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Forum -> Chinuch, Education & Schooling -> Summer Camps
How does anyone afford camp?
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:05 am
My oldest dd just started begging to go camp. I looked at camp prices and almost fainted. How does anyone afford $3,000 for 4 weeks? And that doesn’t include travel, shopping, etc.

We have a decent income and we can cover the basics, but we really have no extra. My daughter is devastated that we said we can’t afford it. I don’t want to be a mean parent but I just don’t see how it’s an option. Yet somehow her friends plan on going, and I don’t think they have much money, either. I really try to give my kids the basic things that everyone else has, but this is beyond. Yet everyone goes.

I feel bad that she’s so sad.
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amother
Brown


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:09 am
Same situation my oldest is going to camp this year. I can’t afford it. Will probably get help from parents and in-laws who are more comfortable. Otherwise I’d consider taking out an interest free loan from a relative.
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amother
Wallflower


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:15 am
Many many people can’t afford it but feel they must send anyway. Peer pressure is a real thing. They rack up CC bills and forgo other necessities. Many girls take a job the other half which usually doesn’t pay much of the expense anyway.
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#BestBubby




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:18 am
Yes, DD should work half the summer with the money going towards camp. She could also babysit during the year to pay for camp.
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amother
IndianRed


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:18 am
If you think about it in one sum, yes it’s expensive. Most camps have you pay small payments in manageable instalments from when you apply/get accepted sometime in December January. By the time camp starts, you have generally paid pretty much the entire amount already. And it doesn’t feel so crazy.

I also don’t see why a girl old enough to go to sleep away camp shouldn’t work in a local Daycamp the other half of the summer and in that way contribute a few hundred towards her camp experience.

Additionally, shopping for camp is not so different than shopping for whatever she’ll need if at home. The basic clothing needs are the same.
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:20 am
So I don’t want to go into debt for camp. I don’t find it important enough (maybe because I never went?) There are so many other things to spend on. I know she needs structure in the summer but she’ll have to find something else to do.

I guess the answer is, most people can’t afford it. But send anyway.
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amother
Calendula


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:25 am
We get whatever scholarships we can , which is not much. And the rest, we literally pay off the whole year. I feel like camp experience is amazing for kids, all around.
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:26 am
#BestBubby wrote:
Yes, DD should work half the summer with the money going towards camp. She could also babysit during the year to pay for camp.


Whatever she would make would probably be a drop in the bucket. When I suggested she put her bas mitzva money towards camp she was horrified. She’s quick to spend my money but hesitant to spend her own.
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sandyish




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:27 am
Camp Bnos Ruach Chaim was made to be an affordable camp and is $1,800 I believe. Hundreds (thousands?) of families send there for that reason. It’s a Lakewood type crowd.
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smss




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:28 am
OP, what alternatives are there for her? If she doesn't go to camp, what will she do?
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:29 am
amother IndianRed wrote:
If you think about it in one sum, yes it’s expensive. Most camps have you pay small payments in manageable instalments from when you apply/get accepted sometime in December January. By the time camp starts, you have generally paid pretty much the entire amount already. And it doesn’t feel so crazy.

I also don’t see why a girl old enough to go to sleep away camp shouldn’t work in a local Daycamp the other half of the summer and in that way contribute a few hundred towards her camp experience.

Additionally, shopping for camp is not so different than shopping for whatever she’ll need if at home. The basic clothing needs are the same.


I looked at a camp list. She will need considerably more items of clothing than if she were home. Plus all the other things she’ll “need” that everyone has. Plus money for canteen. Plus snacks. Plus tips for counselors.

