is an urgent need to hire additional staff before the Summer Fun Program commences on June 13th.

Currently, the Honolulu Department of Parks & Recreation is looking to fill approximately 370 seasonal positions for the summer.

However, they have only managed to secure around 240 positions so far.

The YMCA is also recruiting program leaders, lifeguards, and swim instructors.

They have organized an instant hire day on Wednesday from 2 to 6 PM at the Kaimuki – Waialae Y, with another one scheduled for the 24th.

The Summer Fun Program at Winner’s Camp on Kamehame Ridge, running from July 23rd to the 29th, has also experienced a high level of demand as children emerge from the COVID-19 restrictions.

Jeannette Macaluso, the camp director, emphasized that there has been a significant shift in what children are seeking since the pandemic.

They are eager to connect, spend time with friends, and engage in activities.

As a result, both campers and their parents have shown a stronger interest in attending the program.

For those who did not secure a spot in the Summer Fun Program, there is a possibility of being placed on a waitlist based on chronological order.

Depending on when individuals registered, they may be added to the waitlist, and in some cases, the city may need to consolidate Summer Fun sites.

To ease the registration process, individuals are advised to sign up on the city’s PROS website beforehand, prior to the registration start time at exactly 4 o’clock.

The registration schedule is as follows: Leeward Oahu on Wednesday, Windward and North Oahu on Thursday, and Central Oahu on Friday.

The overwhelming demand for the Summer Fun Program highlights the eagerness of families to engage in activities and connect with others after the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city is actively working to address the staffing shortage to accommodate as many participants as possible and ensure a successful and enjoyable summer for all.

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