How to Save Money When Sending Kids to Summer Camp

Posted on 05/23/2012

Each year more than 11 million children and adults attend camp, according to the American Camp Association. It’s a great way to keep kids from spending the entire summer in front of the computer and fortunately there are more than 12,000 camps in the US—one for every interest and budget. The average cost ranges from $100-$800 a week in fees so consider these tips for saving money on summer camp.

Investigate Discounts Some camps offer discounts to children whose parents are public servants like teachers, police officers or members of the military. The Operation Purple program offers free camp for active duty military families. Some YMCA summer camps also offer military discounts.

Send Siblings
Do you have more than one child interested in attending the same summer camp? Ask about group discounts. The camp may be willing to offer a discounted rate to families with multiple children.

Research Scholarships
Just like with discounts for public servants, scholarships may be available for families that meet income requirements. This is especially common for camps organized and operated by large organizations, churches or charities.

Pay in Full
Just like with other big purchases, you could get a cash discount for summer camp when you pay in full. The price probably isn’t set in stone so talk with officials about discounting admission fees for paying up front with cash.

Track Daily Deals
Besides spa treatments and restaurant coupons, daily deal sites also offer deep discounts to summer camp. Keep an eye out for offers in your area like the half-price trip to Woodmont Summer Camp in New York or the Actors and Filmmakers Camp in Colorado.

Check Out Day Camps
While nothing can replace the experience of a week of non-stop camp activities and sharing a bunk with new friends, day camp can be much more affordable than overnight camp. Compare the cost of both at, an extensive state-by-state directory of traditional day and overnight camps. It will help you find one that fits your budget and your child’s interests.

By Alison Storm

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