I’ve heard people talk about camp.
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amother
Starflower


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:30 am
We cut out a lot of other things that some think are necessities, and like this BH can send to camp.
No cleaning help at all, my husband mows the lawn himself, shovels the snow instead of hiring others. Kids shoes cost $20-30 on amazon usually, clothes also cheap-no brand names, buy lots through target, amazon, shein.... we dont lease a car, just drive what we can afford even if its an old clunker...
Some other stuff as well.
Believe it or not it all adds up, and then we have extra money to use on family trips, kids camp etc, which we value more
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:30 am
sandyish wrote:
Camp Bnos Ruach Chaim was made to be an affordable camp and is $1,800 I believe. Hundreds (thousands?) of families send there for that reason. It’s a Lakewood type crowd.


We are an OOT yeshivish family. She wants to go somewhere in the midwest with friends.
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:31 am
smss wrote:
OP, what alternatives are there for her? If she doesn't go to camp, what will she do?


Some kids this age work in day camps. Or there might be a day camp option for her.
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amother
Bronze


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:32 am
amother OP wrote:
So I don’t want to go into debt for camp. I don’t find it important enough (maybe because I never went?) There are so many other things to spend on. I know she needs structure in the summer but she’ll have to find something else to do.

I guess the answer is, most people can’t afford it. But send anyway.

My parents used their tax refund.

Also as mentioned, you can pay out over 7 mths.

Also, there are cheaper options. Not every camp is 3k per half!
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:33 am
amother Starflower wrote:
We cut out a lot of other things that some think are necessities, and like this BH can send to camp.
No cleaning help at all, my husband mows the lawn himself, shovels the snow instead of hiring others. Kids shoes cost $20-30 on amazon usually, clothes also cheap-no brand names, buy lots through target, amazon, shein.... we dont lease a car, just drive what we can afford even if its an old clunker...
Some other stuff as well.
Believe it or not it all adds up, and then we have extra money to use on family trips, kids camp etc, which we value more


I guess everyone has their own priorities. I don’t have cleaning help but we do spend on some other things. We are not rich, though. My daughter likes the things we buy her and wants a nice bas mitzva, etc. I don’t have anything left for camp.

ETA then we have to scrimp and save again for next year. Plus her sister will want to join in.
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amother
NeonPink


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:41 am
amother Bronze wrote:
My parents used their tax refund.

Also as mentioned, you can pay out over 7 mths.

Also, there are cheaper options. Not every camp is 3k per half!


There really are not many cheaper options. Same with boys camps. I also, like OP, looked into camps literally just today for the first time in a few years and almost fainted. The boys camps I am looking at are $2800-$3200 per session which is crazy! Last time I sent somebody to camp in 2020 it was under $2000 per session!
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amother
Bronze


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:44 am
amother NeonPink wrote:
There really are not many cheaper options. Same with boys camps. I also, like OP, looked into camps literally just today for the first time in a few years and almost fainted. The boys camps I am looking at are $2800-$3200 per session which is crazy! Last time I sent somebody to camp in 2020 it was under $2000 per session!


Every single aspect of life has gone up including food, bills etc.

Of course camp went up too.

I happened to agree with other poster who said that everyone has different priorities and some people will pay the extra $600 a month for 6 months or use a refund for this n skimp on something else.
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amother
Winterberry


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:45 am
amother OP wrote:
I guess everyone has their own priorities. I don’t have cleaning help but we do spend on some other things. We are not rich, though. My daughter likes the things we buy her and wants a nice bas mitzva, etc. I don’t have anything left for camp.

ETA then we have to scrimp and save again for next year. Plus her sister will want to join in.


Sounds like it’s the perfect time to teach her that finances are finite. If she wants a nice bay mitzvah that cost x. Going to camp cost y. Maybe you can’t afford both. Which is more important to her. This is a lifelong lesson. We all make choices. It’s not a punishment it’s just reality.
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amother
Latte


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:47 am
amother OP wrote:
We are an OOT yeshivish family. She wants to go somewhere in the midwest with friends.


OP some OOT communities have scholarships... it's how we were able to afford to send our oldest to sleepaway one summer - came out cheaper than sending to daycamp. Look into your local federation/foundation to see if they have something.
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