Like a carousel carrying too many kids, Raleigh’s website for summer camp sign-ups is struggling.
On Monday, the city opened the window for parents to register children for summer camps and was met with an array of complaints from parents who said the sign-up page wasn’t working.
The website likely stalled because so many residents tried to sign up at once, said Cara McLeod, marketing communications coordinator for the department. The city processed more than 8,000 summer camp registrations Monday morning, she said.
“There were lots of patrons that were excited about registration,” McLeod wrote in an email. “The volume was heavier than anticipated which caused slower processing times.”
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The city offers programs for children aged 3 to 17 at 36 locations around the city. Parents are asked to sign-up through a portal on the Raleigh parks and recreation department webpage.
Parents, some of whom said they tried to sign up with registration opened at 5:30 a.m., complained on the department’s Facebook page that they couldn’t sign-up for the programs they wanted because the sign-up site kicked them off.
“This is absolutely ridiculous,” Donna Smith posted. “You’ve got to do better Raleigh Parks & Rec!”
Facebook commenter Katie Carmichael wrote that her screen was frozen for about 30 minutes.
“This is ridiculous!” Carmichael posted. “Kicked out, signed back in, lost everything in our cart, had to add different camps because first one was unavailable and now the CC processing is just spinning and spinning AGAIN.”
Many who contacted the department on Facebook said they attempted to sign-up for certain summer programs but lost their spots after the site crashed.
“My cart froze on check out and now it is empty!” Victoria Wheeler posted. “Please don’t tell me that I have lost my spots!”
The city’s Facebook administrator suggested that parents email the city at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and concerns.
“We are sorry for the delays you have experienced,” the city’s Facebook administrator wrote. “If you are in the middle of payment do not log off.”
In the meantime, some parents said they’re looking for summer camps elsewhere. Adam Organ, the director of the Raleigh-Cary Jewish Community Center, suggested his organization’s Camp JCC.
“I was able to register both my kids in just a few minutes,” Organ posted. “They offer early drop off, after care and even have some transportation options. Message me with any questions. Happy to help!”