Sign in

Tools and tips for managing your finances

10 Ways to Save on Summer Camp

In a perfect world, summer would be a time for children and parents to soak up the sun and enjoy a slower pace. As most of us know, work calendars don’t align with school calendars. Summer camp is a lifesaver for busy households, and costs add up quickly, leaving many families feeling financially burdened.

Here are ten strategies for cutting costs this season:

1. Camp Scholarships

Many summer camps offer scholarships or financial aid for families in need. Chat
with camp staff to determine your eligibility and submit any required documentation.

2. State Subsidies

Depending on where you live, some states offer income-eligible subsidy programs
for qualifying families. Start your search online for local organizations that can steer you to the proper
application forms.

3. Day Camps

Day camps can be significantly cheaper than overnight camps since they don’t include  accommodation expenses. Look for day camps in your area that offer similar activities and experiences to  overnight camps.

4. Sibling + Group Discounts

Do you have more than one camper in your household this year? Or  perhaps even other children in your parent group that could add to the headcount? Look for camps that  offer sibling and/or group discounts.

5. Community Programs

Most community recreation centers offer year-round low-cost or free programs  for children, including day camps, sports leagues, or even virtual experiences led by online educators.  Beyond rec centers, check out local offerings at YMCA or Boys & Girls Club.

6. Flexible Payment Plans

Research camps that offer flexible payment plans, allowing you to spread  out the cost over several months rather than paying a lump sum upfront.

7. Partial Weeks

Does your schedule allow for partial weeks at camp? Many camps offer the option to  enroll two or three days per week (or even on a per-day basis) instead of a full week session. This can  make camp attendance more manageable in the short-term, especially if you have summer travel plans.

8. Pack Your Own Supplies

Camps often charge extra for snacks, meals, and supplies. Save money by  packing your child’s snacks and lunch each day, and ensure they have necessary supplies like  sunscreen, bug spray, and water bottles.

9. Flexible Spending Accounts

Some employers may allow allocation of FSA funds to cover expenses  if the camp is considered a qualified dependent care expense. Check your specific plan to confirm  whether summer camp expenses are reimbursement eligible.

10. Volunteer Opportunities

Some camps offer discounts for families willing to lend their time (similar to  co-op programs where parents can assist in classrooms). Helping with administrative tasks or  coordinating activities has the secondary benefit of enriching your resume.

First published by our trusted financial wellness partners at

The material and information contained here is for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information on the website as a basis for making any business, legal, or any other decisions.

Whilst we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, PFCU makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such material is therefore strictly at your own risk.


Recent Articles