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Finding Affordable Summer Camps: Camps for Every Budget

Many families have become more mindful of their budgets during challenging economic times and you may be among those wondering whether you can afford camp for your kids this year. But did you know that there’s a camp for virtually every budget, with financial assistance available?

Here are some money-saving tips to help make camp more affordable:

1. Consider your options. Not all kids summer camps are created equal, at least not when it comes to price. While a week at an overnight camp can cost $300 to $1,000, a week of day camp can cost $35 to $200. Conversely, a longer-term stay at an overnight camp will cost less per week.

2. Look at the extras. Some camps charge extra for activities, while others include them in the cost. Additional charges for supplies should also be considered. Check in with your camps of choice to find out what is included in their costs and what isn’t.

3. Ask camps about financial help and incentives.While camps may not widely advertise discounts available, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Ask about early registration discounts and subsidies. Some camps offer sibling discounts to assist multi-child families. And those with one child can sometimes get discounts for referring other children to camp. If a parent once attended the same camp, their child may be eligible for an alma mater discount. Several camps offer individual payment plans for families, while others accept year-round payments. It never hurts to ask!

4. Find out about government assistance. Parents can claim about $500 per year per child for the fees paid for some sports or physical activities. It’s all part of the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit. For more information, visit Revenue Canada’s website at

5. Research subsidy information. Visit camp association websites to find out if and what subsidies are available to help bring camp within your reach. Many charitable organizations and other organizations recognize how valuable a camp experience is and provide financial assistance.

6. Start a family camp fund. Start a bank account early in the year dedicated to building a camp fund (now is a perfect time!) and deposit money regularly. Encourage older kids to contribute to the fund through their part-time job earnings.

7. Ask relatives to chip in. When Grandma asks for birthday or holiday gift ideas, why not suggest camp? Have your children contribute birthday money or cash earned from chores toward their camp fund. Remember, camp isn’t just fun and games. It’s a valuable educational experience for your child and a worthwhile investment!

Reprinted with permission by Our Kids, Trusted by Canadian parents since 1998, Our Kids is your source to the best summer camps, private schools and extracurriculars. Get the information and feedback you need at

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