Camp is a life-changing experience, and one that’s possible for every child at almost any budget. “While prices vary from camp to camp, 93 percent of ACA-accredited camps provide some form of scholarship assistance,” says Tom Rosenberg, president and CEO of American Camp Association.
While searching for the best camp for your child, look for these ways to keep camp affordable:
ACA supports camp scholarships indirectly with the Send a Child to Camp Fund for campers in need. The ACA camp community generates approximately $216 million each year for camp scholarships. Call camp directors and ask if financial assistance is available.
Assistance Offered by Camps
Camps offer special discounts for everything from early registration and multiple enrollments from one family, to late registration to fill an empty spot. Camps also offer payment plans and partial “camperships.” Parents shouldn’t assume their income doesn’t qualify. Ask the camp what payment or assistance program they offer, and ask early.
Assistance Offered by Organizations
Many organizations offer financial assistance for camp, including churches and synagogues, military organizations, sororities and fraternities, and clubs.
Assistance Offered by the U.S. Government
The government offers various forms of assistance to help send children to day camps. The Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account allows parents to be reimbursed on a pre-tax basis for child care or adult dependent care expenses for qualified dependents that are necessary to allow parents to work, look for work or to attend school full time. In certain circumstances, day care expenses, including transportation by a care provider, may be considered dependent care services and paid with pre-tax dollars.
By asking the right questions and using resources that are available, camp really is within reach for many families.