Thinking about camp yet? How about applying for a campership?Posted by MomOnMars on February 02, 2011
It’s getting to be that time of year again. Many camps are already wooing parents with discounts for early registration, while others are still putting together their programs. Now’s the perfect time for you to start doing your research to find that one, perfect place that will keep your child happy, occupied and safe this summer.
To get you started, I went looking for the money. I don’t know how you feel, but I think camps can be awfully expensive. As in…”isn’t that what I paid to attend an entire semester of college” expensive.
Last year, we ventured into the land of camp scholarships (also known as camperships) to help buffer the drain on our budget. I never thought we’d find one, but we did, applied, and, lo and behold, got it! Spurred on by success, I’m bound and determined to duplicate my small, but helpful, windfall to help again this year with camp costs.
There are several things to know before getting started:
- Many camps offer scholarships based on need; some offer them on a first come-first served basis; while others award them on merit. It’s worth looking into no matter what your financial situation.
- Ask. The best place to find a discount or campership is to ask the camp directly. They may offer a special deal or work one out for you.
- Look for niche categories. Scholarships are available for special needs, gifted and talented, first-time and Jewish campers, to name a few.
- Check with professional organizations of which you are a member, like Kiwanis, to see if they offer camperships. You might be surprised.
- Factor in the tax savings. If you itemize on your tax return, summer camps (non-residential) may qualify as dependent child care, a deductible expense. Check with a qualified accountant. (which I am not!)
Here are a few scholarship opportunities to get you started.
- Jewish Camp Scholarships
- Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented
- UTSA Band Camp
- Ashley’s Spurs Basketball Camp
- YMCA Scholarships
- Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas (not posted yet)
- Math Scholarships – a comprehensive listing from The Art of Problem Solving
How about you? Do you find camps prohibitively expensive? Have you found some less expensive alternatives?