Monday, March 14, 2011

Finding the Finances to Send Your Kid to Camp

Summer camp season is coming up, and parents are wondering how to make that experience financially possible for their kids. A number of possibilities spring up. One is to approach the camp itself and see if camp scholarships—camperships—are possible. According to the American Camp Association, over 90% offer some form of financial assistance. Another is to see if your child’s camp care could qualify for a tax deduction.

Other options:

See what type of denominational (religious) camps offer sliding scales and financial help, like the Catholic Youth Organization camps, Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Center the Baptist Camp and Conference Center, or the Jewish Camp Foundation.  There may be others--check with your minister to see if your denomination has youth camps and camperships.

For summer music camp for kids grade 7-11, see the Music Research Society Endowment Fund ( c/o Diana Farris, 1115 SE Brookside Pkwy., Bartlesville, OK 74006, tel.: (918) 333-6719).

If you have a Boy Scout and would like him in a BSA camp program, try the regional Boy Scout Council in your area. They may have camperships.

If your child is disabled or has a medical condition, check Brave Kids to see what camps may be available. They may be free or offer a sliding scale, or scholarships, depending on the camp. Brave Kids deals with national organizations, and local aid programs in Chicago, NY City, LA/Orange, San Francisco, Sacramento, most Florida cities, DC/Baltimore, Buffalo and Syracuse. Go to the search box on the left hand side of the screen, and choose “camps” under resource type. Be sure to click on the box that shows national resources.

Look in the Foundation Directory for Individuals and see if there may be a regional campership program from a local foundation in your area. You can access the FDI at the nearest cooperating collection of the Foundation Center.

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