By: Camp Electric
  • January 13, 2017
How Much Do Summer Camps Cost?

We ask ourselves each year, as parents, if we can afford to send our children to summer camps. Throughout the year, some of us already face the financial decisions to pay for extracurricular activities such as dance, football, cheerleading, gymnastics, marching band, soccer, etc. Summer camps are just another way to help enrich the lives and growth of your children. You will find that the costs can vary wildly depending on a number of factors such as the location of the camp, duration of the programs, activity types, and the child-to-instructor ratio.

Day Camps

Day camps can be the most affordably priced among summer camps. Camps associated with the ACA, otherwise known as American Camp Association, have tuition costs that can range from as low as $25 per day to as much as $334.50 plus per day. These costs typically cover the overhead of facilities, supplies for activities, staff, snacks, and typically one meal such as lunch. Camps with higher prices usually do not provide their rates publicly over the web, probably due to competition.

Non-profit Summer Camps

A lot of non-profit organizations fall into affordable pricing, such as churches, YMCA branches, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts. The earlier you enroll your child into a camp, the more money you can save. Yes, most camps award you a cost savings incentive by enrolling early. You may qualify for financial assistance for tuition costs depending on your income status. Always ask about price breaks and if there are group discounts if you are enrolling several children into a program.

Making Summer Camps More Affordable

Another thing to keep in mind is that you may be eligible for government assistance. Parents should inquire into whether the camp participates in income-eligible subsidy programs.

  • A 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. Visit the FSA Feds website for more information.

  • In certain circumstances, daycare expenses, including transportation by a care provider, may be considered dependent care services and paid with pre-tax dollars. Visit the Internal Revenue Services website for more information.

  • Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit: The IRS allows an income tax credit of up to $6,000 of dependent care expenses if you have two or more dependents (up to $3,000 for one dependent). The amount of the credit is based on your adjusted gross income and applies only to your federal taxes. This applies to qualifying day camp expenses. Again, the FSA Feds website will have more information on this.

Private Summer Camps

Specialty and private summer camps are also a great option to meet your child’s specific and targeted needs. Whether your child is into performing arts, math, science, or sports, there are camps that were specifically created to fit those needs. These camps often combine one or two specialized activities along with traditional camp offerings.  

There is an expectation for your child to have increased proficiency during the program. A specialty camp will help deepen knowledge and skill sets for your child’s specific interests and/or abilities. Since specialty and private camps typically offer more one-on-one time instruction and attention for campers, it can be more costly than a day camp. According to the ACA, prices can range from $30 per day and up.  Like we said earlier, the pricing really depends on the child-to-instructor ratio. Sometimes these camps also have membership fees because they operate throughout the year in the business of their specialty, such as horseback riding, gymnastics, dance, etc.

How Much Do Summer Camps Cost?

Overnight Camps

Lastly, overnight camps or sleepaway camps are another great option to look into for your child’s summer camp experience.  The costs of these camps can be a little higher than specialty and private camps, but for good reason.  You have to consider the extra overhead expenses of lodging, three meals per day, snacks, security, and extra staffing.  Pricing could also vary on a per activity basis.  According to ACA, the average pricing for overnight camp is $700 per week to as much as $2,000+ per week. Yes, the pricing may seem high, but there are immense benefits for your child’s growth and development through these camps. With overnight camps, children can sometimes form friendships with other children that last a lifetime.

The American Camp Association did a study/survey with campers and their parents on their experiences at summer camps. More than 5,000 families participated across the United States, giving us a pretty good idea of how great the effects of summer camp can be.

Campers Say:

  • Camp helped me make new friends. (96%)

  • Camp helped me to get to know kids who are different from me. (93%)

  • The people at camp helped me feel good about myself. (92%)

  • At camp, I did things I was afraid to do at first. (74%)

Parents Say:      

  • My child gained self-confidence at camp. (70%)

  • My child continues to participate in some of the new activities he or she learned at camp. (63%)

  • My child remains in contact with friends made at camp. (69%)

In conclusion, a great thing to keep in mind is that the most expensive camp is not necessarily the best camp for your children.  As a parent, you want your children to be happy and to find the best way to enrich their development.  It’s recommended that you sit down with your children and discuss their interests before choosing a camp.  There are a few questions, as a parent, you should ask yourself when choosing the best summer camp scenario.  Would your child best benefit from a camp that is local or far away?  Would your child best benefit from a camp that has short sessions or long sessions?  Do you want your child to attend a camp that is for boys or girls only or Co-ed?  Lastly, with your child’s specific needs in mind, would your child best benefit in a traditional, specialty, or a special needs camp?  By the end of your search you’ll probably find the camp that best fits the needs of your child.

Camp Electric is an exciting summer destination for kids who are interested in playing music, songwriting, and filmmaking. Located in Nashville, TN, the camp features appearances by some of the biggest names in Christian music. To find out more about how your child can take part in this awesome experience, click on the link below.

Camp Electric Cost