How To Plan Financially For Summer Camp

Written By: happycamper

Every child deserves to go to a summer camp. The challenge is finding one that fits your budget and your children’s interests. Camps are a wonderful experience because they teach kids new skills and expose them to experiences they would not get at home, while teaching them how to work well with others. Summer camp can be expensive if you don’t plan ahead or if you’re paying for multiple children.

Here are a few tips on how to plan financially for summer camp.


Look For Early Registration Discounts

Take advantage of early registration discounts. Get on the email newsletter list for all of the summer camps you’re considering, so you know when early registration begins. Many summer camps offer discounts if you confirm your spot early. Start looking for early registration between December and April. Talk to your camp now to see what their early registration deadlines are. 


Put Money Away Each Month

If you know you’re going to sign your kids up for camp again this year, start planning now. Put some money aside each month so when it’s time to pay for camp, you have money set aside. Some summer camps require all the money up front with registration, while others may have payment plans or a final payment date closer to when camp starts. 


kids playing basketballConsider The Types Of Camps

There are summer camps for every budget. Sleepaway camps are often more expensive because they’re paying for kids’ meals, activities, and lodging for a designated amount of time. The camp staff are in charge of managing your kids day and night, so the cost is higher to pay for camp staff.

A cheaper option might be a day camp, often run through schools or community centers, where you drop your child off in the morning and pick them up at the end of the day. Day camps will have similar activities to sleepaway camps like games, arts and crafts, and sports. 

Another option is to sign up for a day-camp session such as an arts and crafts camp that might only last one day. These are based on interest, so you’ll want to look up a camp that fits your child’s interests. There are camps for every interest- music, theater, sports and more.

Virtual camps like Happy Camper Live allow your child on-demand access to music camp, sports camps, and more from the comfort of your own home.


Apply For Camp Scholarships

Some summer camps will offer scholarships to help fund partial or full camp fees. Talk to the camp director to see if the summer camp you’re considering has scholarships available. They may be based on financial need. Others could be based on skill, such as playing a specific instrument proficiently for a music camp.


camp counselorsGet A Job At The Summer Camp

If you are a stay-at-home parent, you can consider applying for a job at the summer camp where you’re sending your kids. Summer camps need quality staff and it can sometimes be hard to hire for a one- or two-month position. Consider reaching out to the camp to ask if they’re looking for camp counselors. This could help you offset some of the cost. 


Use Your FSA Account

Some families are able to use their employer’s dependent care flexible spending account for childcare to cover camp costs. Talk to your accountant or the IRS to see if the summer camps you are considering are a fit for FSA spending. Learn more at the FSA Feds website

Good luck on your search to finding the perfect summer camp!

Tagged:- finance summer camp, how to pay for summer camp, parents, pay for summer camp


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