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Tips for Saving on Summer Camp Costs


While some parents are reluctant to discuss finances with their children, it might be helpful in some cases for children to know just how much things like summer camp cost. Sometimes children must attend camps because their parents have to work. In other cases, children want to attend specialized camps. The costs for camps can add up whether they have daily rates, weekly rates, or rates for multiple weeks.

In “Is paying for summer camp a challenge? Here’s how to cover it without breaking the bank,” USA Today profiled one resourceful young lady who worked out a deal to attend a camp her parents didn’t have the money for and her mother noted that sometimes she has to give up spending time with friends to help out at the farm to earn towards the over $3700 summer camp bill. If her parents had not been honest about the costs, this young lady may never have gotten such great practice negotiating.

You may think that it is too late to get a summer camp discount for this summer but you never know. Some websites that offer coupons for activities are still offering discounts. Even if it is too late for this year, it certainly isn’t too late for next year. In some areas, parents have to start securing spots for summer camps in January. And there are some camps that offer scholarships that start looking at how they will allocate funds in the fall. The article notes that middle class families do not need to assume they won’t receive aid. Some camps offer fees on a sliding scale and give discounts to returning campers. 

In addition to researching grants, scholarships, and discounts, you may also need to spend some of your own money. One mother USA Today interviewed said that she puts money aside each week during the school year so summer camp costs don’t put a dent in her finances all at once. Even when you find low-cost camps or get discounts, there may excursion fees or additional food fees or other costs that go beyond the fee to attend the camp.

It is possible to send your kids to summer camp without breaking the bank but it will require some effort. If things didn’t work out so well this year, your family can start to plan and save for next summer.