7 Steps for Finding a Great, Affordable Kids Summer Camp

Summer is right around the corner, and soon we will get to send our kids away to summer camp. Yay!

I love summer camp for so many reasons. I have awesome memories of going as a child. As an adult, I anticipate a semi-quiet house once my kids head out the door.

But let’s be real here: There is one part of summer camp that’s not so awesome, and that’s the price. Fortunately, you can find a perfect camp at a perfectly good rate if you’re willing to put in a little legwork.

Here are seven tips to help you out:

1. Consider your kid

4 kids laughingRawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

Remember this is not about you. You may have fabulous memories of Camp Crystal Lake, but that doesn’t mean your kids will have the same experience. Rather than force them into what could be a terrifying week, take some time to discuss their expectations of camp. You have plenty of choices:

  • Science camps
  • Sports camps
  • Adventure camps
  • Bible camps
  • Scout camps
  • Art camps

Your children may hate the idea of rock climbing or swimming, but could be geeked about the chance to study robotics on a local college campus. Figure out what makes your children tick, and look for the type of camp that fits their interests and personalities.

2. Decide whether it’ll be a daytime or overnight experience

Kids playing tug-of-warzagorodnaya / Shutterstock.com

Along those same lines, decide whether an overnight camp or a day camp will better fit your child and family.

Overnight camps are what typically come to mind when you think about summer camps, but a weeklong excursion with strangers may be too much for some kids. Day camps will require more driving and coordination on your part, but they might provide a more positive experience for kids prone to homesickness.

3. Check out community and nonprofit camps

Kids playing soccer.matimix / Shutterstock.com

As we’ve said earlier, going to camp isn’t necessarily cheap, with fees often running into the hundreds of dollars. However, you can certainly find a quality camp for less money.

To locate good bargain camps, look to your community and nonprofit organizations. The prices may be as low as free for a half-day vacation Bible school through a church, or as much as a $200 for an overnight camp run by a YMCA or recreation department.

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