Best Summer Camp Tips for Parents
The best time to book a summer camp? Now.
The sooner you book, the wider range of prices, themes, dates, and location options available to your budget. Check out tips designed to make your kids and your wallet happy.
1. Create a List
Multiple elements factor in your choice of camp(s). Write down everything you want or need, and then prioritize each line item. List suggestions include:
- Camp location
- Ease of drop-off/pick-up
- Camp hours
- Before/after-care availability
- Deposit option
- Age range
- Overnight vs. day camp
Registering now not gives you the widest range of availability and thus more inexpensive options to choose from. And, you can often place a deposit on camps now, save over the new few months, then pay the remainder when the camp charges later.
3. Start Your Search
There's no end to options - however, there is an end to availability, and the most liked camps often fill up the fastest. Ask your child what floats their boat: from cooking camps to farming, STEM themes to art options, your child can practically do it all. Whether it's in your neighborhood and budget is another story.
4. Choose a Mainstay
Settle on the main camp that you can afford for the majority of summer. Be sure the location, hours, and age range work for you and your child. Double-check the themes of each camp: Is there one week that clashes with your child's interests?
5. Find Ways to Save
Now that you've settled on a camp for the majority of summer evaluate the list of summer camps, your child expressed an interest attending. Was there one that stood out above the others, but perhaps was just a little over budget? Find ways to negotiate room in your budget:
- Recruit a summer nanny-share option with a fellow friend/neighbor
- Reduce before-and-after care costs by splitting drop-off/pick-up duties with a friend/neighbor
- Ask your child if they want to contribute some of their allowance or chore money
6. Don't Wait
Whatever you do, don't put it off. Summer camp is a place where memories are made, especially when it's the right fit. For parents, hopefully, that's it the right price, too.