Affordable Summer Camp Options

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Summer is nearly here, and if you have kids, they’ll need somewhere to be while you’re at work. One of the most popular destinations for kids is summer camp. Camp allows kids to meet new friends, to try new activities, and to learn self-reliance.

Unfortunately, some camps are expensive. Since they provide food, entertainment, and occasionally, a place to sleep, it’s only natural that a lot of camps would be out of your price range. Don’t give up yet, though - there are plenty of options for affordable summer camp. Here’s where you should start looking:

American Camp Association

The American Camp Association lets you search camps by activity, location, and, most importantly, price. In order to be listed on the ACA website, a camp must meet strict quality requirements, so you know your kid will be in safe hands.


Your may be able to find a camp through your local YMCA, and you don’t even have to be a member to sign up. Check their website to see what’s available in your area - camps and activities vary by location.

Colleges and Schools

You may be able to find an affordable summer camp through colleges in your area. You should also check with your kid’s school - even if they don’t provide camp themselves, they may have ideas.   

Parks Department

Check with your parks department or other local government body - many provide summer camps. Even police and fire stations have been known to hold camps!

Here are a few other ways to keep costs low:

-Keep your schedule open. You’re more likely to find a good deal if you have a lot of dates available and if you don’t have a particular camp in mind. Check waitlists as well - you never know if someone else will cancel.

-Ask if financial aid is provided. Summer camps often have scholarships, payment plans, or other help available.  

-Generally, day camps are cheaper than overnight camps, though may take more planning. You could also look into half-day camps.

Above all, make sure your kid is interested in the activities offered by the camp. After all, you want them to have fun!


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