Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

The Bee's guide to events, activities, arts and entertainment


May 18, 2009
Financial aid, creativity can help parents afford summer camp

Hello muddah, hello faddah, yes, you can send kids to Camp Grenada.

And, there are ways to avoid blowing through your savings when you do it. The American Camp Association Northern California offers these tips for funding summer camp:

• Research the options. With more than 12,000 day and resident camps throughout the country, there likely is one that might fit the budget. Go to the ACA Northern California's Web site for a listing of camps or camp fairs.

• Register early. Many camps offer discounts for people who commit early, but be sure to ask about the camp's refund policy.

• Consider day camp. These types of camps tend to cost less than resident camps.

• Shorten the visit. Although camp programs run between a few days and 10 weeks, children generally benefit from camp despite the length of their stay.

• Ask for help. Camps give away more than $39 million in scholarships each year, and 90 percent of camps offer some form of financial aid. Non-profit camps may reduce or waive fees for families who can't afford to pay and some churches and social service groups offer low-cost or free options. Ask about an installment plan, discounts for siblings or referral fees when friends you recruit send their children.

• Get creative. Ask relatives to help pay for camp as a birthday gift or see if the camp needs parent volunteers.

• The cost of day camp may count as an expense toward child and dependent care, according to the IRS. Employees with flexible spending accounts also may be able to use money set aside to cover child care costs, which would include day camps.

Summer camp is important for children by helping them gain independence, social skills, responsibility and resilience, said Andrew Townsend, past president of the ACA Northern California and camps director for Kennolyn Camps in Soquel.

"A short period unplugging from daily life and reconnecting with an outdoor lifestyle is very important for kids today," Townsend wrote in an e-mail to the Bee.

It also benefits parents in several ways, including exposing their children to new interests and helping the child realize they can survive without a computer or iPod.

"Parents also get a chance to reconnect at home while knowing their child is away having fun and growing up," he said.

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



FOLLOW US | Get more from sacbee.com | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook | Get news in your inbox | View our mobile versions | e-edition: Print edition online | What our bloggers are saying

Categories


October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives