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




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:52 am
Payment plans. Shop sales for clothing and sleeping bags etc, any bonuses tax returns etc
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amother
IndianRed


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 11:59 am
amother OP wrote:
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.


I’m not sure what type of camp your looking into. My daughters camp includes canteen and tips in the camp tuition. There are no separate fees.

Things they “need”? Like a tutu and a belt bag? Nothing crazy expensive in my experience but you should probably speak to parents in the camp your daughter wants to go to and see what the standards are like so you can get an idea of what needs you might be expected to fill if you chose to send her.
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 12:04 pm
amother IndianRed wrote:
I’m not sure what type of camp your looking into. My daughters camp includes canteen and tips in the camp tuition. There are no separate fees.

Things they “need”? Like a tutu and a belt bag? Nothing crazy expensive in my experience but you should probably speak to parents in the camp your daughter wants to go to and see what the standards are like so you can get an idea of what needs you might be expected to fill if you chose to send her.


Interesting. I don’t know if those things are included. But still, $3,000 is a lot.

It really sounds like people are pinching every penny because camp is a priority. Are we terrible parents if we don’t think camp is a priority? I don’t want to skimp on all the conveniences and fun things for a year for 4 weeks of camp. We will sometimes take out a pizza if it’s been a rough day. Take the kids out for ice cream on Sunday. Buy them something they don’t need but really want. Maybe we can afford camp if we get rid of all these things. But I don’t know if that’s right for our family.
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mha3484




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 12:08 pm
My son wants to apply to AMW. Jewish Federation gives $500 if your a day school parent from the one happy camper program and Aguda also gives scholarships so can defiantly be closer to the $2000 range.
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amother
Brunette


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 12:23 pm
My nieces went as mothers helpers and loved it. They went with a friend. It’s a different experience but still really a fun change of pace.
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amother
Bronze


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 12:42 pm
It sounds like you're looking for validation.

No, no one can tell you what's right for your family. If you don't want to spend it, don't. You don't have to. But looking to others doesnt make your decision better or worse.

No, just because you can't afford it, doesn't mean other ppl can't. Some ppl save, some ppl scrimp, many ppl have the money.

You should do what's best for you & your family.

Hatzlacha!
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 12:43 pm
mha3484 wrote:
My son wants to apply to AMW. Jewish Federation gives $500 if your a day school parent from the one happy camper program and Aguda also gives scholarships so can defiantly be closer to the $2000 range.


How would I find out about Agudah scholarships? We don’t have enough for camp but we do officially make an okay income. I don’t know who would qualify.
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mha3484




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 12:44 pm
You ask for a scholarship form when you apply.
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 12:46 pm
amother Bronze wrote:
It sounds like you're looking for validation.

No, no one can tell you what's right for your family. If you don't want to spend it, don't. You don't have to. But looking to others doesnt make your decision better or worse.

No, just because you can't afford it, doesn't mean other ppl can't. Some ppl save, some ppl scrimp, many ppl have the money.

You should do what's best for you & your family.

Hatzlacha!


I guess my question was twofold. First - how does your average family afford it. And second - does it make me a bad parent if I say I can’t prioritize camp? I do feel strongly that my kids shouldn’t be the only ones left out, so I’d feel bad if they would be.
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amother
Hyacinth


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 12:53 pm
amother OP wrote:
How would I find out about Agudah scholarships? We don’t have enough for camp but we do officially make an okay income. I don’t know who would qualify.

One happy camper gives a small (few hundred dollars) scholarship for first year campers- there are no income requirments for this. You can ask the Agudah office about scholarships but I don't think that's an option until your child is accepted to camp. And I don't think they give off a lot either and I would have to guess that they are income dependent.

Regarding your original question though, lots of people feel that camp is a priority. The same way that tuition is a priority for many, so is camp. Are there people who rack up credit card debt to pay for camp? It's definitely possible. We personally live very simply and prioritize this. Small house, no recent construction or big purchases. Everyone has different priorities. It sounds like you don't see camp as a priority and you prefer to spend on other things, which is completely valid.
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amother
Hyacinth


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 1:06 pm
amother OP wrote:
I guess my question was twofold. First - how does your average family afford it. And second - does it make me a bad parent if I say I can’t prioritize camp? I do feel strongly that my kids shouldn’t be the only ones left out, so I’d feel bad if they would be.

I have learned that you can't count other people's money. People have money for what's important to them. If I know that camp costs around 3k then I save up each year and make sure that I have that money to pay for camp (per child) each summer. We also make more money than people would think given the way we live.

I think a lot depends on your child and how how old she is. It's also very location dependent. A lot of camps don't start before going into 8th grade. So if your daughter is younger than that you can rest assured that she will have quite a few friends who won't be going to camp either. But depending on where you live there might be very limited to no options in terms of local day camps which can make the summer very challenging.

But no, regardless of your decision, it does not make you a bad parent by not prioritizing something that your child wants. Also, if she wants this so badly she should be willing to sacrifice certain things (such as her bas mitzva money which you mentioned above) or going as a mothers helper.
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amother
Zinnia


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 1:11 pm
amother OP wrote:
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.

I send dd to a low key camp and I would estimate that I spent $1,000 on supplies and extra clothing the first year. You can spend less if your camps laundry is decent but if not they need an insane amount of clothing. The next year it was way less because we already had some things but it’s still always going to be a significant expense on top of camp fees especially if they’re still growing. People really don’t realize how much extra it is.
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amother
Bellflower


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 1:23 pm
How old is your daughter? If she is young and you think she will be ok without it, that's up to you. If you don't feel like prioritizing camp in your budget that's your decision and it's fine! Some people here make it sound like camp is a must, but it is a luxury and you don't have to feel guilty not sending, especially if your daughter is really young, and especially if you have a bunch of other girls that will also want to go at such a young age if she does.
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amother
Chestnut


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 2:06 pm
amother IndianRed wrote:

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.


All good points except this one. You need way more clothes to send to camp since they do laundry rarely. Some do laundry as little as once in 2 weeks.
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imaamy




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 2:15 pm
You need much more of every item because they don’t do laundry as often as at home. Our son needed fifteen tee shirts, shorts etc.


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.[/quote]
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 2:52 pm
amother Bellflower wrote:
How old is your daughter? If she is young and you think she will be ok without it, that's up to you. If you don't feel like prioritizing camp in your budget that's your decision and it's fine! Some people here make it sound like camp is a must, but it is a luxury and you don't have to feel guilty not sending, especially if your daughter is really young, and especially if you have a bunch of other girls that will also want to go at such a young age if she does.


She is pretty young. Maybe we can get away with pushing off camp this year, but I feel like eventually it’ll catch up with us. And then I have other daughters after her. Even with paying in installments, I’m not going to be able to put away $1000 extra per month to pay for camp. Unless we get some BIG raises…
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Hashem_Yaazor




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 3:03 pm
amother Chestnut wrote:
All good points except this one. You need way more clothes to send to camp since they do laundry rarely. Some do laundry as little as once in 2 weeks.

I would rather them charge me another $20 to do another load than have to buy another week's worth of clothing that is only necessary for those few extra days of no laundry in camp! It's such a waste, not just of money, but of clothing that only needs to be worn once!
I'd rather send 11 shirts vs 16!
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Orangehead




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 3:07 pm
I grew up very simply. The only think that really devastated me is that I never went to camp.
People ask, “what camp did you go to?” As if it’s a given. Besides for the fact I really is wanted to go, it was quite embarrassing as well.
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notshanarishona




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 3:10 pm
If a teenager works for one month in a local camp she will make maybe $500, no where near enough to pay for camp. The best of the worst options seems to sending your kid as a mother’s helper where she gets camp half the day and works some of the time and goes for a reduced rate. Camp is really not a necessity. I would sooner send my daughter flying to visit different relatives and work in a out of town day camp than spend $3000 on one months entertainment.
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Hashem_Yaazor




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Nov 19 2023, 4:45 pm
notshanarishona wrote:
If a teenager works for one month in a local camp she will make maybe $500, no where near enough to pay for camp. The best of the worst options seems to sending your kid as a mother’s helper where she gets camp half the day and works some of the time and goes for a reduced rate. Camp is really not a necessity. I would sooner send my daughter flying to visit different relatives and work in a out of town day camp than spend $3000 on one months entertainment.

It depends where you're coming from.
In smaller communities, there are fewer friends to have and it's harder socially to find someone to be really close with if your dozen or so classmates are not the right fit.
For my girls, it's an absolute must to spread their social network.
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