In just a few short weeks the last school bell will ring for the year and kids will be free for 2 months! Tens of thousands of children go to camp each year in Canada and the US. Camp can be a wonderful time for kids to learn fun outdoor skills, meet life long friends and grow deeper in their spiritual walks with Christ. Sending your kids off to camp can be a costly event, but there are ways to save so you don’t break the bank. Here are a few suggestions to help:
1. Volunteer or Work
Some camps offer a discount for campers (or their parents) who work or volunteer during camp hours. One camp provides a scholarship to campers who work a few hours a day helping cleaning dishes after each meal. Taking on small jobs before, during or after camp is in session can add relief to the cost.
2. Friend/Sibling Discounts
Who doesn’t like to bring a friend to camp? Most camps offer discounts if siblings or friends are also enrolled. One deal I found was a that if you bring 5 friends you go for free. Even if you split the cost evenly among the six families you are still getting 1a discount.
3. Half Day Programs
Not all kids want to go away to over night camp, but want to go and experience some camp life. Half day programs are a wonderful way of getting your child involved and don’t have the cost of a full day or over night camps.
4. Start Saving Now
If you have multiple kids going to camp each year, the cost can quickly sky rocket. One suggestion is to start saving now for next year. (That’s right save a year in advance!) Some camps offer payment plans that span 3, 6 or even 12 months.
5. Consider Alternatives
Since not everyone can afford to go to camp, there are great alternative children’s programs offer in the summer. Vacation Bible Schools are fanatic events to take you kids to, and are usually very inexpensive or free. Public pool or library events are also a great way to keep the kids entertained.
Summer is a time where kids should relax and enjoy time off. Camp is a wonderful outlet for them to have fun and stay active. No matter what type of camp they attend, be sure to look at all the financial options….. and don’t forget the bug spray!