Summer camp prices vary widely
How much does it cost to send your kid to summer camp?
Just about anything you can pay.
A top-rated, privately run specialty camp can cost
up to $10,000, while a subsidized church camp can be as little as
$10, and some camps are even free to needy kids.
Jeff Solomon, executive director of the nonprofit
Camp Association, says, "Typically, children who attend sleepaway
camps are enrolled in sessions of four or eight weeks, at around
$1,000 a week."
Ann Sheets, national president for the American
Camp Association, adds, "Parents may worry about the cost, especially
if there is more than one camp-aged child in the house, but the
good news is that there is a camp for just about every budget. Fees
generally range from $75 to $300 per week for ACA-accredited day
camps and $201 to $400 per week for resident camps."
A four-week session at a privately run, general-interest
camp typically costs around $3,500, says Solomon, and an eight-week
stay costs around $7,000. The wide range reflects the level of instruction,
quality of the facilities and the demand to attend. General activities,
meals, basic medical care and incidentals such as laundry and awards
are usually included, but many camps offer optional extras such
as added activities or field trips that can boost the bill.
Nonprofit and organizations' camps, such as YMCA camps,
are less expensive. They range from around $1,200 to $3,000 per
month or up to about $5,000 for a two-month stay. Some two-week
programs are available and range from $650 to $2,000.
Many camps offer payment plans to spread the costs
over a few months and some offer subsidies or financial aid. "Many
camps offer camperships, which is a partial or total subsidy of
the tuition costs," says Sheets. "Although they are usually awarded
based on need, do not assume that you make too much to qualify.
It is important to apply early."
Sheets also urges parents to ask about camps' refund
policies, which vary greatly. "Some refund for illness only, some
will give a total refund prior to a certain date, and some do not
refund at all," she explains.
Beyond the basics
Specialty camps offer in-depth instruction on
a given subject, with supplementary activities that generally carry
additional fees. Here's a sampling of what's being offered at specialty
- Dance: If your teenager is a serious student of
ballet, jazz and contemporary dance styles, she could, for example,
attend an intensive dance workshop at Hofstra University in New
York. Two weeks under the tutelage of world-class dance instructors
will set you back $1,975, but this includes tuition and dorm room
accommodations with full board. Day attendance at the dance camp
is cheaper, at $1,175.