Mike Rowe backs Chick-fil-A’s  skills summer camp that was slammed as ‘child labor’: ‘God bless them’

Some parents are putting Chick-fil-A in the hot seat over one Louisiana location’s controversial summer camp, which aims to teach kids applicable life skills in a unique environment.

Beloved TV host of “Dirty Jobs” Mike Rowe reacted to the one-of-a-kind camp during an appearance on “Varney & Co.,” pushing back on the accusation that the camp should be considered “child labor.”

The franchise location in Hammond, Louisiana, will open its doors to kids, ages 5 through 12, to participate in its very own “Chick-fil-A Summer Camp” from July 15-17 and July 22-24. The camp fee is $35 per session, according to a recent Facebook post.

Campers will be given the opportunity to meet the Chick-fil-A mascot as well as team leaders and get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into the brand’s hospitality.

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“What did we think was going to happen when we took Home Ec, shop, and basic financial literacy out of the public schools? Sooner or later, somebody is going to step up and say, ‘we have to inculcate these ideas into the next generation,’” Rowe said Thursday. 

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“If Chick-fil-A is going to be part of leading that charge, God bless them. There’s somebody [that] has to step in to do this. Soft skills, basic common sense, all of that stuff is still for sale and, sadly lacking.”

In an earlier announcement, the Chick-fil-A location shared different activities that it was offering to campers including: “learning dining room host and customer service skills, learn how to take a guest order, learn how to bag a guest order, tour the kitchen and box your own nugget and make your own ice dream cone or cup.”

The restaurant’s Facebook announcement quickly revealed that many parents did not echo Rowe’s support for the camp.

The post received thousands of comments claiming the restaurant was “exploiting” the kids in attendance and taking advantage of them by putting the campers to work — one user even tagged the Labor Department.

Not everyone is against the camp, however. Some users showed interest and even defended the fast food location.

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Learning “soft skills” is very important for a child’s development both mentally and socially, Rowe explained. He told host Stuart Varney that the U.S. is currently suffering from a trade workers’ shortage, a downward trend that has plagued the labor sector for “a long time.”

“It’s not just a skill gap, it’s a will gap,” he said. 

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However, Rowe argues that the next generation is rejuvenating the labor sector with a spark of enthusiasm for blue-collar jobs. 

“I didn’t think Gen Z was going to be the generation to do it, but they are,” he argued.

Despite the controversy sparked by the Louisiana Chick-fil-A, the 200-spot summer camp sold out in seven minutes, according to a representative.

FOX Business’ Sydney Borchers contributed to this report. 

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