The Financial Benefits of Researching Camps Now for Next Summer

by Amanda Formaro

For some parents, paying for summer camp can cause a uncomfortable dent in their family budget. Their children love camp, it's an enriching experience that helps them grow, so parents are willing to strain a bit financially to make it happen. However, if you start researching now, you can save yourself a lot of stress and some money while you're at it!

Taking Your Time
By starting early you can spend some quality time looking up different camps, finding out what programs they offer, and contacting them with questions. Keep a note pad handy to jot down any questions you might have for the camp director when you call. Peruse their websites in depth, read reviews on message boards from parents like yourself, and even check the better business bureau for any blemishes. 

Getting the Best Value
Finding a camp that is within your financial means and is able to provide your child with the experience they will truly enjoy is what will provide the biggest bang for your buck. Identify what programs each camp has. Will your child be interested in what they offer? Or will they only enjoy a small percentage of the activities? Sometimes saving a few dollars and sacrificing certain activities is not the best value. You want to make sure that the programs offered are going to pique your child's interests.

You Get What You Pay For
Shopping around for a summer camp strictly by tuition price is not the best bet. While you may save money, you may be giving up on some things that are worth paying for. Be sure to check all that the camp has to offer and weigh that against other programs, comparing prices as you go. Bargain camps can be okay for some and not okay for others. Just be sure you are shopping for  a fun and enriching experience, and not just the least expensive option.

Identifying Programs
What are your child's interests? Are they into science experiments or more on the crafty side? Do they prefer the outdoors and enjoy active sports, or are they more on the quiet side and enjoy hands on activities? It's very important to research what programs are available from each camp and what percentage of those programs your child will engage in. Sending your child to a camp where they will enjoy only 20% of the programs is not the best value and will not create lasting memories for you or your child.

Getting the Right Fit
In your research, identify several factors that make a camp the right fit for your family's needs. Location can be an important factor for some families, while certain themes (horseback camps, adventure camps, etc) may be higher on your priority list. it's imperative that you get the right fit for not only your child, but for your pocketbook as well. 

It's important to ask questions. Don't be afraid to contact each camp and provide them with your concerns. Some websites are more comprehensive than others, so do your research, order free brochures and read what others have to say on the internet. Don't forget about family and friends too! They can offer great insight into camps they or their children have attended.

Hopefully you took our advice in October and started a fund for summer camp to make things a little easier come summer time. By doing your research now, you can find the right camp for your child and your budget.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by KidsCamps Editor published on December 27, 2012 6:50 AM.

It's Never Too Early to Sign Up for Camp! was the previous entry in this blog.

Searching for a Camp is the next entry in this blog.

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