Updated: Oct 30, 2021
There are a number of ways to save on summer camp tuition. Let’s review... Early Registration Many camps offer a discount for early registration well in advance of the camp season. In addition to saving money, early registration can provide you with more options for session placement and something exciting for your camper to look forward to. If there’s an issue with homesickness after confirming attendance, finding out well in advance of camp gives you and your camper lots of time to work things out. For more on this, read How To Avoid Homesickness for some pointers. Sibling Discount If you happen to have two (or more) kids interested in attending the same camp, you’ve hit the jackpot! Don’t expect to get a “twofer,” but a nice reduction in price is likely coming your way. Even if your child has a cousin or maybe even a friend who wants to go, you can always ask if there’s a savings for everyone. In fact, the difference between enjoying a discount and not having one is just a matter of asking! Scholarships Depending on how the camp defines a “scholar,” your child might qualify even if they have an strong interest in an special activity as opposed to a highly developed skill or knowledge. After all, as important as activities are, perhaps the most rewarding aspects of camp are trying new things, making friends and learning more about yourself in the process. New Camper Discount Every camper is a new camper at some point and operators want to make the experience a success for the camper and parent alike. Providing a discount to help entice new campers works for everyone. If you don’t see it mentioned anywhere, ask! Referrals Campers who register that you and your camper have referred can lower your child’s tuition. Before you make a plan to round up enough referrals to cover your expense, be sure to verify this camp discount is available where camper will attend. Returning Camper Healthy retention rates are vital and can make a huge difference to a camp’s bottom line. If your child plans to return to the same camp, see if they have a discount to offer. Financial Aid If there’s an inability to pay for some or all of camp tuition, there are camps and institutions like churches, synagogues and various social groups who can help. There’s usually an application for financial assistance that needs to be filled out and submitted. Free Camps Many public schools offer free day programs. Institutions like the Salvation Army. Local governments and religious institutions frequently support summer programs that are available at no charge. Horizons National is free enrichment and academic program that serves children from communities that are under-resourced. Activities take place at colleges, universities and charter schools throughout the country. The Fresh Air Fund provides free camp tuition for kids residing in New York City with facilities beautiful rural environments. Multi-Session As they say, the more the merrier! This discount comes into play when your camper is registered for a longer camp experience. They have more fun and you save more money! Keep in mind that your ability to receive multiple discounts for a single camper are limited. Every camp varies, so speaking with the operator is extremely helpful. Even if some camp discounts aren’t described on their website or print material, it’s still worth exploring your options through direct communication. Whatever savings you’re able to receive, your child's experience at camp will be exactly the same as full paying camper families and with your discount, you’ll be able to put your savings away for the next camp season!