Every year communities across the country come together in their local parks and recreation facilities. Whether it is a family bar-b-que at the park on a Saturday or all-day summer camps for kids, park and recreation professionals strive to ensure these spaces are safe and fun for every visitor. This mission would not be as successful if it were not for the help of a summer seasonal workforce. These temporary seasonal staff members ensure programs continue, parks and facilities are maintained, and the public receives the highest quality of services offered by their local park and recreation department.

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Research team conducted a survey of park and recreation directors to gain a better understanding of the recruitment and hiring process of the summer seasonal workforce, the initiatives undertaken by parks and recreation professionals to address challenges and the techniques found within successful summer hiring programs. The results of this survey serve as the basis of the Summer Seasonal Hiring Report.

Read The Report





Key Findings:

  • Ninety-seven percent of park and recreation agencies hired summer seasonal staff in 2023.
  • The top three summer seasonal positions in parks and recreation were summer camp staff, lifeguards, and maintenance.
  • Seventy-three percent of agencies partnered with local schools to recruit summer seasonal staff.
  • Nine in 10 park and recreation agencies experienced challenges in hiring and/or retaining summer seasonal staff.
  • Top challenges with hiring summer seasonal staff included individuals unable to work for the entire season and agencies being unable to match/exceed wages paid by other employers.
  • Fifty-six percent of agencies diverted permanent full-time staff from their day-to-day responsibilities to cover unfilled seasonal responsibilities.
  • Most park and recreation agencies aim to begin recruiting/hiring summer seasonal staff by February.


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