Top Tips for Saving Money on Summer Camp
When you decide to send your child to camp, you are giving them the opportunity to try new activities, meet new people, gain independence and learn about who they are as an individual, among so many other benefits. Camp is an amazing experience; however, parents certainly have their family budgets to consider. Here are a few ways for families to save money on summer camp:
Look for camp early – It’s not too early to start thinking about camp for summer 2025. Looking early and registering for camp in the summer or early fall will help you save money by taking advantage of the early bird rates camps offer. This is also a good way to ensure you get a spot at your top choice camp. Begin your research now to understand which camps you would like to tour this summer. Seeing a camp in action is one of the best ways to get a feel for a camp.
Scholarships & financial assistance – If you are looking for a camp that offers scholarships, financial assistance and sliding scales, start your search with non-profit summer camps. Families can also reach out to the American Camp Association, NY and NJ for a list of camps that financial assistance.
Assistance offered from the U.S government – The government offers programs that may help families save money on summer camp.
- Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) – A Dependent Care FSA is a pre-tax benefit account that allows you to pay for dependent care such as day camp while you are working. Visit the FSA Feds Website at www.fsafeds.com 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 and up to $3,000 for one dependent. Day camps can count towards the children and dependent care tax credit. Visit www.irs.gov for more information.
Work at camp – Do you enjoy working with children or are you in a profession such as education, social work or nursing? Summer camps are always looking for qualified, enthusiastic adults to work at camp. Besides a competitive salary, many camps will offer your child a discount for camp.
Sibling discount – Did you know that many camps offer savings for registering multiple children at camp? Take advantage of these savings by sending more than one child to camp.
Give the gift of camp – Giving your child the opportunity to go to summer camp truly is a gift so why not make it part of a birthday or holiday gift. Does your child need that big birthday party and more toys? Asking extending family to contribute to camp as a gift is also a great idea. The skills and experiences gained at summer camp will last for a lifetime while that new toy may be fun for a couple of months.
Beware of too good a deal – We all have our budgets to consider but beware of a camp deal that seems too good to be true. Your child’s safety needs to be at the top of mind with any camp decision you make so please do your research. At a minimum, a camp should be inspected by the Department of Health. Choosing an ACA Accredited camp means that the camp goes above and beyond state licensing and meets hundreds of health and safety standards.
Call the American Camp Association, NY and NJ – If you would like to send your child to camp, there is a camp for every budget. Families can reach out to the American Camp Association, NY and NJ’s Camper Placement Specialist Renee Flax for free, one-on-one advice on finding the right camp at the right price for your family. Contact: [email protected] or 212.391.5208.