BEACHWOOD, Ohio (WJW) – Dozens of families and people in the Beachwood theater community protested the city’s decision to cancel summer theater camp at the Beachwood City Council meeting Monday night.
Camp-goers said they were informed that camp was canceled, along the city’s decision to fire camp director Jill Koslen two months prior to the start of camp.
“There has been such amazing support for this theater, this summer camp,” said Justin Steck, an instructor at the camp.
Steck said over 50 families are affected.
“Jill, this has been her life. She has devoted 40 years of her life to this city, these students, this summer camp,” said Steck.
Beachwood Mayor Justin Berns addressed the decision during the meeting.
“There is not a single, simple answer. There were a sequence of events and multiple issues that required us to make certain decisions,” said Berns.
Derek Schroeder, Beachwood’s community services director, said it all boiled down to staffing.
“We only had three camp counselors fill out an application and be hired. We need four more counselors to support our ratio of eight campers to a counselor,” said Schroeder.
Schroeder added that deadlines were missed.
“In my world and the legal world, paper work is important. Applications are essential. It is how we conduct business, especially when children are involved. Background checks and drug screens must be performed,” said Schroeder.
The mayor stated that while other summer camps faced challenges in terms of staffing, drama camp was the only summer camp to be canceled.