Summer camps are back, but with higher prices, less choice

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Every working parent has to face this: the school year is about to end, which means it’s time to look into summer camps.

2022 means a return to camping for many families who kept their children at home for two years during the pandemic.

But many camps closed permanently during COVID’s closure, and others were forced to raise prices to continue operating, as Jenny Mile, a mother of three, recently discovered.

“Especially after a pandemic, it’s much harder to find,” she said. “Camps that are accessible or open or have care afterwards.”

She and her husband also work full time.

“It means that every child should have a camp or some activity they could do every week not to sit at home and watch TV,” she said.

Prices are higher than ever

Mile and her husband spent a lot of time researching online and checking links to find what fit well and fit into their budget.

And prices are much higher than in pre-pandemic times, she learned.

“On average, you’re talking about $ 500 or $ 600 a week,” Mile said. “And then when you have three kids, it becomes very expensive.”

Sarah Wetzel of the Bureau of Best Business says they have had a lot of complaints about summer camps, especially the money back.

“The biggest complaint about their refund policy is: they don’t understand or consumers don’t understand,” Wetzel said. “In some cases, they paid a large sum of money in advance and their child goes to camp only for one day, maybe the camp is not suitable for the child, or the child falls ill and they do not stay for the time of the camp.”

What to ask before sending money

When it comes to filling your summer camps, the BBB offers the following advice:

  • If possible, visit the camp before applying.
  • Find out if this deposit is refundable.
  • Check all emergency and safety features.
  • Ask about additional fees and payment terms.
  • Find out if food and transportation are offered. What about follow-up?
  • And what is the profitability for vacationers and staff?

Wetzel says you should too check the ACA for reviews.

“Another great thing is the American Camp Association. It’s a great resource,” she said. “All of these accredited camps meet 300 nationally recognized standards. So you can always find camps there if you look for them. ”

Jenny Mile says choosing a camp for her loved ones is not easy.

“I mean, it’s so stressful for us parents. Summer should be fun, and sometimes it’s hard to think about it, ”she said.

But it shouldn’t be hard if you take your time and follow these tips so as not to spend money.
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