PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — This summer will be the first in two years that kids will be able to go to camp without restrictions, and spots are filling up fast.

Executive Director of Camp Watchaug Danita Ballantyne tells 12 News that she has never seen this high of a demand this early in the year.

Ballantyne said the Charlestown summer camp has six stay-away sessions. Three of those sessions are already fully booked, while the others have a limited number of spots left open.

The increased interest has forced the summer camp to put potential campers on waiting lists. It’s also left them no choice but to turn away recurring campers.

“I’m sure there will be some frustration and I think the frustration will be more from our returning families, who in the past have been able to register late,” Ballantyne explained.

Ballantyne said this year, Camp Watchaug will be virtually back to normal, and they expect it to be the busiest its been in 75 years.

“Our demand is skyrocketing,” she said. “We opened up registration a few weeks earlier than normal as an opportunity for our returning families and we have never received that many registrations.”

It’s not just Camp Watchaug that’s seeing increased interest.

Michele Parente, executive director of American Camp Association New England, tells 12 News it’s a nationwide surge.

“Enrollment right now is booming for camps,” Parente said. “Many of our camps are full.”

“Parents are just ready for kids to get outside, get away from the screen and learn to be kids again,” she continued. “Kids forgot how to play together and be together and make decisions and that sort of thing, so I think everyone is just ready for the summer.”

But while the number of campers is up, the amount of counselors remains down.

Summer camps aren’t immune to the ongoing staffing shortages. Ballantyne said they currently only have about one-third the amount of counselors they need to operate this summer.